The Checkup: Why a Rum and Diet Coke Makes You Drunker Faster

Why diet drinks as cocktail mixers may be the least healthy choice.

• If a rum and diet Coke is your go-to happy hour drink, listen up: It might be making you more drunk than you think. A new study found that diet mixers intensify the effects of alcohol compared to full-sugar mixers. Why? Because calories slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol, and since diet drinks, by definition, have almost no calories, alcohol mixed with diet drinks absorbs faster. Meaning: cocktails made with diet mixers make you drunker faster. Researchers made the discovery by testing the breath-alcohol concentration—the same thing breathalyzers measure—of subjects who consumed full-sugar cocktails and diet cocktails. Not only did the diet cocktail drinkers have a higher breath-alcohol concentration than the sugar-cocktail drinkers after 40 minutes of drinking, the those who drank diet cocktails also performed worse on a computer test—even though they didn’t notice feeling any drunker. Kinda scary, right? Makes me think the extra calories, in this case, might actually be worth it. Read more over at HealthDay.

• One point for exercise: A new study fund that staying fit in your 40s could help stave off dementia when you’re older. More here.

• Runners, rejoice! Runner’s World reports on a study which found that runners have about half the risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacement as walkers. Even more: “Extra hours of non-running exercises increased the rates of OA and HR where running had reduced them,” RW reports. More here.

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