’Tis the season to raise a glass to good friends and good times, but it’s also a month packed with to-do’s, and who wants to be slowed down by post-celebratory headaches? Not you! To ward off next-day side effects, researchers in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research suggest avoiding diet soda as a mixer. In their study, cocktails made with diet soda sent subjects’ BrAC (breath alcohol concentration) 18 percent higher than drinks made with regular soda. “When alcohol is mixed with a sugar-sweetened beverage, the stomach treats it like food, keeping it there to begin digesting it,” says study author Cecile A. Marczinski, Ph.D. “But when alcohol is mixed with a diet drink, the stomach sends it to the small intestine more quickly,” and so the intoxicating effects are felt faster. What’s more, artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain. Your best bet: Order a “regular” mixer or ask for fresh juice to get extra nutrients.
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