Tipsy Tip

14 November, 2012

How quickly alcohol goes to your head depends on how fast it leaves your stomach. And the artificial sweetener in diet mixers or diet versions of popular ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages causes the alcohol to pass through the stomach and into the bloodstream more quickly than nondiet mixers and beverages. Finally -- a reason to be naughty instead of stick-to-your-diet nice!

When Australian researchers compared their version of a diet screwdriver -- an artificially sweetened, orange-flavored vodka drink -- with a sugar-sweetened one, they weren't surprised that alcohol in the diet drink went to the study subjects' heads fastest. But they were struck by the impact: Blood levels after the diet beverage were so high that the person wouldn't be legally able to drive. Those who had the same amount of a sugary drink had a blood alcohol level within a legal range.

Of course, you should never drive after any drinking. And if you'd like to keep your wits about you at the office holiday party, indulge in the nondiet drinks and skip the gingerbread and sugar cookies.


SOURCES: Artificially sweetened versus regular mixers increase gastric emptying and alcohol absorption. Wu, K. L., Chaikomin, R., Doran, S., Jones, K. L., Horowitz, M., Rayner, C. K., American Journal of Medicine 2006 Sep;119(9):802-804.

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