Caffeine And Alcohol Together Affects Your Brain Like Cocaine, Says Study
A recent study by Purdue University found that the combination of caffeine and alcohol had a more profound effect on the brains of mice than caffeine did alone – and in a manner similar to cocaine. Additionally, this combination produced increased proteins involved in addiction formation – again, the same thing that happens in response to cocaine.
During the study, which was published in the science journal Plos One, one group of mice was given cocaine to consume, the other given caffeine and alcohol. Both groups behaved similarly (they showed an increase in locomotor activity) and also suffered permanent brain damage.
Dr. Richard van Rijn, co-author of the study:
“It seems the two substances (high energy drinks and alcohol) together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behavior and changes the neurochemistry in their brains. We are clearly seeing effects of the combined drinks that we would not see if drinking one or the other.”
It was also found that mice given the alcohol-caffeine combination showed “a slight tolerance to cocaine in their adult years.”
He went on to say:
“That’s one reason why it’s so difficult for drug users to quit because of these lasting changes in the brain. Mice that had been exposed to alcohol and caffeine were somewhat numb to the rewarding effects of cocaine as adults…They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect.”
Well, we know that caffeine isn’t always good for us, particularly in large quantities and over a long period of time. And alcohol – well, that goes without saying. But the two together may create a dangerous effect, damaging to the brain on a whole other level.
Popular beverages of this sort include vodka and Redbull, as well as other liquors mixed with energy drinks. Further research is required, but the initial results are pretty scary.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology