What is the Difference Between Diet Coke and Coke Zero?

Cans and bottles of Coca-Cola

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero? While both are sugar-free and have zero calories, there are some key differences between the two. Keep reading to find out what these key differences are.


Table of Contents

What is Diet Coke?

24 pack of Diet Coke cans

Diet Coke is a sugar-free, calorie-free soft drink that’s been around since 1982.

It’s made with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium instead of sugar.

One of the main reasons people choose Diet Coke over regular Coke is to cut down on calories and sugar in order to lose weight. Regular Coke contains about 140 calories per 12-ounce can, while Diet Coke has zero calories. Regular Coke contains about 39 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can, while Diet Coke has none.

While Diet Coke may have fewer calories and sugar than regular Coke, it’s important to note that it’s not a nutritious beverage. It doesn’t provide any vitamins or minerals, and it shouldn’t be relied on as a source of hydration. If you’re looking for a drink that’s good for your body, water is always the best choice.


What is Coke Zero?

24 cans of Coke Zero

  • Coke Zero is a sugar-free and calorie-free soft drink that was first introduced by Coca-Cola in 2005. It was created to appeal to consumers who wanted the taste of regular Coke without the added sugar and calories.
  • Coke Zero contains artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and acesulfame potassium, which give it a sweet taste without the calories.
  • Despite the name, Coke Zero is not completely “zero” – it still contains some caffeine and sodium, although in small amounts.
  • Coke Zero has a similar taste to regular Coke, although some people find it slightly less sweet and with a slightly different aftertaste.
  • In 2017, Coca-Cola announced that they were rebranding Coke Zero as “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar” or “Coke Zero Sugar” in order to emphasize that it contains no sugar.



When it comes to understanding the difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero, the ingredients used in each beverage play a significant role. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients used in each drink.


Diet Coke Ingredients

Diet Coke is a low-calorie soda that has been around since the 1980s. It contains the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated water
  • Caramel color
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Aspartame
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Natural flavors
  • Citric acid
  • Caffeine
  • Potassium benzoate

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is used in Diet Coke to provide a sweet taste without adding calories. Potassium citrate and citric acid are used to regulate the drink’s acidity levels. Phosphoric acid is used to provide a tangy flavor, while caramel color is used to give the drink its iconic brown color.


Coke Zero Ingredients

Coke Zero is another low-calorie soda that was introduced in the early 2000s. It contains the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated water
  • Caramel color
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Aspartame
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Natural flavors
  • Potassium benzoate
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Citric acid
  • Caffeine

Coke Zero is similar to Diet Coke in terms of its ingredients, but it also contains acesulfame potassium, which is another artificial sweetener. This sweetener is used to enhance the drink’s sweetness without adding calories.

Overall, the main difference between the ingredients used in Diet Coke and Coke Zero is the addition of acesulfame potassium in Coke Zero. Both drinks contain artificial sweeteners, phosphoric acid, and natural flavors, but the use of acesulfame potassium in Coke Zero gives it a slightly different taste than Diet Coke.


Taste and Flavor

When it comes to taste and flavor, both Diet Coke and Coke Zero have a similar profile. They both have a crisp, refreshing taste that many people enjoy. However, there are some subtle differences that may be noticeable to some.

One of the main differences between the two is the sweetness level. Coke Zero is slightly sweeter than Diet Coke, which may be due to the use of a different blend of artificial sweeteners. This can be a good thing if you prefer a sweeter taste, but it may not be ideal if you’re looking for a drink with less sweetness.

Another factor that can affect the taste of these drinks is the type of artificial sweetener used. Diet Coke contains aspartame, while Coke Zero uses a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium. Some people may be able to detect a difference in taste due to this variation.

If you’re someone who enjoys sparkling water or kombucha, you may find that Diet Coke is more similar in taste to these beverages than Coke Zero. This is because Diet Coke has a slightly more acidic taste, which gives it a tangy flavor that is more reminiscent of sparkling water or kombucha.


Nutrition Facts

When it comes to choosing between Diet Coke and Coke Zero, you may wonder which one is healthier for you. Both drinks are low-calorie and sugar-free alternatives to regular Coca-Cola, but there are some differences in their nutritional value.

Nutritional Information

Diet Coke and Coke Zero both contain zero calories and zero grams of sugar per serving. However, Diet Coke has slightly more sodium, while Coke Zero has slightly more caffeine. Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional information for each drink:

Nutrient Diet Coke Coke Zero
Serving Size 12 fl oz 12 fl oz
Calories 0 0
Total Carbs 0g 0g
Protein 0g 0g
Total Fat 0g 0g
Sodium 40mg 45mg
Potassium 0mg 0mg
Caffeine Content 46mg 34mg
Acesulfame K Yes Yes
Phenylalanine Yes Yes
PKU Contains Phenylalanine Contains Phenylalanine



Both Diet Coke and Coke Zero use artificial sweeteners to replace the sugar found in regular Coca-Cola. Diet Coke uses aspartame and acesulfame potassium as sweeteners, while Coke Zero uses aspartame and acesulfame potassium as well as a newer sweetener called sucralose. These sweeteners are safe for most people, but some individuals may experience headaches or other side effects.


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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.