Consumption of Energy Drinks Among College Students in Quebec – Energy Drinks in the News (SPIN ALERT)

Turns out not a lot of college students in Quebec drink energy drinks, but watch out for how the news will spin concern about those who do.

Here’s the journal article (via capture because there’s no link to read the full thing):



This study involves over TEN THOUSAND college students across THIRTY-SIX different public colleges in Quebec.

Out of the 10,283 people who participated in the survey, only ~9.1% reported consuming an energy drink at least once a week in the previous month.

This means 9,348 out of 10,283 college students surveyed do not have an energy drink every week (like, zero energy drinks at all? For the whole week? In college?)



Because this is college, the study also looked at alcohol consumption and use of cannabis, glues/solvents, and amphetamines.

FACT – Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is a baaaaaaaaadddd idea. This study properly suggests that combination of alcohol and energy drinks poses a risk for serious adverse effects. 

FALSE – Any statements like “college students who use energy drinks are more likely to abuse psychoactive substances…more likely to demonstrate excessive use of alcohol”

Approximately 1-in-4 people (247 out of 935, ~26%) who said they drink at least one energy drink said they also use psychoactive substances. This finding is not proof that energy drinks were a gateway to psychoactive substances for these people. How many people use psychoactive substances but not energy drinks?

There were even fewer people who reported consuming alcohol-energy drink combos (109 out of 935 people. 1.1%).

That means I have at least 109 more people to convince that this combo is a waste of booze (because you won’t feel it/can’t enjoy it) and a dangerous idea (because you won’t feel drunk, but you ARE in fact impaired).



The journal article conclusion reads

“A majority of respondents are not heavy users of ED (energy drinks), AED (alcohol+energy drinks), or ED with drugs.”

Can we just stop there and celebrate that for a minute before we give fodder to the “Energy Drinks are Poison” camp?

“Yet, the profiles of ED consumption potentially harmful to health that characterize some participants indicate that the potential health consequences of such behaviour are of concern.”

I am worried this last line will get translated as, “some participants who consume energy drinks exhibit behavior that is potentially harmful to health, so we should probably be worried about all energy drink consumers.”




Let’s connect!



GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge Day 3/10 – Alcohol and Caffeine (Friday Night Dilemma)

For Day 3 of the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge, we discuss the Friday Night Dilemma: what do you do when you get tired at 10 pm but you want to enjoy a night on the town and have an alcoholic beverage?

References in the video - FoodNavigator on the DAWN report and Caffeine Informer on alcohol and energy drinks

March is Caffeine Awareness Month – Join the Caffeine Challenge!

Through this challenge, you’ll learn how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity.

PLAY ALONG – post a picture of your WAKE-UP tool/trick on Instagram and tag @GreenEyedGuide, or add your pictures to the Caffeine Challenge Event page at

Ironman and Hulk demonstrate why mixing alcohol and caffeine is so bad

Attention all Marvel and/or science nerds: Can you help me spread this message? You know that scene in “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron”, where Hulk is destroying a city under the influence of Scarlet Witch? Ironman in the Hulkbuster suit tries to punch Hulk out so he can’t cause anymore damage,”Go to sleep! Go to sleep! Go to sleep!” But that doesn’t work, so the ruckus continues…

To refresh your memory…



Passing out when you’ve had too much alcohol is your body’s way of making sure you don’t die. When you have caffeine, it overrides this built-in safety mechanism.


Mixing alcohol and caffeine isn’t new – there were Irish Coffee concoctions long before Vodka-Red Bull and Jager Bombs. But this combination messes with the senses – it can make someone feel like they’re “not that drunk”, so they will be more likely to keep drinking or drive under the influence. This is how people get hurt.

Not to mention, when you get admitted to the hospital because of alcohol poisoning from mixing caffeine and alcohol, these count as “energy drink hospitalizations” and you ruin it for the rest of us who DO drink caffeinated beverages responsibly! Not cool! See the “DAWN” report –> and this letter to Time Magazine…

If you absolutely must have some caffeine because otherwise you’ll be too tired to party, you must give yourself AT LEAST a 30 minute window between your last sips of caffeine and your first sips of alcohol. The caffeine will stay in your system for another 4 hours or so, but caffeine takes 20 minutes to take effect so at least you’ll feel that caffeine buzz before you start getting buzzed.

To learn more, check out this article by Caffeine Informer.  Caffeine Informer has compiled all the research studies and reports that helped us arrive at the conclusion bartenders have known ages ago: Giving a drunk person coffee just makes them a wide-awake drunk. It does not make them any less impaired (or obnoxious).

To learn more about the science of alcohol, see this awesome video by ACS Reactions:

Want more science-nerd meets comic-nerd meets caffeine-lover posts? Let me know in the comments below. Shout-outs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are always appreciated.