The mere knowledge that the cocktail in your hand is caffeinated will make you feel drunker, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by the University of British Columbia Saunder School of Business found that people who are told an energy drink has been added to their spirit tend to feel more drunk, daring and sexually self-assured.

Researchers gave 154 heterosexual young men a cocktail containing vodka, Red Bull and fruit juice. The labelling on the various cocktails either emphasized that they contained an energy drink (labelled as a ‘vodka-Red Bull cocktail’) or that it didn’t contain an energy drink (labelled as a ‘vodka cocktail’ or ‘exotic cocktail.)

Participants were then tasked with completing a series of tasks on a computer to measure their perceived inebriation, attitudes and behaviors.

Those who drank the cocktail labelled as containing an energy drink experienced “significantly increased perceived intoxication, risk-taking and sexual self-confidence”, the researchers found.

“Red bull has long used the slogan ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ but our study shows that this type of advertising can make people think it has intoxicating qualities when it doesn’t,” said lead researcher Yann Cornill of the study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

“When alcohol is mixed with an energy drink and people are aware of it, they feel like they’re more intoxicated simply because the marketing says they should feel that way.”

Past research has cautioned against mixing alcohol with energy drinks, with one recent study in particular warning that the combination can vastly increase your risk of injury. The researchers say policy makers should reconsider the regulations and codes concerning advertising and labelling of energy drinks.

“Given the study’s findings about the psychological effects of energy-drink marketing, energy drink marketers should be banned from touting the disinhibiting effects of their ingredients,” said co-author Pierre Chandon. “Regulations and codes of conduct should consider the psychological – and not just the physiological – effects of products.”

h/t The Independent