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Study: Alcohol, Diet Soda Risky Mix

(CNN) — When people mix diet instead of regular soda with their alcohol, they get more intoxicated, according to a new study.

Researchers recruited 16 college students and had the young adults drink vodka with regular soda at a strength that was the equivalent of four mixed drinks. They took a breathalyzer test and passed.

On another day the students drank the same amount of vodka but with diet soda. But instead of passing the breathalyzer test, they failed. They were above the legal limit for alcohol and didn’t know it.

Why would alcohol with diet soda get you more drunk faster?

“There’s no sugar in the diet drink, so it goes through the stomach a lot faster. The diet mixture kind of fast forwards the digestion process of sending the alcohol into the bloodstream,” said Cecile Marczinski, Northern Kentucky University Assistant Professor.

This can compromise your health.

“Higher blood alcohol concentrations–they affect your brain. They affect your liver,” Marczinski said.

If you’re drinking, whether out on the town or closer to home, there are steps you can take to keep from getting too intoxicated.

– Drink in moderation
– Eat food either before or while you drink
– Alternate non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
– Choose regular mixers, not diet

And don’t forget to enlist a designated driver.

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