Good news for all you vodka and whisky drinkers. Apparently, by drinking diet soft-drinks with your spirit instead of regular. During the scientific study, participants who drunk diet soda saw their breath alcohol concentration levels up to 18% higher than those who didn't.
I normally drink regular coca-cola with spirits though I have had Jack Daniels with diet coke in the past as one of my friends drinks that; and it is always easier to say to a barman “4 jacks and diet coke” rather than “one jack and diet coke, two jack and coke, one jack and lemonade”. Simplification is key when they are a lot of you drinking together (though women rarely subscribe to this theory).
What I found interesting was that the difference in the breath concentration level when drinking a diet drink could be the difference of being within the legal limit, or getting charged and spending the night with a hairy man who needs love.
The reasoning behind diet drinks getting you more drunk seems reasonable:
The research also prompts an entirely different question—why do diet mixers increase intoxication in the first place? The researchers believe it’s because the body recognizes regular sodas (which include sugar) as food, which slows down the rate of alcohol absorption into the blood. Diet sodas, on the other hand, only include aspartame, which the body does not treat as food, so the alcohol mixed in gets absorbed much more quickly.
My only concern with this study is that only 16 participants took part in the experiment. I would love to see this test done on a larger sample (50-100 people) to see if the results were the same.
So next time one of your friends is making fun of you for using a diet soft-drink (soda) with your vodka or whisky, point out to them that you will get drunker and save some money along the way :)
* Hat tip to MattCMMA from Black Belt Forums for bringing this to my attention.