After alcohol intake, an individual’s BAC or breath alcohol concentration can be influenced by numerous factors, including food. A recent study, however, was conducted to determine the effects of mixing alcohol and diet soda as opposed to mixing alcohol and regular soda.
The study showed that an individual’s breath alcohol concentration was significantly higher with mixture of alcohol and diet soda as compared to the same amounts of alcohol mixed with a sugared soda or sugar-sweetened mixer.
Apparently, the sugar found in regular soda actually slows down the body’s rate of alcohol absorption from the stomach all the way to the bloodstream. The body treats the beverages sweetened by sugar like food, delaying the stomach from feeling empty.
The study showed that when subjects mixed alcohol and a diet soda, the average breath alcohol concentration was .091. When the same subjects consumed the same amount of alcohol mixed with regular soda, their average breath alcohol concentration was only .077.
The 16 subjects, eight men and eight women, were unaware of any difference between the alcohol mixed with sugary soda versus the alcohol mixed with diet soda. These subjects were measured with the help of subjective ratings, such as feelings of impairment, intoxication, and willingness to drive. However, their behavior still proved to be more impaired after consuming the diet mixer.
These findings, according to experts, may put individuals at an increased risk of drinking and driving. The subjects felt the same way after drinking both the regular mixed alcoholic beverage versus the diet version. Unfortunately, individuals opt to drink and drive based on how they feel as opposed to using an objective measurement of impairment.
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