Alcohol with Diet Mixers and Problems among Collegians

Drinking alcohol with diet mixers leads to a faster high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). That’s compared to non-diet mixers.  That’s because artificial sweeteners increase the absorption of alcohol. Thus, using diet mixers might lead to an increased risk of problems related to alcohol.


Researchers tested this idea. They also collected data on the prevalence of this practice among a sample of college students. Also the researchers explored factors possibly linked with using diet mixers.

There were 686 college students, of whom 73% were women. They filled out anonymous questionnaires. Researchers collected facts on the use of diet mixers. They looked at alcohol related problems, eating behaviors while drinking, and sensation seeking. They also collected facts about body mass index (BMI) and demography.

alcohol with diet mixersAbout 36% of the sample reported drinking alcohol with diet mixers. Most did so at least once a month. Those who reported such mixing had more alcohol related problems. And, the more often they drank in this way, the more problems they had. This persisted after controlling for typical drinking level and sensation seeking.

There were no differences between alcohol drinking with diet mixers and gender, eating behaviors while drinking, and BMI.

Alcohol drinking with diet mixers may be a risk factor for alcohol related problems.