Bad news for drinkers who also are trying to watch their figures. According to Scientific American, a new study found that drinking cocktails made with diet sodas can make your breath-alcohol levels 18 percent higher than those made with full-calorie sodas.
The study, completed by researchers in the Department of Psychological Science at Northern Kentucky University, is titled "Artificial Sweeteners Versus Regular Mixers Increase Breath Alcohol Concentrations in Male and Female Social Drinkers."
See also: The Skinny On Sugar & Sweeteners
The study tested 16 "casual" drinkers, each of whom was asked to imbibe three drinks -- vodka mixed with sugary soda and vodka mixed with sugar-free soda (the placebo) -- over three sessions. After each drink, they were then given breathalyzer tests, and researchers took time-reaction measurements.
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For both men and women, breath-alcohol measurements were an average of 18 percentage points higher when the participants ingested drinks with diet soda rather than regular soda. And no, they didn't just blow higher numbers. Their reaction times were slower, too.
What's even more dangerously interesting is that though the participants were drunker after the diet drinks, they rated themselves as not being drunker.