Forget the Red Bull Vodkas. There's another crop of alcoholic energy drinks taking center stage recently. Nine students from Central Washington University found themselves hospitalized following an off campus party where a large quantity of the beverage Four Loko was consumed. The drink ranges in alcohol concentration from 6% to 12% alone. Despite this, many partying students added additional alcohol to the mix which resulted in students carrying a BAC of 0.12 up to 0.35 that night. While the hospitalized students have since recovered, the drama continues.
The incident resulted in the CWU president banning Four Loko on campus and the State Attorney General Rob McKenna to call for a ban on caffeinated malt liquors. The FDA has already brought the alcoholic energy drink industry under close scrutiny, questioning whether these drinks are actually safe for consumption. Over 25 companies have been notified by the FDA to provide evidence that their products are safe. To date, no definite conclusions or decisions have been made. Many questions swirl about the effects of caffeine and alcohol combinations, but studies have found that those who do choose to mix the two often find themselves in riskier situations. To protect your health, stick to one or other, and always remember to drink in moderation!