Mixing alcohol with energy drinks is a well-known killer among the teen to mid-20s age range. The high-octane caffeine disguises the impairment of intoxication and can lead to more people drinking and driving or dying from alcohol poisoning. Headlines and legislators keep the mixture front and center. Unfortunately, another danger has been forgotten: Coca Cola and alcohol.
Regular Coca Cola has around 34 milligrams of caffeine. According to Drug and Alcohol Addiction Magazine, laboratory research has indicated that caffeine overrides the sedating effect that alcohol has on the body. By keeping the drowsiness at bay, you may seem less intoxicated than you are. A study by the University of Florida, College of Public Health found that people who mixed caffeine and alcohol were four times more likely to attempt to drive drunk than those who drank only alcohol.
“We know that caffeine aggravates the degree of intoxication, which can lead to risky behaviors,” said Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., study co-author, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida, College of Medicine.
A variety of factors can influence absorption of alcohol including food, sex, weight and height, history of drinking and genetics. The University of Manchester, Department of Postgraduate Medicine & Dentistry conducted a study with 21 individuals who consumed vodka, vodka with still water or vodka mixed with carbonated water.
According to the report, the diluted vodka was absorbed significantly quicker than straight alcohol in 20 of the 21 test subjects. The absorption rate in individuals who drank the carbonated mixture was also decisively more rapid than the mixture of still water. However, the effect was only visible in 14 of the 21 subjects.
According to Princeton University’s website, “The carbon dioxide of carbonated drinks, like beer and soda, increases the pressure in your stomach, forcing alcohol out through the lining of your stomach into the bloodstream.” The site stated that high concentration of alcohol in shots also means that your blood alcohol content or BAC will increase rapidly as a consequence of the secretion. BAC measures the milligrams of the alcohol present in a milliliter of blood.
References and ResourcesPrinceton University: Alcohol
Pub Med: Alcohol concentration and carbonation of drinks: the effect on blood alcohol levels
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Magazine