College students praise Four Loko for its low price and high alcohol content.
Now it’s also getting positive attention for its new formula.
Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko, removed caffeine ingredients from the drink after the Food and Drug Administration threatened to ban drinks containing alcohol and caffeine.
Some Four Loko drinkers said this was a welcome change.
Jack Rosso, a sophomore supply and value chain management major, said he likes the new formula because it doesn’t give him heartburn.
“I like it a lot better just for the sole factor that there’s no caffeine in it and it doesn’t mess with your heart as much,” he said.
Rosso said that while the formula was different, the drink still tasted and felt the same.
“Taste-wise, I couldn’t tell too much, honestly,” he said. “But how I felt, I mean, same level of drunkenness.”
Melody Phillips, assistant professor of kinesiology, said the new formula is healthier than the previous one. Removing the combination of caffeine and alcohol took away some the risk of overdrinking because there was no longer a caffeine stimulant to inhibit the feeling of inebriation.
“When you consume a high caffeine drink with alcohol you don’t feel as influenced by alcohol and so people drink more as a consequence,” she said.
Rosso said that while he heard horror stories of students blacking out or having alcohol poisoning, he never personally saw similar occurrences.
“I know there’s terror stories everywhere but I personally haven’t seen any problems with Four Loko,” he said. “It’s just knowing your tolerance.”