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Difference Between Diet Coke and Coke Zero

dietcokeBoth ‘Diet Cokes’ and ‘Coke Zero’ are low calorie soft drinks compared to regular coke. Both have similar ingredients which are carbonated purified water, flavour, artificial sweeteners aspartame, acesulphame potassium, preservative and caffeine.

Diet Coke came on market in 1982; preferred by many in America and became the number one sugar-free drink. Diet Coke is also known as ‘Coca-Cola light’ in some countries and it is the No. 3 soft drink in the world. It is preferred by people who want no calories, but plenty of taste. Diet coke comes in many different flavours such as Black Cherry Cola Vanilla, Cola, Cola Green Tea, Cola Lemon, Cola Lemon Lime, Cola Lime, Cola Orange and Cola Raspberry.

But Coke Zero only offers’ Coca-Cola’ taste with zero calories. It is preferred mostly by young adults and it is sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (Ace K).

So overall the only key difference between the two drinks is in the proportions of the ingredients, which actually give different flavour profile.

Coke Zero has 0.5 kilocalories per 100ml while Diet Coke contains 1 calorie. It’s been believed that men are more reluctant to buy diet coke because the word ‘diet’ associated with women. Therefore, to market the product ‘Coke Zero’ been produced to associate masculinity.

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  1. Actually…the difference can be summed up by saying that Coke zero is a “diet” version of Coca-Cola Classic, and Diet Coke retained the now discontinued “New Coke” recipe.

    Coke Zero = low Calorie “Coca Cola Classic”
    Diet Coke = low calorie “New Coke”

    • Additionally, Coke Zero now comes in at least a couple of different flavors as I just purchased a Vanilla, and also a Cherry, flavored Coke Zero.

    • No, Diet Coke is an entirely different formulation which went on the market in 1982, three years before the New Coke fiasco of 1985.

      • You are correct that Diet Coke is not based on New Coke and that it was introduced prior to New Coke’s debut. It was more the other way around.

        The Diet Coke formula was used as the basis of New Coke. One of the prevailing theories is that the Diet Coke flavor was pretty popular and it tasted better than original Coke with the super-sweet High Fructose Corn Syrup that Coca Cola was shifting to in the early/mid-80s.

        The response to New Coke was so negative that they continued working on the formulation and finally came up with a balance with HFCS that tasted pretty close to original coke and this became Coke Classic.

        • Zero Coke in nothing more than New Coke with artificial sweetner. They are probably trying to get rid of the vats of New Coke syrup they were stuck with.

          • Drinking almost any diet or sugarfree softdrinks containing ASPARTAME will significantly increase your chances of liver failure and other various organ diseases if you want cancer it is a known carcinogen they did studies in the 70’s and already knew then that it was going to cause deaths,
            It is just another slow kill weapon released into the food chain on purpose by the elite.

          • That is total Boo-loney

      • No, you are wrong..

        My uncle is the director for the sales in europe for certain countries..
        Coke zero and the diet coke are the same, but men purchase coke zero, women purchase diet coke

    • No, you are wrong, they are both 0 calories, apparently the only difference is TASTE.

  2. And what makes them alike is that both rot teeth, and contain no nutritional value.

    • Well… actually they don’t rot your teeth. There’s no sugar in them. But you are correct, they have zero nutritional value, only taste.

      • the acid in them damages your teeth, whether there’s sugar or not. Trust me, I found out the hard way.

      • The carbonation is bad for your teeth.

      • Actually, the acidity in both these drinks will damage teeth.

        • Actually the main cause of acidity in these drinks is caused by sugar. So bhm is right that they are not as bad for your teeth but no one’s pretending that there aren’t other problems with drinking low sugar fizzy drinks.

          • actually, a friend of mine is and executuve for coke and DIET COKE came out long before ZERO or NEW COKE. NEW COKE is still available in the south and ZERO IS NOT NEW COKE. it is the original coke with no sugar.

          • um, I live in the south and I’ve never heard of such a thing as “new coke”.

          • Both Coke Zero and Diet Coke add Phosphoric Acid to generate a pH just below 5. The added acid is vry strong and will eat away your enamel then your teath. It is the acid that makes it burn a little in your mouth when you drink it and some call it a refreshing feeling. Coke has an exclusion from the federal government from having to have acid placards on their trucks according to the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act (1975) . Coke Zero and Diet Coke have a pH in the range of 2.5 compared to the human body which has a pH around 7.2; Corrosive placards are required for liquids with Ph below 3.5.

  3. Coca Cola light in other countries does not taste like Diet Coke in the US. Coca Cola Light tastes more like Coke Zero. From what I can gather, the taste differences are a result from the sweetners that they use. They do not use the same sweetners in the zero calorie options either in the US or around the world.

  4. Is diet coke is good than coke zero..
    i think soft drinks are not good for health..

  5. I refer to Coke Zero as Crack Zero because it is my drug of chocie. I love it, crave it, consume it by the gallon. HOWEVER….. after a year of being a major consumer of Coke Zero, I have dumped it cold turkey.
    And I did so for one reason- they won’t offer a caffeine version of it. I wrote Coke and inquired thru their PR department if they were going to offer a caffeine version, like they do with Diet Coke. They said they have no plans to do so.
    If you google the words “coke zero caffeine free” you will see a startling large and growing community of Coke Zero fans who have demanded a caffeine free version and when it didnt come, they abandon the drink.
    So now I have fallen in love with Diet Rite. Tastes like Coke Zero but has no caffeine and NO SODIUM!
    Dear Coke, I’ll switch back when the caffeine is gone.

    • well man, get back on the coke zero,
      because now all over europe you can find ”coke zero caffeïne Free”!
      I must say to all of you…even with a bith of a shame… I’m a coke addict !
      I drink a minimum of 2,5 litres a day of coke zero, I’ve been drinking coke from when I was a toddler and am now 34 summers old.
      Now when I drink only water for 1 day, my stomach is all upset until I drink that black gold again… what can I do ?? I already tried and cold turkey won’t work for me…

      • Oh man, it hurts to read your post, lansing.
        Your addiction may have serious repercussions to your health. Ignorance may be bliss, and it’s your body and all, but I’d really recommend to inform yourself a bit about the potential dangers of artificial sweeteners. For instance:

        or just Google a bit. Once you’ve read some non-industry-funded, independent studies on the effects you may think twice before consuming aspartame. I have come to consider it as pure poison and would not drink it if they paid me.

        May the Force be with you!

        • You understand that these websites are as valid as the ones put out by people who believe in the illuminati, contrails, magic foot pads, and lizard people, right? There are no studies involved. These are wack-jobs who will believe any conspiracy being fed to them. The actual studies have found no poisonous results. Sure, no soft drink is good for you, but who the hell expects it to be? I’m pretty sure the people hung up on how bad soft drinks are, don’t eat a properly balanced diet with the full amount of fruits and vegetables. I wouldn’t be in least bit surprised if these same people partake of tobacco or marijuana-both of which are validly poisonous substances.
          Instead of reading websites put out by people with crazy agendas, read the ones put out by actual scientific entities.
          On the other hand, I don’t often drink sugar-free stuff because I’m also scared of the possibility of cancer. But that’s mainly based on the fact that the original fake sweetener (saccharine) was in use in my childhood, and that one actually does have proven toxic effects.
          Vaccines don’t cause diseases either, but lots of people will buy that propaganda, too.

          • “I wouldn’t be in least bit surprised if these same people partake of tobacco or marijuana-both of which are validly poisonous substances.”

            You know you’re dealing with a sophomore, when she is using words like “validly”.

            Lots of substances are “poisonous”. Doesn’t mean that using them every now and then will kill you.

            “Instead of reading websites put out by people with crazy agendas, read the ones put out by actual scientific entities.”

            Once, people thought that Ignaz Semmelweis had a “crazy agenda”. LOL.

            “Vaccines don’t cause diseases either, but lots of people will buy that propaganda, too.”

            I’m sure those women that died as a result of getting HPV vaccines would disagree, but they can’t.

            Protip: there’s a reason vaccines have to be approved by things like the FDA. They’re dangerous.

      • I too LOVE coke zero. Before coke zero I drank diet coke.. I also liked the diet coke made with splenda.. but I haven’t seen it in a while. I have been drinking cokes (usually all diet types) since I was 16 years old. I am now 26. But when I was 20, I decided I HAD to drink more water. SOO here’s what I do, and hopefully this will help you. For every coke zero I have the next drink has to be water. So I alternate every other drink.

        • Love the idea! Thanks

        • I live in the Chicago metro-area, midwestern North America, and have seen both Diet Coke (with Aspartame as noted in the nutrition label) and Coke with Splenda (with the Splenda logo in bold on the box next to the Diet Coke labeling) in the same isle at the grocery stores. The Splenda is of course also listed in the nutrition label as well.
          The most recent studies I have read is that they are still studying artificial sweetners and what effects they have on the body. Thus far it seems that the artificial sweetner with the least problems linked to it is Splenda. It was stated that if you were using arificial sweetners it would be wise to chose Splenda, even then moderation in everything. Additionally Sugar has been recently called a addictive poison by researchers.
          I don’t recall when sugar was introduced to the western world (Europe) but it seems we did fine without it for centuries. Since it was introduced and became plentiful and popular in the west, it seems we’ve become addicted to it and it is added to so many of our foods (of course some foods do produce natural sugars; which are actually no better for you). Try to find foods without sugar on the label!
          From what I’ve seen offered in our local grocers, it would seem Diet Coke with Splenda is only offered in a Cola flavor, while Diet Coke with Aspartame is offered in a few varities; Cherry, Vanilla, Raspberry, Lime, etc. As for Coca-Cola Zero it seems to be offered in Cola and Cherry flavors. Although some of the new burger places in my town now have the fancy soda machines where you can mix your own flavors or even products together. Kinda of cool as I’ve been able to try flavor blends that might not exist in my part of the country.

    • Diet Rite is my favorite!

    • Funny, I got hooked on Diet Coke in the 80’s, and it was love at first taste.
      So I’ve referred to diet Coke as my crack habit because it was instant addiction.

  6. I always thought Coke Zero used sweetners, and Coke Zero used sugars

  7. It’s not just the caffeine and sugar that are a problem. The aspartame (the sugar replacement) is a much bigger problem than both of these. When I occasionally crave a soft drink, I just drink Coke – I’d rather the 7 teaspoons of sugar that my body can at least recognise than the chemicals that my body really doesn’t know how to deal with.

    It’s naive to think that because you’re drinking a sugar free soft drink that it’s ok for your health. It’s not even the lesser of the two evils!

    Better to have these soft drinks occasionally rather than all the time and if you’re addicted then there’s the proof they are a problem for you.

    • I don’t drink either, and avoid Coke (and anything else with sugar) at all costs. The fructose in normal coke (weather it be from sucrose or HFCS) is more poisonous than aspartame. And your body does not recognise it, like you suggest – it bypasses all receptors (and blocks them for normal foods!) and gets processed by your liver into fat, and causes metabolic syndrome. Nutritionists need to get up to date with the latest biochemical research.

      • Anyone pretending to know the facts about the effects of artificially sweetners beyond saying “studies suggest” are either lying or ignorant. For some people having high blood sugar is more of a problem than for others, either way, research the facts yourself and decide if it is right for you.

  8. They both suck b/c they are sweetened with aspartame. Diet Coke with Splenda tastes better (although nothing like Coca-cola classic) and doesn’t cause migraines… and isn’t linked to MS like aspartame is.

  9. does anyone know who the author of this article is?

  10. I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned the real difference yet between Diet Coke and Coke Zero.

    Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame, and Coke Zero appears to be an aspartame/ace-K blend.

    I strongly suspect ace-K is a lot cheaper than aspartame. It also has a very distinct taste to me, but I think a lot of people can not tell the difference.

  11. how many percent is the coke zero made out of the aspartame and the acesulfame potassium?

  12. Aspartame is broken down completely into the following:
    – Aspartic Acid: may possibly cause brain damage in impossibly high quantities, but wouldn’t likely ever reach that high.
    – Phenylalanine: only harmful if you have the genetic disease “phenylketonuria.”
    – Methanol: which is broken down into the following:
    — Formate: can cause blindness and metabolic acidosis, but would require the consumption of between 56 and 159 GALLONS at one time, which would kill from the volume alone, i.e. not possible.
    — Formaldehyde: a known carcinogen yes, but one that is produced in greater quantities by things such as citrus fruits and alcohol.

    Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K) isn’t broken down by the body, but will eventually be flushed as urine (and/or possibly sweat). Studies have shown little to no evidence that Ace K causes cancer or any other health detriments, however the accuracy of said testing HAS been brought into question.

    Whatever combinations of the above may be present, I prefer coke zero to diet coke, and I prefer diet to non-diet sodas in general simply because of the consistency: diet is thin like water, whereas non-diet is thick and syrupy.

    *Some carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, which is known to cause osteoporosis.

    • When i was confirmed as being diabetic type 2 my imediate thoughts was no more alchol.
      Being a vodka/coke drinker in the past and knowing that vodka does not effect my blood sugars
      i tried various other mixers and found that zero coke did not raise my blood sugar readings and
      still had the same taste.

  13. Fantastic guide and suggestions. Looking onward to shed a couple excess weight. I’ll present some feedback immediately after i test this. Regards!

  14. All of the diet colas use a sugar substitute for sweetness. Which sugar substitute has varied over time and brand. Currently Diet Rite is the only non-aspertane version I can find (I am allergic to aspertane).

    All of the ‘zero’ versions of sodas are both sugar substitute and no caffeine.

  15. What is wrong wit u Americans? Its chemicals, it tastes like chemicals and looks like really… Really dirty oil.

  16. Coke Zero, Coke Light and Diet Coke are all different. Coke Zero is Coke without sugar while Diet Coke and Coke Light are completely different recipes. Not sure the exact difference between the DC and CL but they definitely taste different. CL has a more sugary taste, maybe just because the ingredients are made in a different country.

    As far as aspartame causing cancer, I’m not saying it isn’t possible but in lab tests, animals given around 5000 mg of aspartame each day, had a slightly higher risk of developing cancer. That is pure aspartame, not mixed in a drink. Diet Coke has about 150mg/240 ml, any increase in cancer risk is extremely minimal. We are exposed to so many proven carcinogens on a daily basis that I would hesitate to name Diet Coke as the main cause of any cancer diagnosis, but it may contribute say as much as forgetting to wash those blueberries that were exposed to pesticide or breathing in gasoline fumes while filling your tank.

  17. They should have to put how much caffeine is in drinks as it is a drug/causes changes in the body.. for some people quite negatively.

  18. Mom mother didn’t allow any soft drinks in our home. So when I moved out on my own I went nuts, having regular Coke as my only drink. Now I’m 42 and have just been diagnosed with diabetes. I’m not a fan of sweets and don’t over eat. I completely believe that drinking sugar for my entire adult life has harmed my body and now I’m paying for it.

  19. Short and sweet from the Coca-Cola website FAQ:

    “Coca-Cola Zero provides real Coca-Cola taste for variety-seeking consumers. Coca-Cola Zero is sweetened with a blend of low-calorie sweeteners, while Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame.”

  20. You really do have to wonder who in Coca Cola’s marketing department decided that the word “Zero” would be associated with masculinity.

  21. I just drink regular coke. I’d rather have a caffeine addiction. After drinking regular soda from age 2 until age 22, I’ve pretty much lived on it with no problems whatsoever. None of these problems really matter much when you know what you eat and drink attacks and you care for them appropriately if you choose the ‘lesser’ of two evils.

    I’m pretty much convinced that where people become obsessed with one health tip, they neglect the others that are necessary to maintain in order to have a healthy diet. Moderation is the key, not “throw it all out” or “keep it all in.” I can cut cold turkey and suffer headaches for about three days before regular life kicks in again and I drink water until I hit up a fast food restaurant a month later. It all depends on how I feel. One could go on and on about the horrors of eating only veggies, eating only fruit, eating only meat, ignoring or adding this or that.

    Really, the only severe case I’ve ever experienced is one time when I turned over to a diet version of Pepsi. Pepsi Jazz. I was on this soda strictly for about three years since my parents were concerned that drinking regular soda was bad for me. Those became the three worst years of my life. I noticed a severe decrease in my ability to remember things, organize and make simple decisions. I leaped to teas and waters before coaxing myself back into regular sodas, and never experienced such a thing again.

    If there’s anything stating diet soda is horrible period, I think those three years summed it up for me.

    • I drank regular soda for years – until I began to have a weight problem, then I switched to diet soda (not always coke or pepsi, but many other brands and flavors out there). But as you know moderation is important. I am now 58 and I have never drank just soda, some days/weeks I may not drink any. I do mix it up with drinking water, flavored vitamin waters, sugar free almond milk, coffee and tea. I probably forgot something in there, but you get the idea. I have never been addicted to any of the drinks I mentioned. Sometimes I will go for weeks without drinking some of them and I have never had any ill effects. I do believe obesity is a problem of epidemic proportion in this country and one way to combat this is to watch one’s carb intake (which is derived mainly from sugars).

  22. Wow! Such a surprise for me, I was convinced that Coke Zero was meaning no caffeine, compared to Diet Coke.

  23. No wonder I like pepsi better. They don’t have diet pepsi and pepsi zero and odd ball flavors.

  24. From this article, coke zero sounds like a better choice. It was my favorite in the first place anyway.

  25. Coke Zero tastes absolutely nothing like regular Coke to me. When I compared the taste of Coke Zero to Diet Coke, the two tasted exactly the same. Maybe other people notice the difference…but I certainly did not. Artificial sweeteners definitely have a “stand out” taste…so it is a bit ridiculous to me that Coke would try to pass Coke Zero off as having the same taste as regular Coke.

  26. The Cruise phase alternates between pure protein and protein + vegetables days which is marked by gradual, but steady fat
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  27. Well, I don’t recall the chronology but…

    I remember Coca Cola and Diet Coke. Then they brought out the new Coke. Fans of the old recipe complained and they brought it back and called it Coke Classic. And, at least in my neck of the woods the New Coke was called Coke II.

    What got really confusing, and space-consuming in the supermarkets, is that both Coke Classic and Coke II had diet versions—and all 4 had Caffeine Free versions. So, at least in the late 80’s you had 8 versions to choose from.

    Then, just to be funny I guess, Coke came out with a Crystal cola
    (as did Pepsi) that was a clear/colorless. Kind of wish I had tried it but it obviously didn’t catch on cause it was gone in a year or so.

    Personally, I can’t drink most diet sodas; they leave a funny aftertaste. Yet some CAFFEINE-FREE diets—like ginger ales—are better than the regulars.

    Coke Zero is pretty darned good though.


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