News: Why mixing diet soda with alcohol may be dangerous
If you're wondering why it feels like you had two drinks instead of one, it could be because you mixed your booze with diet soda.
A new study, to be published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that diet soda mixers nearly double your breath-alcohol content (BrAC).
"Mixing alcohol with a diet soft drink resulted in elevated BrACs, as compared with the same amount of alcohol mixed with a sugar-sweetened beverage," the study's authors wrote.
Participants were given one of three drinks: Vodka mixed with soda, vodka mixed with diet soda, or a placebo. The researchers then measured breath-alcohol levels, and found that they were significantly higher is those who had the diet soda.
The interesting part is that the participants weren't aware of their intoxication levels.
"Individuals were unaware of these differences," the study's authors wrote, "A factor that may increase the safety risks associated with drinking alcohol."
Why does diet soda have this effect?
“The stomach doesn’t recognize that it needs to do anything with that drink, because it has no sugar," the study’s lead author Cecile Marczinski told Time. "It goes right to small intestine where the most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream.”
Do you usually mix alcohol with diet soda? What do you think of this study?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor
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