Alcoholic energy drinks raise health concerns - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Alcoholic energy drinks raise health concerns


by Brittany Earl

WAUSAU(WAOW)--Alcoholic drinks that contain caffeine are raising health concerns, the FDA is cracking down on the potentially harmful drinks asking companies to send in a list of their ingredients.

Four Loco, Joose and High Gravity, three alcoholic beverages that can give you that extra kick at a cheap price.

Renee Trowbridge, Public Health Educator with the Marathon County Health Department says, "This can run at about $2.50, the drink is very appealing to teenagers and young adults who basically want a cheap way to get drunk."

Trowbridge says, the 12 ounces of alcohol mixed with huge amounts of caffeine can be dangerous. "A person who drinks an alcoholic energy drinks doesn't necessarily feel tired or they don't realize how drunk they are getting and they tend to drink more. That's because a 12 ounce can is equivalent to six beers and combined with the caffeine, you don't feel the effects. The caffeine actually masks the intoxication" said Trowbridge.

Trowbridge says there is a term for this it's called a wide awake drunk, someone who is extremely intoxicated but doesn't realize it or appear to be to others. All because that person is strung out on the caffeine. Trowbridge says statistically a person who mixes energy drinks and alcohol is twice as likely to die, get injured or hurt someone else.

"One is telling the heart to speed up one is telling the heart to slow down its kind of like putting the gas and brake on at the same time and it's really quite hard on the body too," said Trowbridge.

That's why the FDA is sending out letters to companies that produce the caffeinated alcoholic beverages, giving them 15 days to respond with a list of ingredients in their product. But Trowbridge says even if Caffeine is banned from alcoholic drinks their are still herbal stimulants that some labels add like Taurine and Guarana. Those are not regulated by the FDA.

"They are mislead cause they think they are drinking a certain amount of caffeine when in fact they are not only having caffeine but they are having these other stimulants too that aren't required to be on the can or on the website but they are in there. The FDA has to do something before more people get hurt or die because of these alcoholic energy drinks," said Trowbridge.

Online Reporter: Brittany Earl

Powered by Frankly