October 21, 2010

Four Loko Alcoholic Energy Drinks

ne_4loko_2010_10_21.jpgAP IMAGES

Though these beverages weren’t around when I was at college, I can certainly understand why they’ve been gaining national popularity among campuses.  Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink, comes in a variety of fruity flavors and contains all the chemicals one needs to keep you awake – and enough alcohol in it to rival four beers – all for the price of about $2 per can.  Who needs Red Bull and Vodka when you can have the all-in-one version for that cheap?

According to health experts, however, Four Loko is dangerous because it tricks the brain into thinking it’s not drunk.  Caffeine reduces the drowsy feeling of being intoxicated, so people end up drinking more.  “Fatigue is your body’s way of telling you it’s had enough,” says Dr. Manny Alvarez, FoxNews.com’s senior managing editor of health. “So, fooling the body with stimulants creates the perfect scenario for acute alcohol poisoning and potentially death.”

New Jersey’s Ramapo College banned the drink after 23 intoxicated students were hospitalized after ingesting Four Loko. 

My thoughts? Well, certainly I think people who drink Red Bull and vodka in an effort to “party longer” and stay awake would probably try a product like this.  However, if you’re like me – and can barely stomach Starbucks jolt of caffeine, you’ll surely stay away.  The fact that this is targeted towards younger kids is appropriate for Four Loko as a company, since most college-aged students aren’t going to their local liquor store and picking up a finely aged bottle of scotch.  Another thing to think about, and credit back to Mad Men, is that it wasn’t so long ago that tobacco was targeted towards young adults as well – and continues to be advertised to this very day – when we ALL know the consequences of the legal substance.