Ordering a rum and diet soda may get you drunker more quickly than having a rum with the regular soda, according to a new study. Researchers found that when people mix hard liquor with diet drinks, their breath-alcohol content (BAC) is 18 percent higher than those who pair booze with sugar-sweetened mixers.
Scientists believe diet drinks speed the body’s absorption of alcohol because there’s no sugar to slow digestion down. If you’re watching your calories, lead researcher Cecile Marczinski says it’s okay to have diet cocktails with food, but don’t order one on an empty stomach. “It’s much more harmful to your brain and liver to have a high BAC than it is to have an extra 100 calories in a sweet mixer,” she says.