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Dying for 4 Loko

The recent Toyota recall isn't the only bad consumer news.  4 Loko is the new fad among many on the party scene. It combines the debilitating effects of alcohol with the craziness of an energy drink. Much like the often ordered Red Bull and vodka mixed drink, 4 Loko tries to give drinkers as much energy with as much of a buzz as possible. Some people say it is an easy way to get drunk and keep the party going all night. Others find it a dangerous combination that could cause unwanted and unknown health effects. Whether you are for or against 4 Loko, it is important to know all the information and make an informed decision about what you put in your body.

Too Good to Be True

The makers of 4 Loko created the drink in 2006. They combined the usual ingredients of an energy drink, caffeine taurine and guarana with wormwood and alcohol. Thus they have the four ingredients plus the alcohol, and this is where the name came from. The alcohol content can vary depending on what state you are in. Different states have different regulations and therefore you have to check the bottle to see what the percentage for that particular drink is. The percent can range from six to twelve depending where you buy it. The combination of these ingredients is what gives you enormous amounts of energy as well as a desire to be crazy as the name suggests [1].

Some people have dubbed 4 Loko "liquid cocaine" [1], and yet are not afraid to drink it. The problem with alcohol is that it can make drinkers tired since it is a depressant. For some people this is a buzz kill and they want the party a little more upbeat. When they add large amounts of caffeine as well as other energy boosting chemicals, drinkers can counter act the drowsy effect and boost the crazy quotient. Like all things this is not a problem for the average person in moderation. But unfortunately, most people drinking 4 Loko are not doing so in moderation.

Problems with Malt Energy Drink

Most people will not realize until it is too late that they have had too much 4 Loko to drink. The judgment of someone who has been drinking is very impaired and this can cause many issues. There have been reports of blackouts from many people who have had too much 4 Loko. These blackouts can be very dangerous, especially if the person is not in a safe place when this happens. No matter what you are drinking if you drive over the limit, you can easily be caught or get in an accident. This can cause harm to many people as well as your vehicle; and many cheap auto insurance companies will not insure you if you have a drunk driving incident. The other problem with 4 Loko is that some people may be more susceptible to its harmful side effects. The combination of a stimulant and a depressant at the same time is very hard on the heart. People with heart problems could have a heart attack or worse if they consume too much.

Whether you are young or old, introverted or a party animal it is important to understand the effect of things we put in our bodies. If you can institute the policy of everything in moderation, then consuming 4 Loko should not be a problem. Unfortunately most people have a hard time with that concept and this is when tragedy can happen. Be sure to know your limits and always have a designated driver.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_(drink) Retrieved 2010-10-30.

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