A new study shows when people mix diet soda, instead of regular soda, with their alcohol, they get more intoxicated. Researchers recruited 16 college students and had the young adults drink vodka with regular soda at a strength that was the equivalent of 4 mixed drinks. They took a breathalyzer test and passed. On another day the students drank the same amount of vodka, but with diet soda. Instead of passing the breathalyzer test, they failed. They were above the legal limit for alcohol and didn't know it.
Why would alcohol with diet soda get you more drunk faster? That's because there is no sugar in the diet drink so it goes through the stomach a lot faster. The diet mixture fast forwards the digestion process of sending the alcohol into the bloodstream, and this can compromise your health. Higher blood alcohol concentrations can affect your brain and your liver.
If you're drinking, whether out on the town or closer to home, there are steps you can take to keep from getting too intoxicated:
- Drink in moderation
- Eat food either before or while you drink
- Alternate non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
- Choose regular mixers, not diet
And always remember to enlist a designated driver!