So have you ever wondered about the difference in efficacy of a Coke and Rum vs. a Diet Coke and Rum? Wonder no more. Apparently, diet drinks sweetened with articifial sweeteners like Splenda or Aspartame will make you drunker faster.
During the study, “subjects” downed a 478-calorie orange-flavored vodka concoction on day one. The second day, they boozed on the same amount of alcohol coupled with a diet mixer containing only 225 calories. When researchers measured the rate of stomach emptying, they found that when stomachs were filled with diet-alcohol concoctions, they emptied in 15.3 minutes compared with 21.1 minutes for the sugar-sweetened elixir. Peak blood alcohol concentration was also significantly higher with the diet drink than the sugar-sweetened variety.
“Some research with artificial sweeteners show that the brain ‘thinks’ there is a sugar load coming and prepares the body by releasing insulin,” explains Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., of the American Dietetic Association. The result: fewer calories and faster absorption of alcohol. And when you drink on an empty stomach, the effect is even more pronounced. (source)