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Can Energy Drinks Help Me Sober Up?

Many people prefer turning to energy drinks as a way to get going in the morning, stay up for studying, or keep energized at a party or club. People who are feeling drowsy or sluggish after drinking alcohol may drink a Red Bull or RockStar to help them sober up but energy drinks and alcohol can have the opposite effect and make driving more dangerous. 

Energy drinks cannot significantly help you sober up after drinking. The energizing ingredient is generally caffeine and acts as a stimulant to make you feel more alert. However, caffeine is not a cure for erasing the physical effects of drinking alcohol. Even if the individual does not notice, the driver can still have reduced coordination, slower reaction times, and problems negotiating time and depth of perception. 

Using an energy drink to sober up can give drivers a false sense of alertness and possibly increase the risk of getting charged with drinking and driving. If you have any other questions about challenging your DUI arrest in California's East Bay, contact the experienced California DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

What are the effects of caffeine after drinking alcohol?

Caffeine does not have a significant impact on how quickly the body processes alcohol. Instead, time is the primary factor for breaking down alcohol in the body. The level of impairment felt after drinking alcohol depends on a number of factors, including how quickly the body absorbs alcohol. Factors can include:  

  • Weight,
  • Body fat,
  • Sex, 
  • Food consumed,
  • Dehydration, and 
  • Time.

How much caffeine will I need to sober up after drinking too much? 

More caffeine is not the answer to sobering up. More caffeine may result in making things worse by making you jittery, increasing your heart rate or blood pressure, and make it so you are unable to sleep when you finally get home. 

Especially after drinking alcohol, individuals may also be unclear on just how much caffeine they have consumed. When having mixed energy drinks with alcohol, individuals may not always be sure which energy drink is being used, how much is in each drink, and how many drinks they've had. 

Caffeine amounts can vary widely in energy drinks. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be a safe limit for healthy adults. That is equivalent to about a 20-ounce coffee at a coffee shop. Caffeine estimates for energy drinks include: 

  • 5 Hour Energy - 200 mg
  • Rockstar (16 oz) - 160 mg
  • Monster (16 oz) - 160 mg
  • NOS (16 oz) - 160 mg
  • Venom (16 oz) - 160 mg
  • Red Bull (8 oz) - 77 mg

Study Shows Increased Risk-Taking by Combining Alcohol and Energy Drinks

study published in the scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research looked at the relationship between drinking alcohol and high-caffeine energy drinks. According to a survey of college students who consumed alcohol and energy drinks, there was an association between energy drink consumption, risk-taking, and alcohol related problems, including drunk driving. 

I feel more alert after drinking an energy drink and can sober up faster.

Some individuals may report feeling like they can sober up faster after drinking energy drinks but that does not mean the individual is actually any more sober or able to safely drive. Explaining to a police officer that you feel fine will not matter if a blood alcohol test shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over the legal limit. 

Drinking More Alcohol Because of Energy Drinks

Drinking energy drinks often leads to drinking more alcohol than one would otherwise. This is because of a phenomenon known as “wide awake drunkenness.” The energizing effects of caffeine may keep an individual awake longer, allowing them more time to drink more alcohol. 

DUI Defense by East Bay Criminal Defense Lawyer

You may have felt okay to drive when pulled over but the prosecutor may still try and get you to plead guilty to a DUI. Talk to East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick, who has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands how to challenge the evidence to get your charges reduced or dismissed. If you were arrested for a DUI in Contra Costa County or Alameda County, contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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