I have had a toxic relationship with fizzy drinks for as long as I can remember. I know most of them are sugary and hence bad for you, but the urge to drink one after a hot day can be intense. I personally prefer Coke Zero to limit my sugar intake.
But, when I began my keto diet, I wondered if I should eliminate fizzy beverages from my life. But, from past experiences, I knew that a lot of things prohibited in other diets were actually allowed in keto. This raised my hopes up, and now I am raising yours too!
Is Coke Zero keto? It is keto enough. As the drink has artificial sweeteners, if you are on a strict keto diet, you might want to skip it. But, if you are on a non-strict keto, you can enjoy the beverage occasionally as it has low carb content compared to other available soda options.
What is Coke Zero?
Coke Zero is a beverage produced by Coca-Cola. It was initially launched in 2005 and marketed heavily as a non-calorie drink. As of four years ago, it has been renamed Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The drink comes in four flavors, namely, original, cherry, vanilla and orange vanilla.
And while it definitely is healthier than the original sugary drink, it still has artificial sweeteners in it. As per Coca-Cola, the addition of these sweeteners curtail weight gain and hunger pangs in consumers. There isn’t enough neutral empirical evidence to prove this.
The Tea Behind Coke Zero
Just like Diet Coke, Coke Zero substitutes natural sugar in the drink with an artificial sweetener called aspartame and Ace K (acesulfame potassium). Aspartame is a comparatively low-calorie sweetener made from two types of amino acids. Ace K is 200 times sweeter than sugar but also doesn’t add to the carb or calorie content.
Since all other ingredients of the original Coca-Cola are still present, its nutritional profile is quite similar to the drink, minus the 0 calories, sugar, and carbs.
But First, Nutrients!
If you are an avid reader of my guides, you would know that this is where I list down all the nutrients a food item has to offer. This time, the list isn’t that long as sodas don’t really provide a lot of nutritional content.
Still, as tradition goes, here is what a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola Zero has to offer, as reported by Healthline.
- 0 calories
- 0 grams of fat
- 0 grams of protein
- 0 grams of sugar
- 2 percent of the daily value requirement of sodium
- 2 percent of the daily value requirement of potassium
In other words, all you are getting out of the drink is sodium and potassium. But, because it doesn’t have any calories or sugar, it doesn’t add to your daily 1800 calories or 20 percent carb limitation of a keto diet. Also, note that the sodium content is slightly less if you pick the orange vanilla version of the drink.
Addressing the Elephant: Is Coke Zero Keto Friendly?
Now that you know what (and what not) a Coke Zero contains, let’s visit the question at hand, shall we? Is coke zero keto?
Considering that coke zero doesn’t have any carbs in it, it doesn’t break your ketosis when you drink it. This is in stark contrast to the original coca cola and other similar sugary drinks.
But, at the same time, it does have artificial sweeteners that are frowned upon in the keto community. Some have even reported that the drink interfered with the ketosis process. I haven’t experienced this myself and cannot verify or deny this.
But, it is still recommended that you avoid them if you are on a strict keto diet. After all, is the instantaneous satisfaction of drinking a soda worth messing up a diet you are trying so hard to preserve? (How you answer this question will decide your stance in this matter!)
How many calories are in a serving of Coke Zero?
The number is in the name if you missed it in the section above. Zero!
There are no calories in a serving of coke zero. How is that possible, you may wonder? After all, you are physically putting something in your body; it has weight; how can it not have any calories? Trust me; I had trouble wrapping my head around this claim as well.
But, it turns out, this is actually true. And how Coke Zero achieves it is by having no significant nutrients in it whatsoever.
The biggest reason it has zero calories is that it doesn’t contain any sugar and instead replaces it with an artificial sweetener, as mentioned above. This one move reduces the original 240-calorie drink to a zero-calorie one. I don’t quite get the chemical explanation of this, but there is enough evidence available to believe that their claim is legitimate.
The Keto-Friendly Alternatives: If not Coke Zero, Then?
As much as I dread this conclusion, Coke Zero isn’t the best option out there when you are on keto. I do drink it occasionally to satiate my craving for the original Coca-Cola. But, for a frequent addition to your diet, there are various other better keto-friendly alternatives out there.
This includes the following:
You will be surprised just how many of your life problems will be solved if you keep yourself hydrated! Between better skin, prevention against infection, regulating body temperature, and keeping your organs healthy, the underappreciated liquid does a lot for us. And if you hydrate yourself enough, you will slowly lose the urge to drink other things (because you are full of all the water!).
You don’t consider plain old water to be a drink worthy of being deemed an alternative to soda? Fair enough. What if I told you, you could make your water fancy? All you need to do is squeeze a medium-sized lemon in it, and you will get a fun tangy drink at the expense of ½ grams of carbs.
3. Chamomile tea
Compared to soda, tea is an excellent choice for keto diets. The only catch is that you need to drink it plain and add no sugar or sweeteners to it! If you do so, you can realize the benefits of various antioxidants. Opt for a herbal tea like Chamomile tea so that you don’t have to worry about the effects of caffeine.
4. Bone Broth
It might sound horrendous, but it actually tastes quite nice and comforting! A nicely concocted bone steaming hot bone broth can make you feel warm while also not adding anything to your carbs intake. One cup of the drink has a maximum of 50 calories and 9 grams of protein.
5. Nut Milk
Whether it be cashew, almond or coconut, there are various milk options out there for you to drink. Compared to whole milk, nut-based milk is healthier because they usually contain less than 1 gram of carbs per cup of milk. But, the onus is on the consumer to read the labels thoroughly to ensure that there aren’t any sweeteners added to the purchased nut milk!
For all the soda lovers who have been frowning throughout the list, thinking none of these drinks seem appetizing to them, here are some healthier soda alternatives to coke zero.
- Zevia: The brand has multiple low-fat and carb-free drinks for people to try. It uses a natural sweetener called stevia, which does not increase the consumer’s blood sugar levels.
- Virgil’s: Their Sugar Cola is a zero-calorie soda that is thought to be keto-friendly (enough)
- Green Cola: This soda has 1 gram of net carbs in a serving size of 355 milliliters and does not contain any harmful ingredients.
Wrapping Up the Coke Debate
Let’s reiterate. Is coke zero keto? It doesn’t have carbs or calories in it, so it won’t end your ketosis. But, it does have artificial sweeteners that have the potential to be harmful. So, even if you do decide to drink Coke Zero during your keto diet, don’t do it every day.
The only way I can justify drinking the beverage occasionally is that it helps me satisfy my soda craving – i.e., I am less tempted to break my keto by drinking an original coke. If you don’t have such troubles, it is better that you substitute the coke with any of the healthier drinks mentioned above.
Keto or no keto, the harsh truth is that all of us are better off without fizzy sodas. While diet cokes and zero-sugar drinks may not do any harm to us, they don’t benefit us either.
Sorry for breaking your heart. But, trust me, the alternative drinks are quite good once you get used to them. You can also complement them with the right food items. Head over to some of my other guides to find out which food items are keto-friendly and which are not.
Till then, don’t let a fizzy drink fizzle out your ketosis!
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