What is the difference between Coke Zero Sugar and Diet Coke?

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Coca-Cola Zero Sugar (Coke Zero Sugar) is the successor to the now discontinued Coca-Cola Zero (Coke Zero). Its selling point is it’s supposed to taste closer to regular Coca-Cola (Coke) than Diet Coca-Cola (Diet Coke) does. I drink it at times and I do think it takes a little closer to the original Coke. It kind of tastes like a Coke that has been sitting out for a few hours.

Coke Zero Sugar vs Coke Zero vs Diet Coke
Not bad, Mediocre, and Nope!

There are ingredient differences between the two products, but they are very minor. It’s important to know that the ingredients on food/drink labels are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest amount. This means that the first ingredient listed is what the manufacturer uses the most of. So, carbonated water is the most used ingredient in both sodas.

Here are the ingredients for each soda:

DIET COKE

Carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid, caffeine.

COKE ZERO SUGAR

Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine.

Both contain the following ingredients:

1. Carbonated water
2. Caramel color – Gives Coke its brownish color.
3. Aspartame – An artificial sweetener a/k/a Nutrasweet and Equal.
4. Phosphoric acid – Gives soda a tangy flavor and also prevents the growth of mold and bacteria.
5. Potassium benzoate – A preservative.
6. Natural flavors – Coca Cola’s secret recipe.
7 Caffeine – Stimulant.

DIFFERENCES
  1.  Coke Zero Sugar lists aspartame after phosphoric acid, while Coke Zero Sugar has it the other way. This means Diet Coke has more aspartame in it than phosphoric acid. Coke Zero Sugar is the opposite.
  2. Diet Coke uses citric acid as a stabilizer, while Coke Zero Sugar uses potassium citrate.
  3. Coke Zero Sugar uses acesulfame potassium (a/k/a Sunnett) and aspartame as its sweeteners. Diet Coke uses only aspartame.
  4. Coke Zero Sugar has 25 mg of sodium in each 12-ounce can. Diet Coke has 40 mg.
  5. Coke Zero Sugar has 34 mg of caffeine in each 12-ounce can. Diet Coke has 46 mg.

If that isn’t confusing enough, there is also Coca-Cola Life, which is a lower-calorie alternative to regular Coke, but it’s not calorie free like Coke Zero Sugar and Diet Coke. It has 40% fewer calories than regular Coke. Its main difference is it partially uses stevia in addition to cane sugar as a sweetener.

So, the biggest difference seems to come from the “natural flavors” and different artificial sweeteners used. Ingredients that make up the “natural flavors” are not independently listed because they are the secret and proprietary recipe that gives Coca-Cola products their distinctive flavor.

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. The original Coca-Cola contained about 9 mg of cocaine per glass.
  2. Coca-Cola sells an alcoholic drink in Japan.
  3. The name Coca-Cola refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves and kola nuts.
  4. A 12-ounce can of Coke has approximately 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 teaspoons of sugar.
  5. The original Coca-Cola recipe is kept in a bank vault in Atlanta, Georgia.
  6. Mexicans drink more Coca-Cola products than any other country in the world.
INTERESTING VIDEO

INTERESTING SOURCES
  1. HuffingtonPost.com – Here’s The Difference Between Diet Coke, Coke Zero And Coke Zero Sugar
  2. PopSugar.com – Diet Coke vs. Coke Zero Sugar: Which Sugar-Free Soda Is the Healthier Option?
  3. FactRetriever.com – Coca-Cola Facts

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Very interesting, and I like the interesting facts section at the end. This article confirms why I don’t like to drink soda and especially not diet soda.