Energy drinks & alcohol project

Posted on: Monday, 10 January 2011

Australian-first research is set to study if combining alcohol and energy drinks can lead to a series of harms.

Turning Point research fellow Amy Pennay said while there had been research conducted in Europe and the United States, to the organisation's knowledge, there was no existing research in Australia on this phenomenon.

Ms Pennay said there was a small, but growing body of research that energy drinks mask the feeling of alcohol intoxication; and with alcohol and energy drinks both diuretics, dehydration was more likely.

She added that research had shown mixing stimulants with depressants could send mixed messages to the nervous system, leading to cardiovascular problems and disturbed sleep.

The project, which will commence in February, will explore consumption patterns, the context in which the drinks are consumed, the risks and harms associated with consumption, and the challenges which venue management and emergency services face.

"We need more local evidence about the practices associated with this behaviour and associated harms so that we can begin responding to the needs of consumers, regulators and the community," Ms Pennay said.