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Alcohol with Diet Soft Drinks Accelerate Intoxication

Update Date: Feb 06, 2013 06:24 AM EST
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Heavy drinking can lead to white matter damage in the brain and a new study reports that aerobic exercises might be able to prevent the damage. (Photo : Martin Cathrae/flickr)

While drinking, it is a good idea to mix alcohol with normal soft drinks than with diet soft drinks, as the latter gets people drunk faster, a study reveals.

The research is based on a previous field study of bar patrons by Dennis L. Thombs, professor and chair of the department of behavioral and community health at University of North Kentucky. The current study was done by Cecile A. Marczinski, assistant professor of psychology at the same university. This study will be published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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The level of alcohol in an individual is measured by a breath analyzer test which measures breath alcohol concentration or BrAC. This BrAC value depends on several components, and food is one of them. It is known that food delays the intoxication from accelerating, and mixing alcohol with a normal soft drink appears to do the same. On the other hand, diet drinks, while lowering the calories, makes people drunk faster.

In the study, 8 men and 8 women were asked to come for three sessions and were provided with three different types of drink for each session. One was a normal beverage, one was 1.97 ml/kg vodka and 3.94 ml/kg Squirt and the third was 1.97 ml/kg vodka and 3.94 ml/kg diet Squirt. They were served in a non-sequential order. They were then asked to go for breath analyzer test. It was observed that the value of BrAC was highest for the drink which had 1.97 ml/kg vodka and 3.94 ml/kg diet Squirt.

"More attention needs to be paid to how alcohol is being consumed in the 'real world'. Researchers found that, one, individuals who reported consuming alcohol with diet beverages had the highest BrACs, as compared to all other bar patrons, and two, that women tended to be more frequent consumers of diet mixers with their alcohol. These good naturalistic observations give researchers many ideas to explore in a controlled laboratory setting," Marczinski was quoted as saying in Medicalxpress.

While diet drinks save calorie intake, they actually accelerate the intoxication. The reason is that since diet drinks have less sugar in them, they get digested faster in the intestine and the alcohol in the drink gets mixed in the blood faster. So it is always a good idea to have alcohol with regular soft drinks, as alcohol with diet soft drinks accelerates the intoxication process.

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