General Question

xxii's avatar

Does Coke Zero actually have 0 calories?

Asked by xxii (3321points) October 16th, 2010

Coke Zero claims to have 0 calories, but does it really?

I know it also contains a bunch of other junk ingredients, but how bad are those if you’re not drinking the stuff every other day?

What about Diet Coke?

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15 Answers

Seek's avatar

They’re both made with aspartame, which turns into formaldehyde when it hits 86 degrees, if I remember correctly. Yes, they have zero calories. Legally, I believe they’re allowed to have less than .5 calories per serving and still say “zero calories”. But really, you’re going to burn .5 calories swallowing the stuff anyhow.

That said, I’d rather drink formaldehyde than High Fructose corn syrup, mostly because HFCS is so friggin’ addicting. I can drink a Cherry Coke Zero today and not need one tomorrow.

I have a great compromise – my grocery store brand diet soda is made with Splenda. No aspartame! And it tastes better, too. And and, it’s cheaper.

MeinTeil's avatar

Zero in this case means “less than one complete calorie”.

seazen's avatar

I called them and asked them to switch to sucralose which is safe, no aftertaste and even ok for diabetics. They told me thanks but fuck off.

xxii's avatar

@seazen – Haha. Do you happen to know why sucralose isn’t used? It seems like they could play up those selling points. Is it significantly more expensive?

seazen's avatar

@xxii Here it’s just like aspartame – little packets are distributed free in cafes. I dunno.

Seek's avatar

Splenda = sucralose, right?

xxii's avatar

Yup, looks like it.

Strange, though – when I Googled “sucralose splenda,” the entire first page of results consisted of links about how harmful it is. Just scare tactics or what?

seazen's avatar

SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, also known as sucralose, is a no-calorie sweetener that can be used as part of a healthy diet to reduce the calories and carbohydrate from sugar that you consume.

It is made through a patented process that starts with sugar and converts it to a no-calorie, non-carbohydrate sweetener. The result is a very stable sweetener that tastes like sugar, but without its calories. After you eat SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, it passes through the body without being broken down for energy, so the body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate.

SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener is unique among no-calorie sweeteners, with clear benefits. It has a clean, sugar-like taste without the bitter aftertaste of some other no-calorie sweeteners, such as saccharin and acesulfame-K.12–14 And unlike aspartame, it holds up to heat, so it can be used in cooking and baking.14 The great taste and many uses of sucralose have made a wide range of lower-sugar and lower-calorie food and beverages for healthy meal planning possible.

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener—the number one market leader among low-calorie sweeteners—is an excellent choice for those who want to reduce their added sugar intake, as well as their calorie and carbohydrate intake from sugar.

Source: Splenda

faye's avatar

Wow, I just looked up sucralose side effects and I think I’ll stay away! Club soda with a squeeze of lime, lemon, or grapefruit, lots of ice is a good sbstitute.

Seek's avatar

I just looked them up, too. Two sources, the first two that popped up on Google.

The second, a Buzzle article, says at the bottom, “After all, natural is healthier.” That was enough to make me roll my eyes and ignore everything else in the article. Anthrax is natural – no one is claiming it is healthy. Ending an article with a non-sequitur is not the most effective way to pander your fear-mongering.

The first is part of a long article on natural sweeteners. It says:

“The FDA reviewed studies in human beings and animals and determined that sucralose did not pose carcinogenic, reproductive, or neurological risk to human beings. The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for sucralose was set at 5 mg/kg of body weight/day. To determine your ADI, divide your weight in pound by 2.2 and then multiply it by 50. For example, if you weighted 200 lbs., your weight in kg would be 91 (200 divided by 2.2) and your ADI for sucralose would be 455 mg (91×5).”

it also says:

“The majority of studies were done on animals for short lengths of time. The alleged symptoms associated with sucralose are gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes. ”

This well-referenced Wiki article also cites the Canadian and Australian equivalents of the FDA, and they all agree that Splenda poses no public health risk, due to the extreme amount one must consume to trigger adverse effects shown in laboratory tests. “The dose required to provoke any immunological response was 750 mg/kg/day,[23] or 51 grams of sucralose per day, which is nearly 4,300 Splenda packets/day for one month.

john65pennington's avatar

I think the intent of Coke Zero was to come up with a flavor that equals half Diet Coke and Half Regular Coke. a great tast with less calories. Zero is close, but not there, yet.

Mix one half glass of Diet Coke and one half glass of regular Coke and taste what Coke Zero hopes to achieve one day.

rooeytoo's avatar

I hate coke zero and diet coke because of the taste and after taste. I drink Sprite Zero which has no aftertaste and actually tastes amazingly like regular Sprite. But I know the aspartame is killing me. But I just try to limit my intake and hope for the best!

seazen's avatar

In the morning – I wake up and have my coffee. I then go to the washroom and do my thing. I have a second cup – and I have found, and this is unscientific but true (for me) – that if I have sugar with it – it’s fine, but if I add aspartame to sweeten it – I run to the washroom again, and again all morning.

diavolobella's avatar

Coke Zero is sweetened with a combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium. I prefer Coke Zero to Diet Coke. I prefer Diet Pepsi Vanilla to everything, but they stopped making it, which makes me very, very sad. I combine Diet Coke with sugar free (Splenda sweetened) French vanilla Torani syrup, but I wish I still had my beloved Diet Pepsi Vanilla.

Of course, Diet Coke and delicious Brinley Gold Vanilla rum also tastes like Diet Pepsi Vanilla.

genkan's avatar

I can’t tell the difference in taste between Diet Coke, Coke Zero and regular Coca Cola, eh.

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