Mixing alcohol with diet soft drinks "get people drunk faster" according to new study
On a boozy night out, many of us reach for diet mixers in the hope it will keep the calorie count down.
But while the artificially-sweetened drinks may not be as bad for our waistlines, experts now warn they could get us drunk faster – even taking us over the drink-drive limit.
US researchers from the Northern Kentucky University studied 20 men and women, breathalysing them after drinking either a vodka and lemonade or vodka and diet lemonade. While the amount of alcohol was the same, the readings were up by 25 per cent for those who’d had diet mixers.
It’s such a big difference that scientists want bars to warn staff and punters of the dangers of going diet.
As for why the readings were so different, it’s believed sugary mixers could act in the same way as food, slowing the passage of alcohol to the bloodstream, claims the research in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal.
The same US team has carried out similar research before, finding that diet mixers could take someone over the drink-drive limit. As test subjects who’d had the low-calorie drink didn’t feel any more inebriated, it could result in people accidentally drink-driving.
Their biggest worry is women, who are often the people who opt for diet drinks.
“While all alcohol consumers should be aware of this phenomenon, it appears more likely that women would select alcohol beverages with a diet mixer given that they are more likely to be conscious of calories in their drinks,” study author Dr. Cecile Marczinski warned.
“Young women may be particularly vulnerable as they frequently use diet mixers with alcohol and they also restrict food intake when drinking to control calorie consumption and, ultimately, body weight.”
Remember though it’s safer not to drink at all on nights when you’re driving.