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Mixing alcoholic, soft drinks aggravates intoxication

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IF you are in the habit of mixing alcoholic drinks with carbonated drinks to prevent easy intoxication, you may be in for a surprise. A new research has revealed that drinking alcohol with soft drinks, like diet soda may, in fact, be making it more intoxicating.

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. How quickly it absorbs depends on a number of factors such as gender, age, weight and the amount of food you have in your stomach. One of the more overlooked aspects of alcohol absorption has to do with the type of beverage. Certain alcoholic beverages will be absorbed quicker than others based on their compositions and a few other factors.

Writing in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the researchers suggested that because of the way the stomach breaks down sugary drinks like food items, mixing a sugary drink with an alcoholic one could slow the stomach from getting rid of its contents.

The new study found that people who drank alcohol with a diet mixer had higher breath alcohol content than people who mixed their drinks with non-diet drinks.

The investigators had 16 participants drink one type of three different drinks: squirt and alcohol, diet squirt and alcohol, and a placebo beverage. All participants tried all drinks, each on a different day.

The researchers had wanted to find out if there was any measurable difference when a person drinks alcohol with an artificially sweetened drink or a sugar-sweetened one.

Breaking down sugars allows the stomach to keep alcohol longer, preventing it from entering the blood stream. Solid foods are known to decrease blood alcohol content. However the body is not familiar with breaking down diet sugars, therefore, it sends the alcohol out immediately.

Lead author, Cecile Marczinski, an assistant professor of Psychology at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Ky, said, “one of the key things we found was that even though (BrAC) peaked 18 per cent higher in the diet condition, [participants] didn’t feel any more intoxicated and they didn’t feel any different as to how willing they were to drive a car.”

The authors warn that failing to eat before taking an alcoholic drink and then combining your alcohol with a diet drink could be a dangerous mix.

Additionally, a report established that alcohol mixed with other drinks containing caffeine, including energy drinks, is also a dangerous combination.

Energy drinks, which contain caffeine, can mask the effect of intoxication, making a person to feel less drunk than they actually are.

In fact, drinking just one energy drink with alcohol may be equivalent to drinking a whole bottle of wine and several cups of coffee.

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