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1.  Effects of mixing alcohol with energy drink on objective and subjective intoxication: results from a Dutch on-premise study 
Psychopharmacology  2014;232(5):835-842.
The purpose of this on-premise study was to determine if alcohol mixed with energy drink (AMED) consumption masks the subjective feelings of intoxication when compared to consuming alcohol only.
The study was conducted on five nights in the city center of Utrecht. N = 997 people leaving bars were interviewed about their alcohol consumption with and without energy drinks, for that particular evening and for other occasions. People reporting drug and medication use were excluded (N = 84). Subjective intoxication was rated on a 10-point scale. Objective intoxication (breath alcohol concentration, BrAC) was determined with a breath alcohol test. Three groups were identified: (1) the AMED-tonight group (N = 185, 20.2 %), (2) the AMED-other-nights group (N = 246, 27.1 %), and (3) the no-AMED group (N = 482, 52.7 %).
Objective intoxication (BrAC) did not significantly differ (p = 0.94) between the AMED-tonight group (0.074 % ± 0.05), AMED-other-nights group (0.073 % ± 0.05), and the no-AMED group (0.074 % ± 0.05). In line, subjective intoxication was not significantly different (p = 0.96) between the AMED-tonight group (4.5 ± 2.2), AMED-other-nights group (4.6 ± 2.3), and no-AMED group (4.6 ± 2.2).
Within-subjects comparisons revealed no significant differences in total alcohol consumption between AMED occasions and alcohol only occasions. Regression analyses showed that “gender” (beta = 0.078, p = 0.016), “time of testing” (beta = 0.085, p = 0.009,) and “BrAC” (beta = 0.574, p = 0.0001) together explained 37.7 % of variance of subjective intoxication scores (Cohen’s f2 = 0.605). Whether or not subjects consumed energy drinks did not predict subjective intoxication scores.
The data suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drink does not mask subjective intoxication.
PMCID: PMC4325184  PMID: 25134501
Alcohol; Energy drink; Intoxication; Masking
2.  Consumer Satisfaction and Efficacy of the Hangover Cure After-Effect© 
A consumer satisfaction study was conducted to examine the effectiveness on hangover of After-Effect©, a new food supplement dedicated to improve well-being after an occasion of alcohol consumption. N = 113 persons were invited to participate in a home-based open label study to test the effectiveness of After-Effect©. On a night when they intended to consume alcohol, three pills were taken before alcohol consumption and two pills afterwards, before going to bed. The following day, participants completed a survey on the amount of alcohol consumed, hangover symptom severity, and satisfaction of the product. N = 103 participants completed the study. 88% of participants reported After-Effect© to be effective in reducing alcohol hangover. After-Effect© significantly improved overall hangover severity, and all individual hangover symptoms, except for palpitations. In addition, a significant reduction (P = 0.0001) in the severity score on concentration problems was reported when using After-Effect©. No gender differences were observed, and there was no relationship with the number of alcoholic drinks that were consumed. Consumers were satisfied with the product. In conclusion, consumer satisfaction and hangover severity scores suggest that After-Effect© may be effective in reducing alcohol hangover. However, controlled, double-blind clinical trials should confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3407600  PMID: 22852090
3.  Effects of coffee on driving performance during prolonged simulated highway driving 
Psychopharmacology  2012;222(2):337-342.
Coffee is often consumed to counteract driver sleepiness. There is limited information on the effects of a single low dose of coffee on prolonged highway driving in non-sleep deprived individuals.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a single cup of coffee (80 mg caffeine) on simulated highway driving performance.
Non-sleep deprived healthy volunteers (n = 24) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. After 2 h of monotonous highway driving, subjects received caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee during a 15-min break before continuing driving for another 2 h. The primary outcome measure was the standard deviation of lateral position (SDLP), reflecting the weaving of the car. Secondary outcome measures were speed variability, subjective sleepiness, and subjective driving performance.
The results showed that caffeinated coffee significantly reduced SDLP as compared to decaffeinated coffee, both in the first (p = 0.024) and second hour (p = 0.019) after the break. Similarly, the standard deviation of speed (p = 0.024; p = 0.001), mental effort (p = 0.003; p = 0.023), and subjective sleepiness (p = 0.001; p = 0.002) were reduced in both the first and second hour after consuming caffeinated coffee. Subjective driving quality was significantly improved in the first hour after consuming caffeinated coffee (p = 0.004).
These findings demonstrate a positive effect of one cup of caffeinated coffee on driving performance and subjective sleepiness during monotonous simulated highway driving.
PMCID: PMC3382640  PMID: 22315048
Caffeine; Automobile driving; Fatigue; Sleepiness

Results 1-3 (3)