Friday, January 14, 2011
Energy drinks make virtually no difference
Drinking so-called energy drinks alongside alcohol has no effect on people's driving ability or alertness. Researchers from Boston University School of Public Health and Brown University in Rhode Island studied 129 people, aged between 21 and 30. The participants were divided into four groups drinking caffeinated beer, ordinary beer, caffeinated non-alcoholic beer (and one can scarcely imagine the vileness of such a concoction) and ordinary non-alcoholic beer. The participants who drank alcohol ended up with blood alcohol levels half as much again as the U.S. drink-drive limit. Half an hour after drinking the participants were tested on a driving simulator and on an attention/reaction-time test. Alcohol affected the participants' performance on the driving test but there was no difference between the groups who had caffeinated beer and those who had non-caffeinated beer. Caffeine made a slight difference in people's reaction times but this was only of marginal significance.