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Diet Soda Plus Alcohol Equals Higher BAC?


According to media reports yesterday, a report published in the Journal “Alcoholism” claimed that drinking alcohol mixed with diet soda results in higher breath alcohol levels and higher levels of impairment than drinking alcohol mixed with sugar based sodas. The theory is that sugar acts like food in the stomach in that it delays the absorbtion of the alcohol into the blood thereby avoiding the same kind of alcohol “hit” that people get drinking alcohol with diet soda.

It would necessarilly follow that drinking alcohol without any mixer would have the same effect as drinking alcohol with a diet soda, in that the sugar present in normal soda is still absent.

I have not read the study, but it is unclear from the media reports whether the study takes into account other potential variables such as sex, age, weight, health, recent consumption of food etc. It is also unclear whether more than one test was conducted over time on each subject to see if those drinking alcohol with normal soda eventually reached the same or similar peak BAC as those drinking alcohol with diet soda. It is also of note that only one type of alcohol was used in the study, vodka. It is unclear how many subjects were tested.

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