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Alcoholic Energy Drinks Linked to More Casual Sex

A study shows the potent combo is linked to an increase in casual sex among college students.

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By McCarton Ackerman

07/25/12

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Energy drinks cause hyperactivity, and booze lowers your inhibitions—so it's perhaps not entirely shocking that combining the two would lead to an increase in casual sex, especially among college students. A new study from the University of Buffalo reveals that students who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED's)—such as Red Bull and vodka, or Four Loko—are more likely to report having a casual partner and/or being intoxicated during their most recent sexual encounter. Previous research has linked alcoholic energy drink consumption with dangerous behaviors such as binge drinking, drunk driving and fighting—and now getting drunkenly laid, with a risk of STI's, can be added to the list. "Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication," said study author Kathleen Miller. "AmEDs have stronger priming effects than alcohol alone. In other words, they increase the craving for another drink, so that you end up drinking more overall." Miller says the increased popular of alcoholic energy drinks may be contributing to the "hook up culture" that is prevalent on college campuses. However, the study found that AmED's do not lead to an increase in risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex. Participants in the study were more likely to use a condom during sex with a casual partner than during sex with a steady partner, regardless of their AmED use.

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