Red Bull Makes You Booze More
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Red Bull Makes You Booze More


This post was originally published on July 31, 2014.

I was sitting at the bar at The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas the night I discovered Red Bull. It was January of 1999, nearly five years before I quit drinking, and it was pitched to me as a beverage that prevents hangovers. This sent me swooning. Much like the day Plan B became available without a prescription, I felt like my prayers had been answered. I ordered my first, second and third Red Bulls that evening and proceeded to drink and dance all night long.

It’s hard to say whether Red Bull did what it promised and prevented my hangover seeing as I was up for the next three days. I honestly don’t know if anything could prevent someone from feeling like death reincarnated after missing several nights of sleep—except for maybe more booze. Which brings me to Time Magazine’s piece on energy drinks and how they may actually make you want to drink more.

Vodka with a Shot of Liquid Cocaine

A study was conducted between two groups where both were given the same amount of vodka but one group mixed theirs with soda water and the other with Red Bull. Tada! The Red Bull group showed a stronger desire to keep the party going than the soda group. If by “stronger desire” they mean drank until you wake up on the bathroom floor next to a gay “Thunder From Down Under” dancer and a quarter stuck to your face, then that has definitely been my experience.

Although Red Bull is drinkable rocket fuel, this study isn’t rocket science—or even new information. In 2008, the half energy drink/half beer cult favorite Sparks was put under attack for containing stimulants that were not approved for use in alcoholic beverages and then marketing them to underage kids. The argument was that the power drink was designed to cover up the feeling of being drunk so people consume more than they normally would have (or should have).

Shocker: Booze Laced with Caffeine Keeps the Party Going

The simple fact is, unlike soda water, energy drinks contain caffeine, taurine, B vitamins and sugar—all of which create simulating effects on the body and keep the consumer awake and twerking until the sun comes up. And you don’t need a college degree to understand that when you are awake, you want to keep drinking (in fact, the people that know this best probably don’t have college degrees). But if for some reason you have been too busy enjoying the legal form of methamphetamine do the math, now is a good time to switch to a different mixer if you are having trouble controlling your drinking—or your crying when you realize see that you spent $200 on a Tuesday because you decided to turn happy hour into an all-nighter.

Photo courtesy of High Contrast (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized, rotated and cropped)

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.