Have you seen an uptick of students strutting the streets of New York college towns with gallon-sized, colorful beverages in hand? Congratulations, you've witnessed BORG culture.

Gone are the days of MySpace and AOL Instant Messaging (AIM), YikYak, and Vine. On today's campuses, TikTok is the prime network for quick trend-setting. And with TikTok originated the almighty BORG. You can spot them on almost any holiday weekend or day-drinking event in New Paltz, Poughkeepsie, or really any college town.

What is a BORG?

At first glance, many of us non-current collegiate students may think of a cyborg. Maybe you even thought of The Borg, an alien supervillain from the Star Trek universe. However, neither of those is remotely correct.

A BORG in this sense is an acronym for Black Out Rage Gallon.

Traditionally, a BORG is vodka and water mixed with some kind of rehydration drink like Gatorade, MIO or Liquid IV. The idea behind them is to be able to have a fun night out drinking with less of a hangover the next day, as explained on TikTok.

@timthetankofficial How To Make BORG (Black Out Rage Gallon) #fyp #borges #mio #vodka #lifehack #drink #college #party ♬ original sound - timthetankofficial

Naming Your BORG

One of the trendiest pieces of this drinking ritual is to come up with a pop-culturally relevant or punny name for your BORG.

Brianna.nallan14 shares some examples on TikTok including names like:

  • Backstreet Borg
  • Borganic Chemistry
  • The Borg Who Lived
  • Borgan Freeman
@brianna.nallan14 if u need borg names i got u #greenscreenvideo #borg #borgnames #borgs ♬ original sound - brianna✨

With a Name Like BORG, Are These Really Safe?

It goes without saying that drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage in excess can lead to life-threatening dangers. While this is a big trend for college campuses, a majority of students on those campuses are not of legal drinking age.

We do not recommend any student under the age of 21 consume a BORG. 

The Pros of BORG Culture

Some are highlighting the controllability of BORGs when it comes to alcohol consumption, including Viral TikTok Doc Jill Grimes, M.D.

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Many of us have experienced the ill-fated jungle juice. You have no idea what liquor is in there or how much, making it a very dangerous option for college party-goers.

With BORGs, typically the drinker creates the drink themselves, so they're fully aware of what's in it. Secondly, since the drinking vessel itself is usually just a gallon-sized water jug, drinkers can put a cap on it, making it more difficult for someone to potentially spike the drink at a party.

@tiktok.collegedoc What I love & hate about BORGs!#collegedoc#doctorsoftiktok#BORG#blackoutdrinking#alcoholrisks#blackoutragegallon#fyp#doctorthoughts#collegelife#collegedrinking♬ original sound - Jill Grimes, MD

The Dangerous Side of BORGs

With all of that said, there are still major dangers with BORGs.

The National Capital Poison Center reminds drinkers that BORGs can easily lead to binge drinking. Let's not forget the name of the trend itself. Black Out Rage Gallon implies the intent to "blackout" at some point, which presents dangers beyond just alcohol poisoning.

On top of that, with such a large drinking container, it's easy to misjudge the real amount of liquor poured into a BORG. Boston University Today states that some BORG recipes can call for up to 17 shots of liquor which does not denote a healthy drinking trend.

Ultimately, despite the intent to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol, the electrolytes from whatever rehydration mix you're adding cannot offset the punch of 17+ shots of liquor.

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