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Alcohol in diet soda gets you drunker faster

Wednesday - 2/6/2013, 9:43am  ET

WASHINGTON - Those trying to lose weight may find it helpful to cut back on calories. But if you are planning to tip a few back at the bar, diet soda may not be the safest option.

Drinkers who mix their alcohol with diet soda become intoxicated faster with considerably higher breath alcohol content, according to researchers at Northern Kentucky University.

"People tend to think that cutting calories is important, but when you're drinking alcohol, calories help slow down the release of alcohol to your liver and brain," Cecile Marczinski, an assistant professor in the department of psychological science at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, tells U.S. News & World Report.

Drinks containing sugar undergo a delay in the stomach while diet, sugarless sodas are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, the research found.

Researchers found the blood alcohol content up to 18 percent higher in drinkers who choose diet mixers than those who stick with the regular sodas.

The study is published in the journal "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research."

Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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