Red Bull and vodka is a popular drink in many British and Irish bars, but its popularity could be dampened by a recent warning that the energy drink, and others like it, should not be drunk with alcohol.
According to a report in the Irish Times, the Irish Food Safety Promotion Board has recommended that stimulant drinks such as Red Bull should not be consumed along with alcohol, nor as a means of recovering quickly from sport.
The FSPB said that stimulant drinks are "unsuitable rehydration agents", according to the paper, and that this should be clearly marked on the products label.
The board drew up a list of recommendations relating to energy drinks after the death of an 18-year-old student, Ross Cooney, during a basketball match in which he was playing in 1999. He had consumed at least three cans of red Bull that day, according to the paper, which stressed that an inquest had found no connection between the energy drink and Cooney's death.
Nonetheless, the inquest jury asked the FSPB to investigate the energy drink market, and the researchers discovered that over half of 11-to-35-year-olds they questioned had consumed stimulant drinks at least once.
The paper said that average weekly consumption was approximately three cans, but that it rose as high as eight among some consumers. As expected, vodka was found to be the most popular accompaniment.
The paper said that part of the problem with regulating these products is that there is no agreed definition of the products referred to as energy or stimulant drinks.
The FSPB's report defined them as drinks which typically contain caffeine, taurine and vitamins, and may also contain an energy source "marketed for the specific purpose of providing real or perceived enhanced physiological and/or performance effect", the paper said.