Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks: Daily Context of Use

Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael, Cathy Lau-Barraco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The link between use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmEDs) and alcohol-related harms is well established, but limited research has examined the context in which AmEDs are consumed. Identifying the social and environmental characteristics of use may illuminate whether AmEDs are used in settings that could increase the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors or experiencing harms. This study used a 2-week daily diary assessment to compare days in which AmEDs were consumed (“AmED days”) and days where other types of alcohol were used (“non-AmED days”) on where, when, and with whom drinking occurred. Methods: Participants were 122 (90 women) heavy drinking college students who reported mixing caffeine with alcohol at least once in the past week. Data were collected across 389 drinking days; 40 of these days involved AmED use. Results: Multilevel modeling findings revealed that odds of drinking AmEDs were higher on days where individuals drank at a bar or club and drank at home relative to other locations. In addition, odds of pregaming were higher on AmED days as compared to non-AmED days. AmED use was linked with lower odds of drinking game behavior. Conclusions: Overall, AmEDs appear to be consumed in potentially risky contexts. In combination with prior findings that AmED days are linked with heavier alcohol use and more harms experienced, these findings support the unique nature of AmED consumption in terms of the factors that may predict or maintain potentially hazardous drinking patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-869
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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