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Mixing Energy Drinks With Alcohol Could Enhance the Negative Effects of Binge Drinking

If you’re someone who mixes energy drinks with your favorite alcohol and you feel especially miserable after you’ve tied one on, it may be that very mixture that’s making you feel so yucky, UoP News reports. Researchers found that even though people often combine energy drinks with alcohol to counteract the sedative effects of the alcohol, the taurine in the energy drinks may enhance binge drinking’s ill effects.

Even though I’ve been warning about the dangers of energy drinks — which get their “energy” from caffeine — for many years, this new research may be a good time to reiterate that too much of anything, be it sodas or alcohol or energy drinks, or a combination of any of them, is not a good thing. When it comes to alcohol, if nothing else, many studies show that binge drinking can be dangerous and deadly.

In the short term, alcohol poisoning kills six people every day; alcohol use on a regular basis can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and seven forms of cancer. Research also shows that alcohol metabolism damages DNA. That said, there are ways to reduce the negative effects of alcohol on your body. For example, studies show that long-time drinkers who exercise regularly have less damage to white matter in their brains than those who exercise very little or not at all.

Taking at least 200 milligrams of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 30 minutes before you drink can also help lessen alcohol's toxic effects. NAC is both safe and inexpensive, and has been commercially available for a long time. It's also generally well-tolerated and has no known serious side effects.

Naturally, moderate consumption of alcohol is my best health advice. I generally define "moderate" alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 ounce of hard liquor, with a meal, per day. As you progress further in the nutrition plan, I recommend eliminating all forms of alcohol. Even if it provides some benefit, it's unlikely that alcohol will add much to an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle.