If you prefer your cocktails mixed with diet soda, you might want to reconsider. That’s because alcohol mixed with diet soda leads to 18% higher blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) than mixed with regular soda, says a new study. After four drinks within 40 minutes, participants who mixed with diet soda had BACs over the legal driving limit – 0.091 BAC. Participants who mixed with regular soda could still legally drive, with 0.077 BAC.
So, why does mixing alcohol with diet soda make you drunker, quicker compared to sugary sodas?
Well, diet soda doesn’t actually make you drunker … instead, the sugar in regular soda acts like food in the stomach and slows down alcohol absorption. In other words, it’s more accurate to say that sugary soda mixers make you less drunk than diet soda mixers.
“The best way to think about these effects is that sugar-sweetened alcohol mixers slow down the absorption of alcohol into bloodstream,” explains Dennis L. Thombs, co-author of the study. “Artificially sweetened alcohol mixers do not really elevate alcohol intoxication. Rather, the lack of sugar simply allows the rate of alcohol to occur without hindrance.” The Northern Kentucky University study was small: only eight men and eight women between the ages of 21 and 33. The research will be published in the April issue of “Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research”
What’s your favorite cocktail concoction? Let us know in the comments below!