Diet Coke Vs. Coke Zero: Nutritionally the Same or Different?
As people have become more aware of the dangers of eating too much sugar, soft drink companies have come up with alternative blends using different types of sweeteners. As one of the most popular brand names on the planet, Coca-Cola is a great example.
If you are a classic cola lover looking to limit the amount of sugar and calories in your diet, you’ve got 2 different choices of bubbly beverages: Diet and Zero. The alternative products taste sweet but do not increase blood sugar in the way that traditional sodas made with regular sugar do.
Differences between Diet Coke Vs Coke Zero
First, some background: how and why did Coca-Cola invent these alternative drinks?
Coca-Cola’s first diet soda was called TaB. It was invented in 1963, and its main selling point was that it was low-calorie: its name was a reference to keeping a tab on one’s weight. Tab was successful, but the company’s executives thought they could do better by making a new diet drink that used the popular brand name.
In 1982, a new beverage was launched with an emphasis on flavor instead of weight loss: “Just for the taste of it, Diet Coke!”
However, not everyone liked the flavor, which tasted quite different from traditional Coca-Cola. Plus, over the years, it was thought that the word “diet” might be pushing away certain markets, especially men.
In 2005, Coca-Cola Zero was introduced as a new type of sugar-free soda with the same taste as the regular classic Coca-Cola. So, aside from the name, the main difference is the flavor. They’re made using different recipes.
Ingredients in Coke Zero vs. Diet Coke
They both contain:
- carbonated water
- caramel color
- phosphoric acid
- potassium benzoate
- natural flavors
The Diet version has 1 extra ingredient, and that is citric acid. The Zero kind has 2 extra ingredients for flavor in addition to the sweetener aspartame: acesulfame potassium (another type of sweetener) and potassium citrate, which has a sour flavor.
If you follow a low-carb diet, you may be wondering whether these sweeteners can affect ketosis. PlanKetogenic does a comparison of which type of Coke is better for keto if that’s something you’re interested in. Keep in mind that both types of soda may be sweetened differently depending on the part of the world in which they’re manufactured and sold.
The names also change in different countries: the Diet drink is sometimes known as Light, while the Zero version is sometimes called No Sugar or Zero Sugar.
Diet Coke Nutrition Facts
This soda is made with aspartame as a sweetener and does not contain sugar, proteins, carbs, fats, or calories.
Aspartame gives the Diet drink a sweet taste without adding sugar or calories. If you’re interested in the safety aspects of aspartame, the FDA has a page about this topic that you may want to check out.
In nutritional review, 1 can of Diet Coke (12 oz or 355 ml) has:
- 0 calories
- 0 proteins
- 0 fats
- 0 carbs
- 40 mg sodium
- 46 mg caffeine
Usually, it is made with aspartame as a sweetener, but sometimes, in some countries, you can find Diet Coke with Splenda (a type of sucralose that also does not raise the blood sugar).
Coke Zero Nutrition Facts
This soda is made with 3 different flavor elements: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and potassium citrate.
In nutritional review, 1 can of Coke Zero (12 oz or 355 ml) has:
- 0 calories
- 0 proteins
- 0 fats
- 0 carbs
- 40 mg of sodium
- 60 mg of potassium
- 34 mg of caffeine
Are Coke Zero And Diet Coke the Same?
It is official; they are NOT the same. The TASTE is the main difference why both types of sugar-free and calorie-free Coca-Cola drinks still exist on the market. The Diet version has more caffeine and a more intense and slightly different flavor. Coca-Cola Zero maintains the original taste of the classic beverage and contains less caffeine.
Do Coke Zero and Diet Coke Have Any Health Benefits?
These sodas do not raise your blood sugar, which can be a benefit. Having stable blood sugar levels can help prevent weight gain as well as fluctuations in mood and energy.
Another benefit is that they are calorie-free. This can also help prevent weight gain.
However, you should also know the side effects that can be caused by too much intake. Both Diet and Zero varieties contain amino acid phenylalanine, which is harmful to people with phenylketonuria. In addition, a high intake of caffeine is connected with signs like headache, insomnia, and restlessness.
That is why the USDA recommends that you should not consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day. This is equal to 9 to 10 cans of 335ml (12oz) Diet/Zero Coca-Cola. In any case, these drinks do not contain any nutrients that are beneficial for your health. It is best to drink sodas in moderation and try replacing them with drinking water instead. And if you’re thinking that clear-colored sodas like Sprite are better for you, that’s actually not the case. Water is the healthiest drink.
How Much Diet Coke or Coke Zero Can I Drink In One Day?
Because of the caffeine and aspartame daily limit, there is a safe amount of Diet Coca-Cola or Zero that you should not go over.
FDA recommends that you should not have more than 40mg/kg of aspartame in a day. That is equal to 14 cans of either of these beverages, for regular 12 oz (355 ml) cans. Also, the daily caffeine recommendations are 400mg which is equal to 9 or 10 cans of these drinks. These types of beverages are suitable for refreshment only if you drink them in moderation and occasionally.
These two alternative beverages were invented to reduce people’s intake of sugar and calories. Sugar is a top contributing factor for many illnesses in the world.
The main difference between Diet Coke and Zero Coke is their taste. They contain different artificial sweeteners that allow you to drink soda without increasing your blood sugar level.
Soda drinkers have divided opinions about which they prefer. Coke Zero has less caffeine, so that may help you make your decision. But only you can decide which one you think tastes better!