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VodBull's A Bad Combo VodBull's A Bad Combo

By Raychelle Burks

“What can I get you?” says the bartender. “I’ll take a shot of depressant with an upper chaser,” says the customer. Sound stupid? Or like last Saturday night when you ordered a vodka Red Bull?

Before you re-do last weekend’s bonanza of booze and energy drinks, read what Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine researchers learned from their survey of over 4,000 college students at ten universities. Those that drink this downer-upper combination showed they consume more drinks more often, engage in dangerous sexual activities and ride shotgun to an intoxicated driver, not to mention making a host of other bad decisions - if you can believe it, worse decisions than those that just guzzle the sauce sans energy drink.

Contrary to common wisdom, pairing an energy drink with booze doesn’t keep you sober any more than downing coffee in a stupour does. “Only the symptoms of drunkenness are reduced – but not the drunkenness,” said WFU researcher, Mary Claire O’Brien. Those that mix alcohol and energy drinks “can’t tell if they’re drunk; they can’t tell if someone else is drunk. So they get hurt, or they hurt someone else,” said O’Brien.

The combination of upper and downer leading to bad stuff should be no surprise, but usually the upper is something stronger than the caffeine in an energy drink.

Check out one of Raychelle's other articles on the Null.

Or have a swig of some more boozy science:
- Quick beer - Drinking after exercise
- Virtual beer - Animated pints
- Hazy beer - The effects of beer goggles
- Canine beer - Pint for your pooch?

Image: Lehel Mor

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