A University decided to ban energy drinks from being sold within campus because these drinks can allegedly lead to sexually risky behaviors, among other problematic behaviors. Experts weigh in on the accuracy of this assumption.
Fox 2 Detroit reported that Middlebury College in Vermont banned the drinks because high-risk sexual activity and alcohol abuse are just some of the negative behaviors that can result from its consumption. In addition, the drinks may also affect students’ academic performance and perpetuate a culture of stress. The ban is said to start on March 7.
The ban includes famous energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar and 5-Hour Energy. “The school has a responsibility to direct students to healthy choices through what they provide,” Dining Software Intern Myles Kamisher-Koch told the school paper,The Middlebury Campus.
Even though there have been several studies highlighting the negative effects of energy drinks on one’s health, none had associated this with increased propensity to engage in high-risk sex. Studies have said that drinking energy drinks can lead to higher risk of heart disease and even diabetes, but none have said that it can lead to risky behaviors such as drinking and having unsafe sex.
The closest study that the University’s allegations can be base on is the one that was done back in 2012. According to the study, mixing energy drinks and alcohol can lead to sexually risky behaviors among men. “Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication,” lead researcher Kathleen E. Miller said in a press release. She explained that the caffeine on energy drinks can increase the craving to drink more alcohol. The person can end up drinking more overall than just sticking to alcohol alone, which encourage them to engage in unsafe sex, such as not using condoms during intercourse.