Pub hopping or “pubbing” is the entertainment at all levels of society- sex no bar- whether they are the pink collar, blue collar or white collar workers. Depending on incomes they frequent country liquor shops, bars or fancy pubs. Drinking has become a social norm and non-drinkers are under a lot of peer pressure.
Cocktails are passé. The new trend is energy drinks mixed with alcohol. What are energy drinks? Energy drinks are bottled or canned non alcoholic drinks which contain stimulating or high energy giving stimulants like caffeine, sugar and other sweeteners, herbal extracts, and Taurine. Caffeine is a stimulant, but overdose of caffeine causes insomnia, nervousness, palpitations and more. Taurine is a compound found in animal tissues and in a very low quantity in humans too. Energy drinks have effects similar to caffeine and sugar. They provide extra energy, and enhance sensitivity. Like increased attention, speed, strength, keeping awake,
heightened alertness. Simply put, there become elixirs or ‘pick me ups’ for the unhappy or stressed.
What can start as a temporary gratifier can soon turn into addiction. While these are beneficial when partaken occasionally, they can be harmful if there is dependence or addiction to such drinks.
Alcohol is a universal drink available globally. Social drinking or occasional drinking is not harmful but becoming dependent or an addict has far reaching consequences. Alcohol acts like a sedative slowing down the brain’s functions, start slurring, feel sleepy or have slow reflexes.
The worst combination is a cocktail of energy drinks with alcohol. Energy drinks are exactly that- stimulants. They provide large amounts of energy. On the other hand Alcohol is a depressant. It is like a sedative, making a person slow, sleepy and affecting cognitive skills.
Imagine the effects of two totally contradictory drinks mixed together. Mixing alcohol and an energy drink is not dangerous in itself. The danger is in crossing permissible limits. Energy drinks make a person aware and alert to the delusion that they can still continue consuming alcohol without the after effects. Making the person “wide awake drunk.”
Drinking too much alcohol has its own health risks with the added factor of addiction. Insomnia, palpitations, cardiac problems are some of the health risks due to Energy drinks- alcohol combination. Never drink on an empty stomach is a very well-known theory. Drinking on an empty stomach is very bad because alcohol is processed faster. Blood streams open out faster because of the calories and affect the other parts of the body, especially the brain, at a rapid pace. To avoid any dangerous side effect eat a carbo-saturated full meal before drinking, like potatoes, breads, pasta, rice.
In many parts of the world people have their dinner and then drink, due to which even the most potent alcohols have a subdued effect. It is very important for family members to keep an eagle eye especially on the youngsters. Do not ignore any suspicious sign. Delve discreetly and get professional help right at the onset.