People who mix alcohol and diet soda otherwise known as soft drinks, end up with more alcohol on their breath, according to a new study. People who drank vodka mixed with diet soda had higher alcohol concentrations on their breath than those who drank the same amount of vodka mixed with regular soda, researchers write in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Prevention materials should include this information so people know that by trying to avoid some extra calories in a mixed drink, they risk having higher breath alcohol concentrations, write the researchers, led by Amy Stamates of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights.
Previous research found similar results, but the findings were not generalisable to real-world scenarios, the researchers add. It is common to find guests in gatherings during feasts or celebrations in Nigeria mixing ‘soft drinks’ with alcoholic spirits such as Schinaps, Chelsea Gin, Regal Gin, among others.
But the study is discouraging this practice on the ground that the consumers end up with more alcohol in their breath. For the new study, the researchers had 10 men and 10 women between ages 21 and 30 drink five different mixed beverage combinations over five sessions.
The drinks contained varying amounts of vodka and either diet or regular sweetened soda. One drink was just regular soda alone. The researchers then measured the alcohol concentrations in the participants’ breaths for three hours. They found higher concentrations of alcohol on the breaths of the participants when they drank the mixed beverages containing diet soda. For a low amount of alcohol, the researchers found breath alcohol concentrations were about 22 per cent higher when participants had their beverages mixed with diet soda rather than regular soda.