When you have a jack and diet coke, you save calories, but did you know that you could end up with a higher alcohol level with diet soda and alcohol, than with non-diet versions of soda?
It has been known since at least 2002 that alcohol levels raise higher, controlling for all other variables, when a drink contains artificial sweeteners, as compared with drinks with or without sugar. That has been confirmed in peer reviewed studies in 2012 and 2013.
The most recent research paper on the subject tested the effect using differing doses, and to find any differences tween genders. (Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Dec 1;157:197-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.015. Epub 2015 Oct 23.)
Consumption of food with alcohol before or during drinking is an important factor that will decrease peak breath alcohol concentrations (BrAC). With the evidence showing that mixing alcohol with diet beverages results in higher BrAC when compared with mixing the same amount of alcohol with sweetened beverages, the purpose of the more recent study was to examine the phenomenon using two different moderate alcohol doses.
The testing method was simple: Twenty study participants, 10 of which were males, and 10 females, attended five sessions where they received 1 of 5 doses (0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 ml/kg of diet soda, 0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 of regular soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg diet soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg regular soda, and a placebo beverage).
BrAC was recorded repeatedly up to 180 min after dose administration, and the results were that participants had significantly higher BrAC when the mixer was diet as compared to regular for both alcohol dose conditions. No gender differences were observed.
When you have a night out drinking, be aware of the fact that mixing alcohol with diet beverages can result in higher alcohol levels when compared to the same amount of alcohol administered with a similar sweetened beverage. The study noted that most individuals were unaware of these differences, which is a risk that could put people above the legal limit without knowing it.
If you find yourself facing a DUI, then please call our firm, toll free, at (877) 942-3090, anytime. We are here to help.