Skip Navigation

HHS HealthBeat (February 17, 2011)

No help from caffeine

Three shot glasses
Listen to TipAudio

Take the Next Step

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

If you mix a caffeinated energy drink with alcohol, will the caffeine offset the alcohol, so you can drive better? At Boston University School of Public Health, researcher Jonathan Howland tested this because a lot of college students mix energy drinks and alcohol.

Howland had 129 people ages 21 to 30 drink alcohol with or without caffeine. Thirty minutes later, they were tested in a driving simulator. Their driving ability was worse, and the caffeine made no difference. So Howland says:

``If you’re intoxicated – whether you have caffeine or not – you shouldn’t be driving. Your performance really falls apart.’’ (6 seconds)

The study in the journal Addiction was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011