Artificial Sweeteners Intensify the Kick of Alcohol

Australian researchers recently uncovered one more reason you should stay away from soft drinks -- specifically those of the diet variety spiked with unnatural artificial sweeteners -- and energy drinks when mixing them with any kind of alcohol.

Artificially sweetened drinks like Diet Coke and Red Bull contaminated with Splenda and aspartame concentrate and elevate the amount of alcohol absorption in the body, resulting in higher blood alcohol levels, by emptying the stomach faster.

Using ultrasound technology, scientists tested their theory on eight patients who consumed a drink made from vodka and a sugar-sweetened orange drink one day and the same amount of alcohol with a diet soft drink the next. Stomachs held onto the beverage mixed with a diet drink about six minutes less than those sweetened with a regular soda.

Perhaps, it's the combination of alcohol, artificial sweeteners and caffeine that makes all the difference. In any event, you're far better off avoiding alcohol altogether despite the debatable benefits and soft drinks of all kinds, and sticking to pure, fresh water.

MSNBC May 23, 2006

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