HealthMixing alcohol with sugar substitutes could spike breath alcohol levels, warns study

Mixing alcohol with sugar substitutes could spike breath alcohol levels, warns study

What should you not mix with alcohol?
What should you not mix with alcohol?
Images source: © Licensor | By Eve Livesey
6:45 AM EST, January 15, 2024

A research team from the University of Kentucky conducted an experiment to identify possible pharmacokinetic differences between alcohol mixed with sugar-sweetened beverages and those combined with sugar substitutes, such as sweeteners.

Detrimental combination and liver toxicity

The study involved twenty male and female participants who were split into two control groups. The first group consumed alcoholic beverages mixed with lemonade that used a sugar substitute. The second group used lemonade sweetened with traditional sugar. In both instances, the amount of additional alcohol was consistent.

Surprisingly, the results of the study showed that the group who consumed the sugar-free drinks had a higher level of alcohol concentration in exhaled air. However, this did not specifically correlate with an increased experience of alcohol euphoria or other indications of excessive alcohol consumption.

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In other words, while the presence of alcohol in the bodies of those who drank alcohol with the sugar substitute was higher than the group that mixed alcohol with sugar, the level of intoxication was the same. How the participants felt the next day was not included in the study, but it is worth noting that a higher level of blood alcohol concentration often coincides with a more severe hangover. However, this is not always the case, as various factors, including genetics, can influence the side effects of alcohol consumption.

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Potential for alcohol addiction

The same Kentucky-based researchers also postulated that consuming alcohol mixed with sugar-substitute sweetened beverages could quicken the development of addiction.

In a journal article published in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research", they underscore the need for more detailed studies. In the interim, it is advised that caution should be exercised with respect to potential hazards linked with consuming diet beverages mixed with alcohol.

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