Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Red Bull and vodka is just as bad for you as cocaine, buzzkill doctors say

(Photo: Getty Images, Joe Raedle)

According to one of those vibe-harshing studies that scientists like to do from time to time, the long-term effects on your body of mixing vodka and Red Bull—or some similar drink that combines alcohol and caffeine—is comparable to the effect of doing cocaine. In other words, it’s not especially good for you. The Purdue University study was published in a journal called PLOS ONE (via Uproxx), and though the experiments were actually conducted on mice, it seems fair to assume that the results would be similar on a human.

Essentially, the results of the study indicate that the combination of alcohol and caffeine had a more pronounced effect on the mouse brain than caffeine alone, and the response was similar to that of cocaine. Furthermore, the alcohol and caffeine mixture resulted in an increase of a specific protein that is involved in forming addictions, which also happens to mouse brains when they’re exposed to cocaine.


Now, the takeaway from this study probably should be that it’s a bad idea to mix alcohol and caffeine, but in the interest of fairness, you could also come to the conclusion that doing cocaine isn’t that much worse than combining vodka and Red Bull. If you already make a habit of chugging those things down, maybe a little cocaine will spice up your experience as a rock ‘n’ roll icon or an eccentric movie star—though, if you’re neither of those things, you still probably shouldn’t do cocaine.

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