Alcohol absorption into the body varies. What effects the rate of absorption? Could the use of diet mixers be a factor? There’s reason to think so. The answer could be important.
Distilled spirits (liquor) are often mixed with non-alcoholic beverages. Spirits are whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, etc. Examples are rum and coke, gin and tonic, and so on. Some mixers are regular and some are diet.
Could the use of artificially sweetened mixers effect the rate of alcohol absorption? Researchers wanted to answer this question. Ten male and ten female social drinkers were tested. They consumed different amounts of vodka. It was served in either regular or diet soda. There was also a placebo soda. The volunteers were tested periodically for three hours after each test.
Drinking any level of vodka with a diet soda always led to much higher breath alcohol test results. That’s compared to regular soda. There were no differences between males and females.
Mixing spirits with diet drinks reduces caloric intake. That makes it a very popular choice. But drinkers should know that doing so may increase the rate of alcohol absorption into the body. This study used a small sample. And scientific findings are always subject to change. But at this point, there’s no reason to doubt this finding.
The study appears in the journal Alcohol and Drug Dependence.
Drinkers should also realize that drinking, at least in moderation, appears not to increase weight. There’s some evidence that women who begin to drink may actually lose weight. And people who drink gain less weight over time than alcohol abstainers. See Alcohol, Calories and Weight.
Resources: Alcohol Absorption Rate
Health and Safety. The body absorbs alcohol faster in an effervescent drink.
Don’t Drink Alcohol on an Empty Stomach.
Stamates, A., et al. Effects of artificial sweeteners breath alcohol concentration male and female social drinkers. Drug Alc. Depend.
Carvey, P. Drug Action in the Central Nervous System. NY: Oxford U. Press.