The research included 648 participants (47.5 percent female) enrolled in introductory-level courses at a large public university. They ranged in age from 18 to 40 but mostly clustered at the lower end of the age spectrum. More than 60 percent were younger than 21.
According to the study's findings, nearly one in three sexually active students (29.3 percent) reported using alcohol mixed with energy drinks during the month prior to the survey.
At their most recent sexual encounter, 45.1 percent of the participants reported having a casual partner, 24.8 percent reported being intoxicated and 43.6 percent reported that they did not use a condom.
Also if this data is worrying, study found that consumption of AmEDs was not a significant predictor of unprotected sex. Drinkers were no less likely than nondrinkers to have used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter.
The problem is that casual or intoxicated sex can increase the risk of unwanted outcomes, like unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault and depression, says Miller, researcher of the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.
"Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication," says Miller "these drinks have stronger priming effects than alcohol alone," she adds. "In other words, they increase the craving for another drink, so that you end up drinking more overall."