I just read news article about

Energy drinks cause sugar intoxication - answer about it here in the thread Decreasing the alcohol proof and faster in hangover, why?. Sugar dehydrates faster as well as causes a cascade of hormonal changes that are more immediately troubling than the alcohol.

I want to understand why energy drinks boosts you to drink more alcohol. This suggests me that

  • malaise (caused by energy drinks) can be improved shortly by alcohol drinks

by some unknown mechanisms to me; and this can be the reason why people like to drink more alcohol after energy drinks. I think that the mechanisms are related to some cascade which I do not know. This mechanism can lead to improvement in the dehydration very shortly

  • by acting on the membranes of the cells
  • or by stabilising the architecture of the endothelium i.e. stabilising the hormonal changes.

My conjecture is that the alcohol can affect on the secretion of the substances from endothelium (EDRF, EDCF). There are three types of substances secreted by the endothelium

  • NO
  • Endothelium hyperpolarising factors
  • Endothelins

So sugar intoxication causes changes in the endothelium architecture which alcohol intoxication reverts shortly back which boosts people to drink more alcohol to recover from the malaise caused by the energy drinks.

How can non-carbonated energy drinks boost alcohol intoxication?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is not very broad. If I am not wrong this phenomenon is attributed to caffeine. $\endgroup$
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


A very well-written question, so I'm sorry if my answer is a bit too simple. Perhaps it will attract attention of somebody with a better answer.

I think the effect could be mainly caused by the fact that sugary drinks slow down alcohol absorption. So while those who drink just alcohol already know they've had enough, those who have had a couple of energy drinks still feel fine and continue drinking, not knowing that they are about to become even more inebriated.

Also, the stimulants in energy drinks can somewhat reverse the sedative effect of alcohol, leading to higher overall activity of the person and thus faster drinking.


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