Energy drinks and alcohol seen as risky

Clubbers who toss back a high-impact mixture of energy drinks and alcohol - such as vodka and Red Bull - could be endangering their health, German newsmagazine Der Spiegel warned on Friday.

Energy drinks and alcohol seen as risky
Stick with beer instead? Photo: DPA

Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is concerned that drinking energy drinks mixed with alcohol can lead to disruptions in heart rhythm, spasms and renal failure, the magazine reported.

The magazine said the party drink combination has likely already contributed to deaths – but did not cite nationwide statistics.

The magazine did list two individual cases believed to be linked to energy drinks: a man who died before he could reach an emergency room after drinking energy drinks mixed with vodka, and an 18-year-old who collapsed after consuming numerous energy drinks in a row in order to be able to concentrate harder on his driving test.

The German government warned not to engage in any strenuous activity after drinking both energy drinks and alcohol and advised that children and pregnant women avoid energy drinks altogether.

“I expect soft drink makers to test their products and warn consumers of the possible dangers,” Ulla Heinen, parliamentary secretary to the German Consumer Protection Agency, told the magazine.