STOP DRINKING COKE ZERO.
Can the most popular “keto-friendly” diet soda be a scam?
Contrary to popular belief, coke zero, diet coke, and other sugar-free diet sodas are far from healthy… We shall explain all.
Look, we’re not saying that you are no longer allowed bubbles on the keto diet but we may be hinting that there are some things you need to know about before you pick your soda!
So hold your horses. You’re not going to believe the dark truth behind these fizzy drinks.
In this article, we’re going to answer one of the most popular questions we get asked on the keto diet. Is coke zero keto-friendly?
Brief History Of Coca-Cola
Who knew the world’s most popular refreshment was invented by a pharmacist?
First invented in 1886, coca-cola has made history. Although centuries old, Coca-Cola has kept to its originality and its message to spread, fun, happiness, and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. (*)
Coca-Cola was made by chance. The pharmacist, Dr. John S. Pemberton had given up on making medicines and instead, decided to try making his own soda-fountain syrup, now known as Coca-Cola. (*)
Coke Zero was launched in 2005. It was the first-ever mainstream zero sugar, zero-calorie drink.
Later, in 2017, Coke Zero was reformulated and re-named as Coke Zero Sugar. This is because Coca-cola wanted to emphasize more on the coke flavor of Coke Zero with an even less impact on sugar intake.
Coke Zero Sugar has, well, you guessed it, zero grams of carbs, zero sugar, and zero calories. People love it because of its similar flavor to Coca-Cola original, but still unique taste.
The lack of carbs in Coke Zero Sugar makes the drink ideal for the keto diet, the low carb diet, and maintaining and generally lower carb intake.
Does Coke Zero Have Sugar and Carbs?
On the Coca-Cola website, coke zero is listed as a zero sugar, zero-calorie soda. The fact it is a soda means that it contains similar ingredients to most other carbonated drinks.
Why don’t we compare coke zero with a coca-cola classic? Let you see the true benefits it can bring.
Coca-Cola Classic (one 330ml can)
- 140 calories
- 39 grams of sugar
- 39 grams of carbs
Coke Zero Sugar (one 330ml can)
- zero calories
- 0 grams of sugar
- 0 carbs
As you can see, in terms of the best diet sodas for the keto diet, coke zero fits in well with its lack of carbs and calories.
How Is Coke Zero Sugar Sweet?
We know what you’re thinking. How is coke zero so sweet yet has no calories or carbs?
Is it an artificial sweetener? Is it naturally sweetened? We’ll explain.
Let us first look at the ingredients of Coke Zero. From here, we can expand on what they all do just to give you a little insight as to how diet sodas get their taste!
- Carbonated water
- Phosphoric Acid
- Caramel Colouring
- Potassium Benzoate
- Potassium Citrate
- Acesulfame Potassium
We’re going to break these down for you into groups and explain the real story.
You’re going to need to know this. So pay attention.
Aspartame and acesulfame potassium are the main sweeteners used in Coke Zero Sugar. Both of these sweeteners have been approved by the FDA as safe sugar substitutes, although studies have shown controversy to both. (*)
Aspartame is made from two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. (*)
Although phenylalanine has been shown to help those suffering from mental health conditions, it has been linked to promoting gastrointestinal side effects and trigger allergic reactions.
Some people are born with a genetic condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). This predisposes those individuals to excessive phenylalanine in the body which can lead to brain disorders and seizures. (*)
The studies were trying to link the use of aspartame to cancer risk, but the result suggested that there was no definitive link. Some people however are still skeptical about the use of sweeteners regularly.
Many researchers claim that acesulfame potassium is harmful. These researchers claim that artificial sweeteners can cause metabolic syndrome which disrupts the natural metabolic process in the body and alter the regulation of blood sugar in the body. (*)
Although safety-approved by the FDA, a lot of countries are still skeptical about the use of aspartame and acesulfame potassium because of the inadequate toxicity base. (*)
Are Sweeteners Keto-Friendly?
Aspartame is the most prevalent artificial sweetener in the united states, and the most used in low calorie, low carb foods.
One packet of aspartame contains around 0.9 g of net carbs and less than one calorie, rendering it keto-friendly as it will not knock you out of ketosis. However, the negative effects of aspartame categorize the artificial sweetener as ‘dirty keto’.
This is not the worst part.
Aspartame has been shown to spike your insulin levels, which may lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. This is the exact opposite effect we are trying to achieve by doing the keto diet.
Crazy right? This one ingredient in coke zero can truly change our keto progress.
Acesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener found in most diet sodas. It is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar and is used often to add a sweet taste to beverages without the added calories.(*)
It works by tricking your taste receptors to take in acesulfame potassium instead of sugar, which gives us the sweet taste.
Dirty keto is a term used within the keto community which suggests that although a certain food or product contains sufficient macros for the keto diet (low carb, high fat), they are still unhealthy and can cause harm to the human body in later years.
This, therefore, suggests that artificial sweeteners are not keto-friendly as they are dirty keto.
Let’s get to the bottom line of all this.
Are Artificial Sweeteners In Coke Zero Sugar Bad For Me?
In truth, yes.
Think of it this way – anything with the word ‘artificial’ in it, is usually bad for the health.
Using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar does not spike your blood sugar, however, studies have shown that they could disrupt insulin release which can affect those with type 2 diabetes. (*)
It has also been proven that using excessive artificial sweeteners in your diet in pregnancy can lead to your child having more of a sugar craving. (*)
A lot of people have a sweet tooth and therefore find it beneficial to add artificial sweeteners to their diet if they are going through the low carb diet or keto diet.
So, how can I use artificial sweeteners safely?
However, due to the bad effects of these sweeteners, it is more beneficial to use an alternative, keto-friendly sweetener such as sugar alcohol sweeteners like stevia.
Are Diet Coke and Coke Zero The Same?
Both diet coke and coke zero are made up of the same ingredients. They also both contain zero calories and zero sugar. The main difference between the two is that coke zero contains more phosphoric acid than diet coke.
Phosphoric acid is added to carbonated drinks to increase tartness to balance out the excessive sweetness from artificial sweeteners.
The USDA has a rule which specifies that ingredients listed on food products must be listed according to their decreasing quantity. (*)
Diet coke, like coke zero, will also not kick you out of ketosis due to its zero carb and calorie content.
Alternative Fizzy Beverages For Keto
You’re scared to lift that can of coke zero to your mouth, aren’t you?
Why don’t we ease the tension and let you know about other alternative beverages which contain fewer artificial sweeteners and are more keto-friendly than sugar-free coke?
- Sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime
- Black coffee (for that caffeine kick)
- Green Tea
- Zevia – a keto-friendly carbonated beverage that lacks harmful artificial sweeteners
- Virgils zero sugar soda which is known to not kick you out of ketosis
Keto-friendly diet sodas and carbonated water are free of net carbs. You can also try using a soda stream to make your own carbonated beverages using water and other keto-friendly ingredients at home!
Try to choose soft drinks that are flavored with natural sweeteners such as stevia as opposed to using artificial sweeteners.
Conclusion: Is Coke Zero Keto Friendly?
The bottom line of the big debate regarding ‘is Coke Zero keto-friendly is that no, it is not keto-friendly.
Yes, coke zero is ok for the keto diet. It has zero grams of carbs per can and is not likely to kick you out of ketosis. However, because of the artificial sweeteners used such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium, coke zero is more dirty keto than keto-friendly.
Coke zero can also increase sugar cravings which ultimately will lead to weight gain.
What is keto about that?
Coke zero is a good, refreshing drink to have if you are concerned about weight loss and reducing your carb intake. However, there are better and more keto-friendly alternative carbonated beverages out there that will help keep you in ketosis and not affect your health.