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Four Loko Ingredients

Updated on December 6, 2012

What Ingredients are in Four Loko?

Four Loko is an energy drink with a high alcohol content that boasts of a 'kick' of caffeine. Three alumni from Ohio State University created the power drink in 2006 where it was first introduced in Ohio, then Arizona, California and then Illinois by the middle of that same year. This energy drink contains the usual suspects, caffeine and taurine but also adds the kicker of alcohol that is three times that of a regular beer.

According to Law Enforcement Chaplain Rev. Rocky Brown lll of Delaware County, PA., "the drink has brought with it blackout effect's on young people who consume the drink." He even stated that adults have been buying the alcohol based energy drink for minors who stand out front of stores looking to acquire the malt beverage. He assertively called the beverage "legalized liquid cocaine."

Four Loko alcoholic beverage with caffeine can contain 12% alcohol and is said to cause blackouts.
Four Loko alcoholic beverage with caffeine can contain 12% alcohol and is said to cause blackouts.

Four Loko's Other Ingredients

Prior to launching in the US, the drink line offered a variety of fruity flavors including orange, grape, and watermelon. It usually is packaged in 16 oz. cans compared to the 8.3 oz. bottle in the European Union-Netherlands (the EU version also contains absinthe and is not malt based like the USA beverage, but rather a spirit-based drink). In the USA the alcohol amounts vary from state to state depending on the legal percentage allowed in your state. It can be anywhere from 6% ABV (in Indiana) up to 12% in other states. It is carbonated and contains sugar, natural flavoring and artificial flavoring. The "Four Loko" commercial tag is in reference to the "four " other ingredients; caffeine, taurine, Guarana and wormwood (wormwood is an active ingredient in absinthe).

Recently the 16 oz. can has taken on 7.5 extra ounces (for a total of 23.5 oz.) and is being marketed in the USA as "Four Maxed." This power-house of power-drinks weighs in at approximately 660 scale-tipping calories. Not just a power-house in calories, "Four Loko" ranked fourth in sales growth in 2009, among alcoholic beverages at 7-11 mini-marts located nation wide (Joose ranked #1). The cost of a can of Four is around $3.00.

The federal government has given a short timeline for the manufacturers of these type of energy drinks to provide proof that adding alcohol intentionally does not pose dangerous health concerns. This is due to the hidden intoxicating effect of the high alcohol content. The "King of Beers" had already agreed to reformulate their drinks of this nature back in 2008. Late 2009 the government re-stated their concerns to the smaller companies (like manufacturers of Four products) to, like Budweiser, prove that the addition of caffeine to your alcoholic beverages is recognized as being "generally" safe.

DRUNK DRIVING SAFETY VIDEO! Worth the 4-1/2 minutes

Some remarks from FOUR LOKO Consumers

  • "Legalized cocaine in a can. If you consume Four Loko you can expect to encounter the same results typically associated with snorting a small mound of cocaine. "My dealer isn't picking up? Okay, whatever,.. we'll just get some Four Lokos instead."
  • "Perfect for pre-gaming, but can easily result in blackouts and various kinds of embarrassing behavior. Loko is this crazy like alcoholic energy drink that has over 11% alcohol and taste like Hawaiian Punch, all my boyz are gettin' crazy off Four Loko. What kinda alcohol is in Four Loko anywayz? "


Be prepared for the hangover!

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Four Loko Hangover

In conclusion, we find Four Loko to be a welcome friend in the hipster and party communities. It dominated the energy beverage market and quickly gained popularity with young adults. Although the hazards of blackouts, crazy behavior, and I imagine wicked hangovers would seem to outweigh its popularity, we don't see this trend showing within the research. Should you decide to try one of these fruity energy giants, be aware of the potential results in behavioral and physical may want to call ahead for reservations at the local emergency room for oxygen and fluids to help combat the aftermath awaiting you at the end of a Four Loko night on the town.


Phusion, the manufacturer of the very popular Four Loko caffeinated alcohol drinks said they will pull the caffeine from its products, removing the blend off the market before the FDA announces the ban against the beverage. They also said in a post on their website that the company will remove the caffeine and two other ingredients (most likely the Taurine and Guarana energy components) from its Four Loko beverages.

Their website post came as the FDA findings reveal caffeine is an unsafe (food) additive when combined with alcohol. That in all reality will ban Four Loko and alldrinks like it. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the ruling "should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks." Schumer has been fighting long and hard trying to convince the Obama administration to ban the beverages.

Phusion's website statements make it clear that they feel they have little to no choice but to remove the products, even as federal regulators could not confirm Schumer's comments regarding the ban being inevitable.



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Comments for "Four Loko Ingredients"

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  • profile image

    ryan 2 years ago

    Im really trying to figure what kind of alcohol is in them I drink them myself and I like them

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    Momof3-n-Nurse 3 years ago

    Most not all of the people making negative comments on here Either used to be heavy drinkers or still are.. Some it sounds are very young.. So they brag I had this many. SO WHAT.. 12% used to mean per volume. (Per batch that was made up) the way you are talking I guess things have changed in the last 29/30 yrs. Wine coolers used to be % per volume. U had to drink quite a bit to get drunk... I never seen anyone get drunk on one. I never got a buzz off of any. A migraine because of the sulfates. But that's about it. The wine coolers today they are different. Some are made with vodka yes u can get drunk off of them.

    I had a Loko last evening. I did not know that it was one. A friend poured me it into a sm glass. 6 oz glass. I had a buzz. He filled it again. I was ? Not the normal feeling drunk, I haven't been drunk in a long time. 2001/2002. Was the last time I was wasted. Threw up & started smoking cigg again. I only drink maybe 4x a yr. So for that Fellow to say if you can't handle it stay away.. I bet you were 17-20 yrs old when u said that. Now why don't you tell a 46 yr old. Who is a. Nurse has gone has many years of life experience without alcohol.. That I should not drink something I can not handle. I AM ALLOT OLDER THEN YOU.. If I choose 2 drink something who are you to tell me not 2?? This is a DANGEROUS DRINK. If I had known it was Four Loko I would not have drank it. The only thing it says on the can "Contains Alcohol .. 12% alc/vol. on the side it printed PREMIUM MALT BEVERAGE ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND CERTIFIED COLOR 23.5 FL OZ.

    (1 PT 7.5 FL OZ.) I was getting my dog ready to take her outside her leash & coat was on I had my coat & boots on I woke up @ 5am BECAUSE HER LEASH HIT MY FACE WHEN SHE JUMP UP ON THE TOP OF THE COUCH, I thought someone was trying to strangle me. So I woke up. My house was a mess my coat boots my dog was still dressed my food was in the microwave (I don't remember doing that one) I happen to press clear today to see the time I noticed the box.. I can have a shot of Tequila it hits me in 5 mins last 45 mins. If I do 2 I'm past out for 2 hrs. I won't do that again.. I don't know what's in that drink I will not buy one again. I had watermelon flavor. I woke up with a headache that turned into a migraine .. How do we know if they took out the caffeine ? Just because it's not on the can don't mean it's not in there? I do take adderall. I can sleep on them.. Add & narcolepsy . But last night was not narcolepsy .. It was that drink. I could not walk straight I was bumping into walls. My friend thought it was funny. I was going to get pizza but I knew I could not drive. I never drive when I drink not even 1 sip.

  • profile image

    chris 3 years ago

    you have NO RIGHT to endanger the lives of should be banned

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

    Whoa. I've never heard of this stuff. It sounds like a bad family telenovela or something. In any case, thanks for the head's up on this. I think in malted drinks like this, it's way too easy to gulp down without tasting the alcohol. I can imagine why people would blackout from it. This is great information and I learned something new.

  • profile image

    ms.neva69 5 years ago

    No can put they action on a drink if you can handle something leave it a long so people don't have to drink something to act like a ass

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    girly 54 5 years ago

    I had to of these 2 days ago u blacked out i ended up in jail ran over. A pedestrian. And have lots of legal issues right now all i can say is DONT DRINK FOUR LOKOS ITS DANGEROUS. This drink right now happens to be my worst nightmare

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    Supernova 5 years ago

    This shit is fucking dangerous... Alcohol and caffeine and whatever other crazy chemicals that are in this drink are NOT a good combination. Just stick to ONE drug at a time! not FOUR! I just drank this poison last night with my boyfriend. I ended up antagonizing him in his sleep to the point where we got into a physical fight! I was in tears... Scratches, bruises and swollen lips were to be discovered the next morning. We don't even have an abusive relationship, but this drink will seriously screw with your brain and turn you into a machine. Buyer beware...

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    ruben 5 years ago

    I drink lokos n blast everyday

  • Dr Rockpile profile image

    Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

    I've never had the desire to give Four Loko a try. I do like Guarana soft drinks though. Interesting hub.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

    bahramyou~Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I can see you have strong feelings about my post not being appropriate due to the fact that I have not tried four loko. I really believe that my tasting four loko has little to do with the safety issues presenting within the post. It is not my intention to tell people if I like or dislike the flavor of four loko, but rather to give fair warning to parents and young/new drinkers as to what the authorities are describing. Seeing the results and condition of drinkers of four is proof enough for me that it CAN be a dangerous combination of ingredients when caffeine, taurine and alcohol are combine in a beverage that wraps itself in brightly colored youthful hip packaging. Marketing company's spend billions of dollars to research their market. You can not tell me that this drink is Not directly marketed toward young drinkers. I think it is a trap but, a brilliant marketing strategy for louring young/new drinkers; but four loko and drinks like it can still be dangerous. I think the safety of unknowing young drinkers is more important than me slamming a loko to prove a point. But thanks again for playing along, I am always happy to hear another take on a subject!

    ~Always Choose Love~


  • profile image

    bahramyou 6 years ago

    K9keystrokes 5 months ago

    peacefulchaos~Thanks for commenting. It is always good to have another perspective on a topic. I have heard that the taste of loko is pretty insense, and does take some getting used to. Regarding the reference to cocaine, I'm pretty sure that if I were to 'lick' an electrical outlet I would get shocked-It would not be necessary to try it- it's a stretch comparison but one I felt compelled to make. I appreciate you stoping by and reading!

    ~Always choose love~


    I think it is funny that you take the time to write this entire post and have never tried one. Does not make much sense to condemn or review a product that you have no personal experience with. I have had these many times. Every story in the media describes underage individuals consuming several cans or mixing several drinks. I honestly can not see anyone "blacking out" from these unless they consumed more then one can. If they do, they more than likely have no drinking experience since the alcohol content is posted in huge letter on the outside. People who mistake this as an energy drink must have some sort of mental anguish because the cans are covered with alcohol references, one being "We ID."

  • profile image

    Kwass 6 years ago

    You guys are idiots. Obviously the guys who wrote this never had a four loko before. Yeah, they're 12% alc. vol. with caffine. It tells you that on the can in big bold letters. You should at least just put a warning on the can instead of ruining the ingredients. Take it from a drinker, no caffine, no sell. There are so many alternatives. And another thing. You're comparing of a flavored malt liquer with caffine to cocaine is rediculouse. You're using mind tricks to scare people into agreeing with you and it's stupid. Tell people to drink 2 of them instead of 10 at a time. Put a consumtion limit like on energy drinks. If worse comes to worse, move them to the liquer stores. Just please don't screw up the best drink on earth.

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    Etoryn 6 years ago

    This article has many incorrect flaws. Lets start,

    1. "that is three times that of a regular beer". Do you mean ABV%? or just amounts consumed? If you drink any imperial IPA or Belgian Triple, Quad; or even Strong Ales like Stones Double bastard they're all comparable to four loko in ABV. Good craft beer taste a hell of a lot better thank four loko.

    Two, "legalized cocaine". I can't believe that was used as reference. Getting drunk and blacking out on shitty malt liquor is nothing in comparison cocaine.

    Young teens know what 12oz beer cans and 12oz sodas can look like.

  • profile image

    cutiekatie5000 6 years ago

    Ugh this is so stupid. Four lokos are awesome and to take out the caffeine and make them not as powerful is dumb, if your dying because of drinking too many then your ignorant like its obvious that they are very strong and its not a secret...i have had plentyyyy and they arent like cocaine that's so stupid lol they just make you have a good time and you wake up perfectly fine. So convenient just 3 bux and a can and im good to go...sucha shamee...thanks to all the people who ruined it

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    ThomasHT 6 years ago

    The simple fact of the matter is that all individuals are born with a set of inherent rights that should never, under any circumstance, be taken away. One of these specific rights is that we control our bodies, and we alone can control our bodies. What we put into our mouths and our bodies is our choice and our choice alone.

    So to somehow ban a product for not being recognized as "generally safe" is outrageous. Couple this with the fact that FDA still allows trans-fatty acids to be introduced into food, the continued use of corn-derived fructose (which has been shown to encourage metabolic syndrome and diabetes more so than just simple sucrose), as well as the legal use of artificial sweeteners, and we have incredibly hypocritical circumstance. If we let people engage in only some activities and only consume some substances which is detrimental to their health, while we ban the others that we find "objectionable", then what does that say about our society?

    Banning a product that's selling well and that people can't consume responsibly isn't fair to the manufacturer and it certainly isn't fair to the consumer. I don't live in a nanny-state, so let me make my own decisions. It's not your life.

  • profile image

    BExumSr 6 years ago

    I dnt knw wut all the fuss is about, four loko is a great beer. I had 2 tall cans lastnite, not only tht, but i went too the bar afterwards and had a pitcher, thn went to my cousin's crib and had some vodka & kool-aid. The main problem is the kids who drink it like its kool-aid and want too have drinking contest or show off. I'm 28 years old & i've been doing this 4 along time, not only that but I know how too drink and I also know my limit. If these parents where parents at all then they would have raised a responsible teenager, & if these young adults in college had any common since they would know that malt beer that is 12% is not the same as Bud Light or Coors Light and it cant be drank the same way as you would those kinds of beers. Come on people lets not be ignorant all our lives, if you dnt knw how too drink or handle your drinks the least you can do is learn your limits. I live in Co. and we still sale Four Loko, if they stop saling it because of some kids playing games who obviously shouldn't be drinking in the first place i'll be a lil upset. I'm not saying that the drink is more important then someones life, I'm just saying that there is alot of things out here in this world that kill young people but they continue to sale them so what makes a drink so different? If you're gonna stop selling a beer because young kids have died then stop selling guns or better yet, tell the Government too stop bringing drugs into the country & selling that shit.

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    shaniti22 6 years ago

    I like four loko this has been my drink since it has come out it is better than a SPARKS. They tried to ban SPARKS and they are still on the market. As far as teens drinking this drink "WHY" and what are the partents doing about it. It seems like the parents are trying to blame someone for what their kids are doing instead of blaming themselves for it. I love four loko and i hope it stays on the market. What next they are going to ban all alcoholic drinks. I WOULD VOTE YES TO KEEP FOUR LOKO ON THE MARKET.

  • bull853fl profile image

    bull853fl 6 years ago

    I am amazed reading some of the crap that some of you turds are typing. Here we go- PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY, if you don't scale on the meter- SHUT UP! Go to a cristian website and wine. Second- I keep reading teenagers? I really think the word parent comes up again!! Why are your teens drinking, and why are you not busting their butts and taking the Droid phones away? Put your irresponsible life styles on pause and pay attention to what your (young adult children are doing?), never heard that before. You need to hang out with real grown ups! I would suggest contacting local authorities and request sting ops to find out who is buying and selling to your kids. Bet its local drunks or other mom and dads! The company is not the blame here! YOU ARE! Start MAKING your teens obey your rules. Remember- they are the kids, you are the adult. PERIOD!! Everytime a company come out with a product that causes little Susie and Johnny to crash the family car, it is the companies fault! SHAME ON YOU!! If you spend the time helping and teaching your kids the best you can, you wouldn't have time posting your crap on the sites, local news and newspapers. And last- not getting my blood pressure up after I sit down and enjoy a LOCO and smoke a joint! URGGGHGHHHGH. Some of you are Jerry Springer candidates! To the future college grads- PARTY HARDY but be careful with these drinks. THEY CAN AND WILL CAUSE BODILY HARM!! PEACE TO YOU ALL!!

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    17hellokitty20 6 years ago

    Four lokos is a great drink... I personally love it. In my opinion, the bahavior of a person depends on how there bodies can handlle it... I'm not just giving my opinion because I love to drink four lokos but because I know a lot of people that I hang out with that drink as much of it as I do and as of now we're perfectly fine.

  • profile image

    a2da3rd 6 years ago


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