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Diet Sodas and Alcohol

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Lisa Marie
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 4:46 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is from AOL. I'm sure the researchers are wondering why this is. And I am certain Carol would be able to explain it to them!

Do Diet Drinks Get You Drunker?
By Amy Paturel, M.S., M.P.H.

It's a known fact that many things that taste good are bad for you. Hence, knocking back a favorite libation sweetened with calorie-free syrups, sodas or flavorings is standard operating procedure for most dieters. But according to a group of Australian researchers (and eight tipsy guys), booze mixed with artificial sweeteners is a recipe for rapid intoxication.

During the study, "subjects" downed a 478-calorie orange-flavored vodka concoction on day one. The second day, they boozed on the same amount of alcohol coupled with a diet mixer containing only 225 calories. When researchers measured the rate of stomach emptying, they found that when stomachs were filled with diet-alcohol concoctions, they emptied in 15.3 minutes compared with 21.1 minutes for the sugar-sweetened elixir. Peak blood alcohol concentration was also significantly higher with the diet drink than the sugar-sweetened variety.

"Some research with artificial sweeteners show that the brain 'thinks' there is a sugar load coming and prepares the body by releasing insulin," explains Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., of the American Dietetic Association. The result: fewer calories and faster absorption of alcohol. And when you drink on an empty stomach, the effect is even more pronounced.

If you want to stay svelte and still party it up at a backyard barbecue (without getting giddy in the process), eat a light meal before having a drink with a diet mixer or choose a low-calorie snack with your drink, suggests Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., M.A., R.D., author of 'Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy.' Better yet, go for a wine spritzer (it's free of artificial sweeteners) instead of a shot mixed with diet soda. Cheers!

Amy Paturel is a freelance writer for several publications, including Cooking Light and Health, and holds a Master of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Public Health.

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