Blame the Diet Soda Next Time You're Too Trashed to Function
If you ever find yourself accidentally typing gibberish into your phone instead of a simple "I want a burrito," then you can probably blame the diet soda.
NPR reports that a new study from the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that drinking mixed drinks with a diet mixer resulted in higher Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) levels when compared with normal mixers.
Sugars in regular sodas tend to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, much like a slice of pizza would. Since diet sodas tend to have alternative sweeteners, that buffer disappears.
In fact, the study found that the average highest BrAC for drinkers who had a diet soda mixed with alcohol was .091; regular soda mixed with alcohol resulted in a highest BrAC average of .077, an 18 percent decrease. "I was a little surprised by the findings, since the 18 percent increase in BrAC was a fairly large difference," author Cecile Marczinski told The Salt. So if you just started switching over to diet sodas, you might want to cut back a drink or two.
Update: The American Beverage Association has responded with a statement pointing out that the study examined 16 people and emphasizes that diet soda doesn't make you more drunk. "[The study] simply supports the long known fact that consuming calories — from any food or beverage — along with alcohol slows down its impact," the statement says. "If the study participants consumed alcohol with any other non-caloric beverage, including water or even club soda, the results would be the same."