As part of the “hook-up culture” on many college campuses, mixing alcohol with energy drinks, like Red Bull and Rockstar, is pushing many students toward risky sex, according to a new study.
College students who drank alcohol and energy drink mixes were more likely to have intoxicated or casual sex during their most recent hook-up, according to research from the University of Buffalo.
“Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication,” study author Kathleen E. Miller said in a press release.
Previous research has highlighted the dangers of mixing alcohol with energy drinks—increased drunk driving, binge drinking, and fighting. The researchers point out that a Jägerbomb/Red Bull won’t make someone have casual sex, but it increases their chances of doing so.
Drunk and casual sex both have potentially dangerous consequences, like unintended pregnancies, sexual assault, and sexual transmitted diseases. The good news is that the study, published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, found that students who drink alcohol and energy drink mixes weren’t less likely to use a condom during their most recent sexual encounter.
Still, with almost a third of sexually-active students mixing alcohol with energy drinks during the previous month, the dangers of these mixed drinks still loom large, especially when it comes to risky sexual activities.