Is Four Loko Dangerous? Why Did It Change Recipes?

Four Loko is still around, but their original recipe has been changed after the brand got backlash from the FDA, Universities, and when there were all sorts of problems and dangerous situations arising when people would drink it.

Is Four Loko Dangerous?

Four Loko’s original recipe contained four ingredients that were deemed to be too dangerous for Ramapo College, who banned this drink after there were 16 students hospitalized after drinking it.

Now, having one can here and there is just as safe as any other drink (assuming you aren’t an alcoholic, in which case, evne one drink can take you down a bad path). But the problem was that Four Loko was very sweet, tasty, and people would drink way too much of it.

On top of that, the four main ingredients were deemed to be a pretty dangerous combo that made it super popular for binge drinking, students, and irresponsible consumption.

The drink itself isn’t necessarily the problem, but the fact that it would cause people to drink way more than they should, and to have insane amounts of energy, and mixing depressants with strong stimulants seemed to be a recipe for disaster all around the country over a decade ago, before Four Loko made some important changes.

The Original Four Loko

Four Loko was first released in 2005, as energy drinks were starting to get really popular. They combined fruity and tasty flavors with insane amounts of energy, and it all masked the very high 12% alcohol content.

Four Loko became a staple of college parties, and unfortunately, emergency rooms, hospitals, or just dark rooms on Sunday morning when people would be nursing brutal hangovers.

The New Four Loko

In 2020, Four Loko made a comeback. This time around, it was even stronger, with 13.9% alcohol by volume. But, instead of selling it in cans that were often chugged and drinking in huge quantities, this time around, Four Loko is being marketed as a drink that you take shots of, sold in a smaller bottle like other forms of alcohol that you mix or take shots with, rather than in a big can that you pound back.

Is Four Loko Dangerous? It Can Be…

Four Loko can be dangerous, just as any type of alcohol can be dangerous when you binge drink, or when you drink too much, or when you struggle with alcoholism.

The fact that Four Loko’s original recipe contained three unique stimulants in big quantities, a very high % of alcohol for this type of drink, and strong flavor that helped make it easy to drink was trouble for a lot of younger people who also didn’t have a lot of experience with alcohol. Their newer product seems more sensible…

But if you are struggling with alcoholism, or someone you know is having trouble with it, you can call the number on this page to learn more about the options that are available. In many cases, part of all of the cost of treatment can be subsidized. Call to learn more, there’s no pressure and no obligations.

See also: How Long Does it Take for Your Liver to Repair Itself from Drinking?

Category: Articles
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.