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Does AMED consumption have an impact on alcohol consumption, subjective intoxication, or risk-taking behaviour?

Alcohol binge drinking in early pregnancy and the effect on fetal growth A systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the prevalence of alcohol mixed with energy drink (AMED) consumption and examined motives for AMED consumption, correlates of AMED consumption, and whether AMED consumption has an impact on alcohol consumption, subjective intoxication, and risk-taking behaviour.

A literature search (PubMed, Embase, and PsycLit) was conducted using the keywords “energy drink” and “alcohol,” covering all years up to March 2, 2017. After removing duplicates, a total of 749 papers remained of which the abstracts and full text were screened.

Surveys among US students and young adults reported AMED consumption to vary from 8.1% to 64.7%s and among young Australian adults, AMED consumption ranged from 21.1% to 77%. However, in random samples of adults not restricted to students, a minority of the population reported consuming AMED (<15%). Motives for AMED consumption are predominantly hedonistic and social.

Meta-analyses revealed that AMED consumers drink significantly more alcohol than alcoholonly (AO) consumers. The review identified that for AMED consumers, alcohol consumption does not significantly differ between typical AMED and AO occasions. On past month heaviest drinking occasions, AMED users consumed significantly less alcohol on AMED occasions when compared to AO occasions. AMED consumers experienced significantly fewer negative consequences and risktaking behaviour on AMED occasions compared with AO occasions. Meta-analyses of subjective intoxication studies suggest that AMED consumption did not differentially affect subjective intoxication when compared to AO consumption.

In conclusion, when compared to AO consumption, mixing alcohol with energy drink does not affect subjective intoxication and seems unlikely to increase either total alcohol consumption, associated risktaking behaviour, or other negative alcohol-related consequences. Further research may be necessary to fully reveal the effects of AMED.

Source: Alcohol mixed with energy drink (AMED): a critical review and meta-analysis. JC, Benson S, Johnson SJ, Alford C, Godefroy SB, Scholey A: Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, published early online 8 February 2018.

DOI: 10.1002/hup.2650
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