Current Issues

Four Loko ("Four")

Recently a new product containing alcohol and caffeine has created concerns among substance abuse professionals and college and university leadership, faculty, and administrators. "Four" looks similar to many popular energy drinks and the NASPA AOD KC feels the need to inform our members about it.

Four Loko cans and other alcoholic energy drinks

Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with the similarities between "Four" (on left), a new caffeinated alcoholic beverage that mimics the look of an energy drink (on right). Some colleges/universities are reporting high rates of "Four" use as it has become a popular drink among young adults.

"Four" is an alcoholic energy drink produced by Phusion Projects, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois, USA. The drink is available in nine flavors: grape, fruit punch, orange, watermelon, blue raspberry, lemonade, cranberry, lemon lime and cranberry lemonade.

It is sold in the U.S. as a 23.5 oz aluminum-canned, caffeinated, alcoholic, malt beverage. It also contains carbonation, sugar, and natural and artificial flavoring (similar to other alcopops). Its name is derived from its "four" main ingredients: caffeine, taurine, guarana, and wormwood, an active ingredient in absinthe.

Depending on the U.S. state, "Four" contains up to 12% ABV. According to the NIAAA Rethinking Drinking Cockail Content Calculator, this is the equivalence of 4.7 standard drinks in a single can (excluding the caffeine and other ingredients). A single can of Four Loco is estimated to contain 660 calories and costs approximately $2.50.

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