Diet soda and alcohol


Are you the person who usually orders a low calorie cocktail at happy hour with friends? Well a recent study may change your mind on mixing alcoholic beverages with diet sodas. No one likes to talk about scientific studies, but this one makes an interesting point. In the test three groups were given different drinks: vodka and regular soda, vodka and diet soda, and a placebo that contained neither. Each participant was given three drinks a piece and then asked to answer some questions about their perceived sobriety.

Those who were given the vodka and regular soda had a BAC level of .077, and the participants who had the vodka and diet soda had a BAC of .091. That’s 18 percent higher than the regular soda drinkers. Another interesting note is the diet soda drinkers did not report that they felt any more intoxicated than those who were drinking the regular soda. They also showed slower reaction times. The fact that they did not feel drunk could put them at risk of drinking and driving at dangerously high levels of intoxication.

The study focused on the effects of regular soda and diet soda on rates of alcohol absorption in the body. The study showed that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas transports the alcohol from the stomach to the bloodstream much quicker than regular sodas. This is also connected to the calorie count in regular sodas. Because regular sodas have sugar, and sugar equals calories, your stomach takes longer to digest the soda, and in turn takes longer to digest the alcohol. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are not recognized as calories by the stomach, so they go straight into the blood stream instead of getting digested. That means that if the diet soda is mixed with alcohol, the alcohol is getting into the blood stream much faster.

Because the artificial sweeteners rush the alcohol into your blood stream, but the drinker doesn’t necessarily feel it, it could mean an increased chance for getting a DWI. Those who drank the diet drinks were less likely to realize they were intoxicated, and would probably be more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking, making them more likely to get a DWI. A DWI will change your life forever, and not in a positive way. A DWI will be on your record permanently. You’ll also have to deal with the repercussions of your probation, including fines and alcohol awareness classes. Another consequence might be the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your car. The ignition interlock device prevents you from driving drunk by making you breathe into the ignition interlock device before you are able to start your car. The ignition interlock device can be mandatory for months to years after your DWI conviction, depending on your individual circumstance.

If you’re a diet soda drinker, you may want to reconsider drinking it with alcohol. Find other ways to trim calories when you’re at happy hour, or consider finding a designated driver. No one wants to deal with the effects of a DWI, like probation, fines, and ignition interlock devices, so be sure you find a safe way home if you have been drinking.


May 2020
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