Ladies, be careful with what you add to your alcoholic drinks, as a feature on TIME says that compared to regular soda, using diet soda in your cocktail mix greatly increases breath-alcohol content (BAC) without leading you to feel more intoxicated.

Researchers worked with 16 young male and female social drinkers who were given three different drinks in three different sessions: a placebo drink with no alcohol, vodka mixed with regular soda, and vodka mixed with diet soda.

The participants were then tested for their reaction time with a computer task, and were surveyed about how drunk they felt and if they could still drive. Those who had diet soda in their mixes reported that they didn't feel too intoxicated, but were in fact already well beyond the safe alcohol limit for driving.

The stomach reacts to regular soda similarly to how it reacts to food due to its sugar content--it breaks down glucose and digests calories. However, since there is little to no presence of natural sugar in diet drinks, the stomach doesn't recognize the need to digest. "It goes right to the small intestine where the most alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream," lead study author Cecile Marczinski says.

If you've been drinking for quite a while and you still can't say if you're at your limit or not, stay put for a few hours until the alcohol has been flushed from your system. Better yet, have a sober friend who can accompany you. The key is to be a responsible drinker--if you can't handle it, don't drink it.

(Photo by Debs via Flickr Creative Commons)

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