Content Map Terms
Not everything combines safely with alcohol. Use caution with these “yellow light” alcohol combos. When you choose to drink, it’s always best in moderation and to stay within the low-risk drinking guidelines.
Alcohol is best served in moderation and in combination with food . These are some combinations to be careful about partnering with alcohol.
Alcohol and Coffee
When consumed moderately, there is no danger in mixing alcohol and coffee. However, people often drink coffee with alcohol for other reasons. People will drink coffee when they have had too much to drink and are hoping to mask the symptoms of intoxication or when they are trying to sober up quickly.
Although coffee might perk you up and turn you into a “wide awake drunk,” it won’t do anything to sober you up. In fact, the amount of coffee consumed has absolutely no effect on blood alcohol content.
Alcohol and Energy Drinks
In recent years, energy drinks have gained popularity due to their stimulant effects (similar to caffeine). Energy drinks contain taurine, glucuronolactone and about as much caffeine as there is in a cup of coffee (80 mg).
It’s the way people drink them that makes energy drinks very different from coffee. Energy drinks are consumed cold and packaged for drinking quickly, which means the effects of the caffeine are felt much sooner than with coffee, which is generally served hot and sipped more slowly.
Impact on drinking:
Given that people who mix alcohol with energy drinks often do so to mask the unpleasant taste of the alcohol, people might drink a greater amount more quickly and drink more on each occasion.
Did you know?
People who mix alcohol with energy drinks tend to drink more than those who don’t mix the two. People who mix these products report drinking an average of 8.3 drinks per occasion, compared to 6.1 for non-mixers.
There is also a risk of dehydration when mixing alcohol and energy drinks. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, meaning they keep water from being reabsorbed by the kidneys causing more water to be eliminated from the body. This creates a chain reaction: the more alcohol you drink, the thirstier you feel. The real danger lies in continuing to drink alcohol instead of water, which increases thirst and dehydration.
People should be extremely careful when purchasing energy drinks, because some are already premixed with alcohol. Take a look when you’re purchasing energy drinks from a liquor store to make sure it doesn’t already contain alcohol.
Alcohol and Gambling
There is a relationship between excessive alcohol use and problem gambling. There are more problem gamblers among those who drink excessively than among the general population. Similarly, problem gamblers are more likely to drink excessively than the general population.
People commonly gamble while drinking alcohol at the same time. But, with a high blood alcohol level, a person is less able to evaluate the real chance of winning and less likely to remember past losses.
People who enjoy gambling should avoid drinking alcohol at the same time. The combination of alcohol and gambling increases the risks of problem gambling.
© Adapted from Éduc’alcool’s “Alcohol and Health” series, 2014. Used under license.
Resources and Links
Red Light Alcohol Combinations
Green Light Alcohol Combinations