As long as it is not consumed excessively, caffeine can be quite beneficial due to all the antioxidants and nutrients it contains. Caffeine is a part of the daily routine of many people. On the other hand, alcohol is already not exactly good on its own, but a recent study has claimed that it can be even worse to mix it with caffeine. It turns out that consuming a cocktail of alcohol and caffeine mixed together can make the human brain react in the same way it does if someone takes cocaine.
It is even worse to mix caffeinated energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull with alcohol because unlike coffee and soft drinks, they contain up to ten times more caffeine. Until recently, not much was known about the potential adverse health effects that could result from consuming a mixture of an alcoholic beverage and a caffeinated drink. The aforementioned studies was conducted at the Purdue University, India and involved adolescent mice that were observed to study the effects of an alcohol and caffeine combination on the brain.
Dr. Richard van Rijn led the study, feeding the adolescent mice highly caffeinated energy drinks that had alcohol mixed into them. It was observed that the together, the two substances resulted in a drastic change in the behavior of the mice and the neurochemistry in the mice’s brains was also substantially altered. Dr. Richard claims that the effects that were clearly observed in the study would not have occurred if the mice had been fed only either of the two substances. Obviously, ethical reasons make it impossible to conduct such a study in adolescent humans, who are typically the ones to consume such drinks that contain both alcohol and a lot of caffeine.
Comparing the effects observed in this recent study with past research revealed something rather shocking. It was discovered that the effects that were observed in the brains of adolescent mice were very similar to the effects that would occur in the brains of cocaine users. Much like mice that were fed cocaine for past research, the mice in this recent study had become significantly more active in the same manner after repeatedly consuming the caffeinated alcohol combination.
It was also noted that many of the changes in the mice’s brains chemistry was a result of the rise in FosB. Usually, people who are cocaine addicts or addicted to other drugs tend to have such high levels of FoSB. Dr. Richard explained that this protein is responsible for the addiction that drug users suffer from because it makes long-lasting changes in their brain, making it very hard for them to quit. It was also observed that the mice in study had become slightly tolerant to cocaine. If it is assumed that someone consumes a combination of alcohol and caffeine to get “high,” then over the course of time, they would have to consume a greater amount to get the same effect.
Thus, all those who are fond of alcoholic caffeinated beverages, they may want to reconsider their drink of choice, unless they are fine with suffering from the same effects that a cocaine user would. Furthermore, while alcohol and caffeine on their own may not affect them in such a manner, they should still consume them in moderation and separately.
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