Alcohol & diet drinks: A bad mix

     Print Edition: March 17, 2013

A new study on how mixers affect blood alcohol levels has created the ultimate diet-conscious, social drinker's dilemma. It turns out, alcohol combined with diet mixers leads to higher blood alcohol levels than sugart mixers. In other words, a rum and diet coke would lead to a higher chance of getting pulled over by cops than a regular rum and coke.

Scientists at Northern Kentucky University studied a group of 16 men and women. Each participant was given a measured dose of alcohol that corresponded to their body weight. The dose effectively gave them a blood-alcohol level of 0.8 mg/ litre. Scientists found that the average diet-alcohol drink combination varied dramatically when compared to a similar quanity for regular mixers.

In fact, in some subjects, the corresponding blood alcohol level for diet mixers was 18 per cent higher than regular mixers. The difference would be enough to push you well over the legal limit even if you had not consumed the alcohol quantity normally required to do so.

Scientists believe this is because the digestive system sees sugary drinks as food and absorbs them slower than diet drinks. So while drinking and driving is a big 'NO', you stand a higher chance of staying legal if you junk the diet.

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