Do you think that if you mix a can of Red Bull energy drink in your Vodka cocktail, the effects of alcohol are heightened? Yes, it is possible, but only if you believe in it, according to a new research.
When the participants in the study were told that an energy drink had been added to their vodka cocktails, the participants reportedly said they felt more uninhibited, bold and sexually more confident.
Higher effects of intoxication were felt by those who believed that energy drinks increased the effects of alcohol. The study was published online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
"Red Bull has long used the slogan 'Red Bull gives you wings', but our study shows that this type of advertising can make people think it has intoxicating qualities when it doesn't," said lead author Yann Cornil, Assistant Professor of the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, in Canada.
"Essentially, when alcohol is mixed with an energy drink and people are aware of it, they feel like they're more intoxicated simply because the marketing says they should feel that way," Cornil said.
The study was performed on 154 young men at the Paris-based INSEAD Sorbonne University Behavioural Lab. The participants were each told to drink a cocktail of an energy drink, fruit juice and vodka.
The cocktails all had the same ingredients but were labelled differently: Red Bull and Vodka, vodka cocktail and a fruit juice cocktail. The effect of the labelling itself was amazing on the self-assessment of intoxication of the participants.
The research found that those men who drank the energy drink and vodka cocktail thought themselves to be much more intoxicated than the others.
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It was observed that labelling the same vodka cocktail as vodka and Red Bull increased the supposed intoxication by as much as 51% as compared to labelling it as a vodka or a fruit juice cocktail.
It increased the young men’s confidence especially towards the opposite sex, making them more open to “chatting up” women and the confidence that the women would like that.
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Finally, the men who had taken the energy drink and vodka labelled drinks, took more risk at gambling. These effects were more for the men who assumed that energy drinks increased the effects of intoxication reduced their inhibitions and made them more prone to risk taking.
The study concludes that mixing alcohol with energy drinks has a causal effect and there is a perceived intoxication which is based on the anticipation that energy drinks will boost the effects of alcohol rather than the actual content of the cocktails themselves.
The researchers have concluded that the findings of the study have created a need for policymakers and groups for consumer protection review the advertising and labelling of energy drinks.