Coke Zero vs Diet Coke – What’s The Difference?

Coke Zero Vs Diet Coke

The recent fad of Coke Zero and Diet Coke has created a fuss in the market. People who are health conscious often look for options that can keep their diet healthy. In the quest, switching from regular Coke to diet or zero Coke has been observed. 

But what’s better, and what’s the difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke?

In this article, we will learn about Coke Zero vs Diet Coke and take note of their nutritional composition. Also, we’ll compare their taste and know the potential side effects of the two. 

Usually, people consume Coke Zero or Diet Coke to reduce their sugar intake, knowing the fact that both of them contain artificial sweeteners. It makes both these drinks come under scrutiny. 

When the company already had Diet Coke on its shelf, claiming that it is healthy, what’s the use of launching another one with the tag ‘zero’? Is it healthier than the former? 

Let’s find out!

Coke Zero Vs Diet Coke Ingredients

Here’s a comparison table of the ingredients in Coke Zero and Diet Coke:

IngredientCoke ZeroDiet Coke
Carbonated waterYesYes
Caramel colorYesYes
Phosphoric acidYesYes
Potassium benzoateYes (to protect taste)Yes (to protect taste)
Natural flavorsYesYes
Potassium citrateYesNot listed
Acesulfame potassiumYesNot listed
Citric acidNot listedYes

Besides these, Coke Zero and Diet Coke both contain the amino acid phenylalanine, making the drink unsuitable for people with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body.

Now, let’s take a look into the nutritional composition of the two. 

Coke Zero Vs Diet Coke Nutrition Facts

Here’s a comparison table of the nutritional information for a 12-ounce (355-mL) serving of Coke Zero and Diet Coke.

NutrientCoke ZeroDiet Coke
Total Fat (g)00
Sodium (mg)4040
Total Carbohydrates (g)00
Total Sugars (g)00
Protein (g)00
Potassium (mg)60Not listed
Caffeine (mg)3446

As the table indicates, both drinks lack added sugar as they use artificial sweeteners instead. You can find Coke Zero in different flavors like-

  • Cherry
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Orange Vanilla
  • Vanilla

If you are concerned about its caffeine content, fret not, as the company has also launched its caffeine-free versions of Coke Zero and Diet Coke on the market. 

In the case of Diet Coke, you can find only two flavors-

  • Ginger lime
  • Feisty cherry

Major Differences Between Diet Coke vs Coke Zero

While most of the ingredients and nutritional values are the same in both drinks, the two differ in the type of sweetener, caffeine content, and taste. 

Sweetener: Diet Coke contains aspartame as its sweetener, whereas Coke Zero has both aspartame (as a primary sweetener) and acesulfame potassium (as a secondary sweetener). Both these ingredients are calorie-free and do not raise blood sugar levels in the body. 

Caffeine: The content of caffeine in Coke Zero is less as compared to Diet Coke. However, the level is less than the recommended daily caffeine limit, which is 400 mg per day for adults. 

Thus, this slight variation in ingredients doesn’t make any significant difference in the two drinks. 

Taste: Even though the ingredients are almost the same in both Diet Coke and Coke Zero, it is believed that their taste would be the same too. However, some people swear that Coke Zero is the real deal and closest to the real Coca-Cola flavor. 

It could be attributed to the acesulfame potassium in Coke Zero, which leaves you with a better aftertaste. 

On the contrary, some people believe that Diet Coke is more like regular Coca-Cola and prefer it over Coke Zero. So, it could be based on individual preference. 

Which is Better Diet Coke or Coke Zero?

Which is Better Diet Coke vs. Coke Zero

Since there are slight differences between the two, concluding one superior to another doesn’t make true sense. From their ingredients to nutritional composition, both are marked the same, so neither is healthier than the other. 

However, it is important to remember that diet drinks, irrespective of how well they may sound, are not considered healthy. Therefore, taking in moderation is the right choice. 

Whether you like Diet Coke more or Coke Zero will depend upon your choice. For some, the former is better in taste than the latter, and vice versa. 

Are There Any Side Effects?

When taken in moderation, none of the drinks pose any health risk. However, if you have the tendency to increase blood sugar or high sensitivity to caffeine, even a small amount of artificial sweetener and caffeine can hamper your health. 

The daily recommended dose of caffeine for adults is 400 mg, pertaining to around 10 to 10 cans (355 ml) of Diet Coke and Coke Zero. 

Some rare side-effects of both drinks are attributed to their ingredients, aspartame and acesulfame potassium. It is because they are considered carcinogenic in some studies, whereas other research denies this fact. 

People who are highly health conscious consider avoiding food and beverages that contain aspartame and acesulfame potassium, which is again their individual choice. 

Here, it is important to mention that both aspartame and acesulfame potassium are considered safe by the FDA. 


The debate about Coke Zero vs Diet Coke will never end. 

Whether they are healthy or cause any health issues depends on how much you consume. Anything in moderation will not harm the body, even if it contains sugar. 

However, people who don’t want to add sugar can certainly go for Diet Coke and Coke Zero because, irrespective of their artificial sweeteners, they are still healthier options than regular Coke.

Nutritionally, both the drinks are the same. As far as their taste is concerned, you may like Diet Coke more than Coke Zero or vice versa, according to your taste preferences. 

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