Mixing Alcohol with Diet Soda May get You Drunker


Personally, I can’t stand the taste of diet soda. But if you’re anything like my fiancé, you’re probably mixing your alcohol with diet coke instead of regular coke as a way to compensate for the empty calories that the alcohol, itself, provides. A new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research suggests that mixing alcohol with diet soda rather than regular soda may get you drunker.

The study, conducted at Northern Kentucky University, measured the breath of volunteer students who consumed diet soda mixed with alcohol in an amount equal to four mixed drinks. The dosage of alcohol was meant to approximately put the participant at the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. The breath measurements were then compared to measurements taken when the students returned to drink the same concoctions with regular soda instead.

Results showed that when the students drank the diet alcoholic drinks, they were about one fifth more intoxicated. The students were also asked to perform tasks on the computer and it was shown that when the students drank alcohol mixed with diet soda, their reaction times were slower than when they drank alcohol drinks mixed with regular soda.

“What you choose to mix your alcohol with could possibly be the difference between breaking or not breaking the law,” said assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Science and author of the study, Cecile Marczinski. “The subjects were unaware of difference, as measured by various subjective ratings including feelings of intoxication, impairment, and willingness to drive.”

The reason for this phenomenon? Diet soda passes through our stomach quicker than regular soda. When this happens, the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream quicker.

A few blogs ago, I wrote about some of the reasons why females get drunker than males. Myself included, many men do not care as much about caloric intake as our female counterparts. It looks likes females have one more thing to consider when trying to remain under the legal limit.

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