Adding a diet mixer to your alcohol could be getting you drunker, faster, researchers say.

In a soon-to-be-published study, researchers mixed vodka with a lemon/lime soda. Some mixers were standard, sugar-packed varieties, others were a diet variety.

They found blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 18 per cent higher in those who consumed the diet drink compared to those who guzzled the sugar-filled beverage.

"Alcohol, consumed with a diet mixer, results in a higher BAC as compared to the same amount of alcohol consumed with a sugar-sweetened mixer," said Dr Cecile Marczinski, the cognitive psychologist who wrote the study.

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Sugar affects the absorption of alcohol in to the bloodstream from the stomach, Medical Daily reported.

"In other words, it is not that diet soda accelerates intoxication. Rather, the sugar in regular soda slows down the rate of alcohol absorption," said Dr Dennis Thombs, the author of a similar study based at a Texas university.

According to Dr Marczinski's paper, due to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, participants on the diet mixers didn't report feeling more impaired or intoxicated. Experts warn this could put them at greater risk of drink driving.

- www.nzherald.co.nz