Background: Alcohol is often mixed with various nonalcoholic beverages. While consumption of food with alcohol will decrease peak breath alcohol concentrations (BrAC), recent evidence has suggested that mixing alcohol with diet beverages can result in higher BrAC when compared with mixing the same amount of alcohol with sweetened beverages. The purpose of this study was to examine this phenomenon using two different moderate alcohol doses. Methods: Twenty participants (10 males) attended five sessions where they received 1 of 5 doses (0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 ml/kg of diet soda, 0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 of regular soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg diet soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg regular soda, and a placebo beverage). BrAC was recorded repeatedly up to 180 min after dose administration. Results: Participants had significantly higher BrAC when the mixer was diet as compared to regular for both alcohol dose conditions. No gender differences were observed. Conclusions: Mixing alcohol with diet beverages can result in higher BrAC when compared to the same amount of alcohol administered with a similar sweetened beverage. Individuals who consume diet mixers with alcohol may reduce caloric intake but increase the harms associated with higher BrACs.
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