What kind of mixer do you use for your alcoholic drinks? If you answered “diet soda,” congratulations! You get wasted faster than your friends.
A study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that when alcohol is mixed with diet soda rather than regular soda, its effect on the body is stronger. When researches gave college students vodka drinks with regular soda and again on another occasion with diet, the diet drinks made them 20 percent more intoxicated.
The students drank four of the regular drinks, were breathalyzed 40 minutes later and they all passed. A few days later they drank the same amount of alcohol, but with an unsweetened mixer, and failed the breathalyzer.
“What you choose to mix your alcohol with could possibly be the difference between breaking or not breaking the law,” study author Cecile Marczinski, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights said.
The study was small, only including eight women and eight men, but the finding closely matched previous research linking diet drinks and increased levels of intoxication.
Turns out that the sugar in the mixed drinks with regular soda slows down the digestion of the alcohol. So a lack of sugar in the mixed drinks with diet soda means faster digestion and a quicker drunk.