Diet drinks as mixers could make you more drunk

New research suggests that diet versions of fizzy drinks could make you more drunk than the sugary versions, when used as mixers with alcohol.
Experts say the effect the diet drinks have could be enough to push people over the drink drive limit on a breathalyser, and without realising.
The reasoning behind the difference is that sugar in drinks is thought to slow the passage of alcohol into your bloodstream, just like food does when you eat. The low-calorie versions containing artificial sweeteners do not seem to lessen the effects of being intoxicated.
The study at Northern Kentucky University looked at 20 adults, who drank the same amount of alcohol and underwent a breathalyser test. They mixed vodka with lemonade or diet lemonade, and the readings showed breath alcohol levels were as much as 25 per cent higher with the diet lemonade than they were for the sugary lemonade.
Researchers have called for customers and bar staff to be alerted about the potential problem, to limit the number of people unwittingly driving whilst over the limit. Those involved in the study did not feel more drunk than usual, and thought they were fine to drive still.
Women are seen as being more likely to order diet fizzy drinks than men, and as the biology of women also means they usually get drunk quicker, it is important to be aware of this possible risk.
“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,” said Cecile Marczinski, co-author of the study.
The findings were published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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