Hangovers and Alcohol Breath: Why Should You Avoid Mixing Different Alcoholic Drinks, Cocktails with Diet Soda

Dec 01, 2015 10:03 AM EST | By Denise Valerie Uychiat

If you're fond of mixing drinks, and by mixing we don't mean a cocktail concoction, you should put a stop to it right now. A previous study revealed that it's best to avoid beer and wine on the same night as this can cause a nasty hangover.

Have you felt like your tongue is so thick, you think it's swollen twice its size? Or throwing up in the mornings after a night of partying and yes, mixing your beer and wine while gyrating to the latest disco music? Chances are the alcohol mix disrupted your immune system, causing nausea, fatigue and a splitting headache. 

It's safe to say that "the higher the alcohol content, and the faster you drink it, the worse the hangover." However, another study revealed that "hangovers can't be blamed on mixing drinks." The key is still to drink moderately, and avoid consuming alcohol when you feel that you've had enough. 

On the other hand, a recent study claimed that people who mix alcohol and diet sodas are more likely to have higher concentration on alcohol in their breath.

Researchers of the new study explained in Drug and Alcohol Dependence that people who drank vodka mixed with diet soda had higher alcohol level on their breath than those who just drank it with a regular soda.

Amy Stamates of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights and the lead researcher of the study said that prevention materials must have information like this on there so people know what to avoid in a mixed drink, and so they won't risk themselves of having a high breath alcohol concentrations. In a previous research, the results were familiar but the findings were not really applicable to real-life situation, the researchers added.

For this study, the researchers had 10 men and 10 women between the ages 21 and 30 drink five different mixed beverages over 5 sessions. The drinks had different amounts of vodka and either diet or regular sweetened soda. And one drink was just a plain regular soda. After the subjects drank the mixed drinks, the researchers measured the alcohol concentration in their breaths for three hours.

The results found higher concentration of alcohol on those who drank the beverage containing diet soda. For the drinks with low amount of alcohol, they found that the concentration of alcohol on the subjects' breaths were almost 22% higher when they had their beverages mixed with diet soda rather than regular soda.  The researchers discovered larger amount of alcohol with a breath alcohol concentration about 25% higher in drinks made with diet soda.

Even though the results showed no difference by gender, the researchers say the findings may be specifically linked to young women, who are usually using diet beverages in their mixed drinks.

Dr. Chris Rayner, a gastroenterologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, told Reuters Health that gastric emptying may bet the reason for higher alcohol concentration in the participants' breaths. In a study before, Dr. Rayner found that alcohol left the stomach and went into the bloodstream faster when people used diet drinks in their mixed beverages than those who just used sweetened regular drinks.

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