A combination of alcoholic and energy drinks damage your kidneys, research says


A team of researchers from Brazil has revealed that alcoholic drinks in combination with chemical-laden energy drinks are harmful to kidneys. People are most familiar with the adverse effects of these drinks. They contain a notable amount of chemicals, added sugars etc. Moreover, the alcohol content of the drink puts greater stress on kidneys.

The researchers of this study have come up with scientific evidence that combining these two drinks increases the damage by two folds. These drinks, when consumed in combination, are going to cause dual destruction to your organs.

The research states that the combination of these drinks caused severe damage to the kidneys of rats.

Alcohol is one of the oldest enthralling elements in the world. Many of the nutrients from the plants are used to make this final product.

Energy drinks have caffeine and taurine in them. These two chemicals in moderate amounts can enhance the vital functions of the body. However, energy drinks tend to hold too much of these compounds. Thus, they tend to damage the organs of filtration i.e. kidneys and liver.

A good rule of thumb is that mixing together two kinds of stuff will increase the chemical effects of those substances. This is pretty much why the combination of these two kinds of drinks hit harder than a glass of wine or a mug of ordinary beer. They tend to play on each other’s assets.

Researchers from the Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul (UFRGS) employed an animal model to evaluate the effects of the two drinks on the kidneys. They gave the animals diverse combinations of drinkable liquids to mimic the effects of separate drinks and mixes.

The control group consumed 10 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of water to serve as a baseline. The other groups were served with the following,

  • 10 mg/kg of an unspecified energy drink
  • 2 mg/kg of caffeine combined with 40 mg/kg of taurine
  • 2 grams per kilogram (g/kg) of 20 percent alcohol
  • 2 g/kg of 20 percent alcohol mixed with 10 mg/kg of energy drink,
  • 2 g/kg of 20 percent alcohol, 10 mg/kg of energy drink, 3.2 mg/kg of caffeine, and 40 mg/kg of taurine

Following the oral gavage treatment, the researchers analyzed the animals for six hours. They noted down any differences in the normal performance of the rats which were then slaughtered.

The UFRGS investigators stated that the treated animals acted very dissimilarly from the control group. Depending on the substances consumed, the rats showed different behavioral actions. They started to act like backing up on their hind legs, staying awake, grooming themselves or each other, moving around their cages and demonstrated instances of abnormally fast breathing.

The caffeine-taurine combination led to larger volumes of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and complete thiols in the rats. The former is a symbol for lipid peroxidation while the latter is the sulfur equivalent of alcohol.

Similarly, the rats served with energy drink exhibited higher rates of lipid peroxidation and N-acetyl-d-glucosaminidase activity in the urine. This created a link between energy drinks and alcohol-induced kidney poisoning (nephrotoxicity).

Further analysis of the animals disclosed the effects of alcohol and energy drinks treatments on rats. They experienced hydropic degeneration, congestion, and hyaline degeneration of the liver. Meanwhile, the animals that got caffeine, alcohol, and taurine suffered instances of liver hemorrhage.

A hyaline decline is a form of cellular breakdown where water converges inside a cell. It appeared in the kidneys of rats given alcohol, energy drinks, caffeine, taurine, and alcohol-caffeine-taurine combination.

Finally, all the treated animals suffered from hemorrhaging kidneys. These consequences suggest that alcohol and energy drinks can impose serious damage on kidneys, specifically if they are taken together.



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Areeba Hussain
The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.


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