Highly caffeinated drinks affect brain!- Study

October 25, 2016


According to a study, drinking caffeinated beverages mixed with alcohol trigger changes in the adolescent brain which are similar to taking cocaine. Energy drinks contain as much as 10 times the caffeine as soda.

The study showed that, adolescent mice given high-caffeine energy drinks were not more likely than a control group to drink more alcohol as adults. But when those high levels of caffeine were mixed with alcohol and given to adolescent mice, they showed physical and neurochemical signs similar to mice given cocaine.

"It seems the two substances together push them over a limit that causes change in their behavior as well as the neurochemistry in their brains. We're clearly seeing effects of the combined drinks that we would not see if drinking one or the other," said Richard van Rijn, Assistant Professor at the Purdue University. 

More the adolescent mice were repeatedly exposed to the caffeinated alcohol, more it became active just like those given cocaine. Adding to it, the researchers also detected increased levels of the protein FosB, which is a marker of long-term changes in neurochemistry, elevated in those abusing drugs such as cocaine or morphine.

"That's one reason why it's so difficult for drug users to quit because of these lasting changes in the brain. Mice that were exposed to highly caffeinated alcoholic drinks later found cocaine wasn't as pleasurable. They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect," the researcher said.

Related Post