Researchers have warned that mixing alcohol with energy drinks can seriously increase the risk of injury.

Popular cocktails like Jagerbombs, espresso martinis and vodka and red bull can be more dangerous than drinking alcohol on its own.

Scientists believe the stimulating effect of caffeine encourages people to stay out longer and drink more volumes of alcohol, according to a review of 13 academic studies.

Study leader Audra Roemer likened the effect of mixing the two drinks to taking cocaine and warned it "could be a serious public health concern".


"Cocaine is obviously a strong stimulant, and I was curious about lower level stimulants that are more socially acceptable.

"I wondered if they were having a similar impact but to a lesser degree.

"Usually when you're drinking alcohol, you get tired, and you go home.

"Energy drinks mask that, so people may underestimate how intoxicated they are, end up staying out later, consume more alcohol, and engage in risky behaviour and more hazardous drinking practices."

The researchers found 10 of the 13 studies, published between 1981 and 2016, linked drinking a mix of alcohol and energy drinks with an increased risk of accidents and fights.

 Scientists claim you should not mix alcohol and energy drinks. Photo / Getty
Scientists claim you should not mix alcohol and energy drinks. Photo / Getty

Energy drinks contain more caffeine than other soft drinks - there is 77mg of caffeine in a 258ml can of red bull, compared to 32mg in a 330ml can of Coca-Cola.

Mixing energy drinks and spirits can also cause heart palpitations, problems sleeping and feeling tense or agitated.

The findings are published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.