CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — To get straight to the point, “borg” stands for “blackout rage gallon,” and it’s a relatively recent internet trend that many college students have been partying with over the past several months.
Borg’s are usually made with a gallon jug half filled with water, a fifth of vodka (750 milliliters), and the drinker’s choice of sweetener or electrolytes. It is also traditional to give the borg a punny name like “Borgan donor” or “Saturdays are for the borgs” and write it on the side of the jug with a permanent marker.
So why are people drinking borgs?
The selling point for borgs is that the combination of ingredients is supposed to mitigate hangovers the day after. Although borgs can contain an entire bottle of alcohol, it does have other properties that can make drinking such large quantities less harmful.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are more health-conscious than ever. With a borg, students can drink without the need to reuse cups in shared containers like a punch bowl. Not only that, but students know exactly what they are drinking, and those not looking to drink can choose to not include any alcohol whatsoever, without anyone knowing. Lids on jugs can also prevent others from tampering with or spiking the drink.
But are borgs really safe?
While borgs make more of an effort to reduce hangovers by including water and electrolyte additives, consuming large amounts of alcohol will still give you a hangover, and regular binge drinking can result in elevated health risks. Poison Control describes binge drinking as the consumption of four or more drinks over two hours by women or five or more drinks over two hours by men. With an entire bottle of alcohol in a borg, it can hold up to 17 standard drinks or more, which can result in alcohol poisoning even if consumed over several hours.
Certain sweeteners that are commonly used in borgs like MiO Energy also contain caffeine. A single squeeze of MiO contains about 60 milligrams of caffeine, so it’s important to read the labels of the ingredients used so drinkers know the quantities of what they are putting into their bodies.