The awake drunk

One in four college students gets drunk twice as often when drinking
caffeinated alcohol than college students who drink regular alcohol.

On Nov. 13, the FDA warned more than 30 companies, including United Brand Company, which creates the drink Joose, and Constellation Brands, which creates Wide Eye. The warning: If each company fails to provide proof that its caffeinated alcohol products are safe, its product will be removed from the shelves. Each company has been given 30 days to produce the information. So, the question remains: Will caffeinated alcoholic beverages be banned in 2010?
The U.S. News Wire stated that the combined use of caffeine and alcohol among college students in the United States was as high as 26 percent. The occasional student will have one of these drinks in his or her drunken hand, but what are we putting into our bodies when we consume these caffeinated liquids? Sparks is one of the most well-known caffeinated alcoholic beverage produced by MillerCoors. One of the most obvious dangers of this drink, similar to other alcoholic energy drinks, is the fact that it combines an energy drink with a percentage of alcohol.
For example, Sparks contains 87 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce can, while combining 6 percent alcohol by volume. Regular energy drinks, such as Red Bull, contain so much caffeine that they can speed up your heart rate, increase your blood pressure and leave you crashing after the sugar runs out of your system.
Mixing these effects with alcohol makes it clear how the FDA can mark these drinks as unsafe.
While these drinks leave you with more energy, they also make you unaware of how much you have consumed. You lose your sense of drunkenness and have the desire to do activities you would do sober, such as drive. You have lost complete control of your own body by drinking even a small number of these alcoholic drinks. The sensation has been nicknamed “awake drunk.”
A tasteful, social drink, such as Sparks or Tilt, can lead to large problems. Stories of caffeinated alcohol have have hit newspapers and magazines. One in four college students gets drunk twice as often when addicted to drinking caffeinated alcoholic drinks as students who only drink regular alcoholic beverages.
So, what are agencies such as the FDA doing to ban these beverages? The FDA is still in the process of creating restrictions.
But will mixed drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine be banned in bars?
As far as the FDA is concerned, the next time you stroll down the booze aisle, your bright green Tilt might not be present, your heart-pounding Sparks might be absent. Your favorite alcoholic drink may be banished. How will companies such as MillerCoors provide proof to confirm their caffeinated beverages are safe?
The US News Wire stated that the combined use of caffeine and alcohol among college students in the US was as high as 26 percent. The occasional student will have one of these drinks in their drunken hand, but what are we putting into our bodies when we consume these caffeinated liquids?
Sparks is one of the most well known caffeinated alcoholic beverage companies owned by MillerCoors. One of the most obvious dangers of this drink, just as other alcoholic energy drinks, is the fact that they combine an energy drink with a percentage of alcohol. For example, Sparks is 87 milligrams of caffeine per 16-ounce can, while combining 6 percent alcohol by volume. Regular energy drinks such as Red Bull contain so much caffeine that they can speed up your heart rate, increase your blood pressure as well as leave you with a crash after the sugar runs out of your system. Mixing these effects with alcohol makes it clear how the FDA can mark them as unsafe.
While the drinks leave you with more energy, they also make you oblivious to how much you have drunk. You lose your sense of drunkenness and have the desire to do activities you would do sober, such as drive. You have lost complete control of your own body, even by drinking a small number of these tin drinks. The sensation has been nicknamed as the “awake drunk.”
A tasteful, social drink like Sparks and Tilt can lead to large problems. Stories of caffeinated alcohol have been hitting the news and magazines. One in four college students gets drunk twice as often when being addicted to drinking caffeinated alcoholic drinks as students who drink regular alcoholic beverages do.
So what are administers such as the FDA doing to ban them now? The FDA is still in the process of banning the drinks. But what will they do in the bars? Will Jaeger bombs, (more alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine in bars…not sure what they are…)? Will these be banned as well?
As far as the FDA is concerned, next time you stroll down the aisle of booze, your bright green Tilt might not be present, your heart wrenching Sparks might be absent. Your favorite alcoholic drink may be banished. There isn’t much proof a company such as MillerCoors can use to confirm their caffeinated beverages are safe.

Story by Lauren Ostrom/Features editor

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