Skip to Content

Does Coke Zero Have Caffeine?

How much caffeine is that? Read on to find out more about how much caffeine is in Coke Zero Sugar and how it compares to other drinks.

Coke Zero

On to the details!

How Much Caffeine Is In Coke Zero Sugar?

A can of Coke Zero Sugar has roughly the same amount of caffeine as a can of regular Coke or Diet Coke. However, it contains significantly less caffeine than you’d find in a Red Bull or in an average cup of coffee.

You would need to drink about eight cans of this drink to consume the same amount of caffeine found in one tall Starbucks Coffee.

Amount Of Caffeine In Popular Drinks

Sprite (can, 12 fl oz)0 mg
Coca-Cola (can, 12 fl oz)32 mg
Coke Zero Sugar (can, 12 floz)34 mg
Diet Pepsi (can, 12 fl oz)39 mg
Diet Coke (can, 12 fl oz)42 mg
Mountain Dew (can, 12 fl oz)54 mg
Pepsi Zero Sugar (can, 12 fl oz)69 mg
McDonald’s coffee (small, 12 fl oz)109 mg
Red Bull (can, 12 fl oz)111 mg
Sugarfree Red Bull (can, 12 fl oz)111 mg
Starbucks coffee (tall, 12 fl oz)260 mg

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant. It is found in the seeds, nuts and leaves of more than 60 plant species. These include coffee beans, kola nuts and cacao pods. The extract from Kola nuts is commonly used to flavor colas.

Kola nut extract was previously part of Coca-Cola’s secret recipe, but they reportedly no longer use it. Although who knows, it is a secret, after all!

Nearly 80% of people around the world consume some type of caffeinated product every day.

Caffeine stimulates the brain and central nervous system, increasing alertness and decreasing tiredness. Many people find its stimulating effects pleasing. 

Is Caffeine Bad For You?

The Food and Drug Administration says that drinking up to 400 mg of caffeine in a day is considered safe. It is unlikely that you would consume that amount of caffeine solely by drinking a can of this beverage.

You would need to drink an entire 12-pack of Coke Zero Sugar to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine! 

Suggested limits for children are a bit lower. Most doctors advise that kids under the age of 12 consume little to no caffeine. Caffeine intake for young people aged 12-18 generally shouldn’t be higher than 100 mg per day.

Consuming too much caffeine does have possible negative side effects. Excess amounts of caffeine can cause headaches, an upset stomach, anxiousness and insomnia. Caffeine also mixes poorly with some medications, such as ephedrine. 

Are There Any Health Benefits To Consuming Caffeine?

Caffeine can boost alertness, which is obviously beneficial in some circumstances. Studies have also found that caffeine can improve your mood and stimulate brain functioning.

Caffeine may also boost metabolism and enhance exercise and athletic performance. A number of studies have also linked the consumption of moderate amounts of caffeine to lower risks of heart disease and diabetes.

Caffeine sometimes gets a bad rap. But it does have a number of health benefits when consumed in moderate amounts.

Why Is It Named Coke Zero If It Has Caffeine In It?

The “zero” in Coke refers to its sugar and calorie content. It has none of either. Because sugar is a carbohydrate, anything with sugar in it also contains calories.

Sugar has roughly 20 calories per teaspoon. Instead of sugar, it gets its sweet taste from artificial sweeteners.

The original choice of the name was actually intended to distinguish the drink from Diet Coke. Although both drinks are sugar and calorie-free, Coca-Cola felt that the branding of a diet drink appealed more to women than to men.

Indeed, when Coca-Cola introduced it in the United Kingdom, the advertising campaign encouraged people to call it “bloke coke.” 

But Is There A Caffeine-Free Version Of Coke Zero Sugar?

Yes. There is currently a caffeine-free version of Coke Zero Sugar. It is called Coke Zero Sugar Caffeine-Free.

Coke Zero Sugar Caffeine-Free has been available in the United States since 2013. It was available in Japan and several European countries as early as 2010.

Some customers may have noticed it was more difficult to find Coke Zero Sugar Caffeine-Free in late 2020 and early 2021. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic caused an aluminum can shortage for beverage manufacturers.

In response, Coca-Cola slowed production of some of its less popular brands. One of the brands it temporarily stopped producing was the caffeine-free version of Coke Zero Sugar. As of the summer of 2022, production had reportedly resumed.

RELATED: Are Apples Acidic?

Do Flavored Versions Of Coke Zero Sugar Contain Caffeine?

Coca-Cola currently produces a number of flavored versions of Coke Zero Sugar. All of them contain caffeine.

Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugarflavored with hints of cherry
Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero Sugarflavored with hints of vanilla
Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla Zero Sugarflavored with hints of cherry and vanilla
Coca-Cola Starlight Zero Sugarfeaturing a “space-inspired” flavor; limited time-offering
Coca-Cola Marshmello’s Zero Sugarflavored with hints of watermelon and strawberry; limited-time offering

Some additional flavors may be available in different markets worldwide. For example, Coca-Cola Mango Zero Sugar is available in Israel. Coca-Cola Orange Zero Sugar is available in Poland, Hungary, Serbia and Russia.

Coca-Cola Raspberry Zero Sugar is sold in Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

What Is the Difference Between Coke Zero Sugar And Diet Coke?

Both Coke Zero Sugar and Diet Coke are sugar and calorie-free. Both are made with artificial sweeteners. And both do contain caffeine.

Here are the ingredients for each:

Coke Zero SugarDiet Coke
Carbonated WaterCaramel ColorPhosphoric AcidAspartamePotassium BenzoateNatural FlavorsPotassium CitrateAcesulfame PotassiumCaffeineCarbonated WaterCaramel ColorPhosphoric AcidAspartamePotassium BenzoateNatural FlavorsCitric AcidCaffeine

As you can see, the ingredient lists for the two drinks are nearly identical. Diet Coke contains citric acid, an ingredient not found in Coke Zero Sugar.

And Coke Zero Sugar contains Potassium Citrate and Acesulfame Potassium, while Diet Coke contains neither of these ingredients.

What Are Aspartame And Acesulfame Potassium?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener commonly used as a substitute for sugar. It is nearly 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame was approved for use in food in the United States in 1981.

The European Union approved it in 1994 and has reaffirmed that approval several times since. Very few food ingredients have been tested for safety more often than aspartame. Both drinks contain aspartame.

Acesulfame potassium (also known as acesulfame K) is also an artificial sweetener. It is used in Coke Zero Sugar, although it is not an ingredient in Diet Coke. Like Aspartame, it is significantly sweeter than table sugar.

Because of their sweetness, these artificial sweeteners can be used in smaller quantities than natural sugars. Acesulfame potassium was approved for use in food in the United States in 1988. 

How Does The Taste Of Coke Zero Sugar Compare To The Taste Of Diet Coke?

While Diet Coke has always had its own flavor profile, Coke Zero Sugar was created in an attempt to mimic the taste of original Coca-Cola. Taste-testers often describe Diet Coke’s taste as “light.”

They also report being able to detect the flavor of the artificial sweeteners. It’s taste is more frequently compared to the taste of original Coke. Taste-testers have said that it is “smoother” and “sweeter” than Diet Coke.

However, it’s recipe and taste has changed several times since it was introduced.

How Many Times Has The Coke Zero Recipe Changed?

Coke Zero

Coke Zero was first introduced in 2005. It was marketed as an alternative to Diet Coke.

It was supposed to taste less “artificial” than Diet Coke while still containing no calories and no sugar. Since then, Coke has changed the recipe and branding several times.

In 2017, Coca-Cola rebranded the product as Coke Zero Sugar. The ingredient list did not change, but there were reportedly small tweaks made to the recipe.

The rebranding was not particularly popular with coke fans. Many took to social media to make their displeasure known:

Keep your filthy mitts off my Coke Zero. https://t.co/HsixG8FjDo

— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) July 26, 2017

Despite the initial reaction, the renamed new drink continued to sell well. Then, in 2021, Coca-Cola announced another change to Coke Zero Sugar.

Again, the tweaks to the recipe were not significant enough to require a change in the ingredient list. The biggest difference was probably moving from black cans to red.

Nevertheless, change is hard. Some fans of Coke again took to Twitter to express their concern:

Thank you for the advanced rollout warning. Because of this change, I rushed myself to Costco to stock up on the “old” formula.

I really hope the new formula doesn’t taste as bad as the new can looks. I understand changing ingredients, but why the can? #keepcokezeeosugarthesame

— WildTemper (@WildTemper) July 15, 2021

Is Coke Zero Sugar Healthy For You?

Coke Zero

There is no real nutritional value in this beverage. Although caffeine can have positive effects on your health, it would require drinking too much of the drink to get any of the health benefits outlined above.

However, for people who are watching their calorie intake or blood sugar levels, It is a reasonable alternative to drinking regular Coke. It’s certainly a way to satisfy a craving for a sweet drink without having to consume any sugar.

Research on the impact of the artificial sweeteners used in Coke Zero Sugar is mixed. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners may contribute to obesity and metabolic issues.

As is the case with any other carbonated cola beverage, it’s probably best to consume it in moderation. 

RELATED: Is Mango an Acidic Food? The Truth About Mangoes and Health

Does Coke Zero Sugar Caffeine-Free Taste As Good As Regular Coke Zero Sugar?

There are a number of different reasons why someone might want to avoid caffeine. Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid or cut down on caffeine intake. The same goes for individuals struggling with high blood pressure.

Or maybe you’re a late-night Coke drinker who wants to be able to fall asleep without worrying about a caffeine buzz. So is Coke Zero Sugar Caffeine-Free a decent alternative to regular Coke Zero Sugar?

Most online taste-testers did not report big differences between Coke Zero Sugar and the caffeine-free version.

Some reviewers did detect slight contrasts, saying that the caffeine-free version is “smoother” and has “less bite.” See below for a side-by-side comparison from YouTube reviewer Sodanonymous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Ok To Drink Coke Zero?

Coke Zero is a brand of cola. It is a low-calorie cola made by Coca-Cola. The drink is available in both carbonated and non-carbonated variants.

It is OK to drink Coke Zero. Coke Zero is the carbonated drink that is meant to be less sweet than traditional Coca-Cola. Coke Zero is made with artificial sweeteners and other ingredients to reduce the amount of sugar in each can. It also has a reduced caffeine content and is sugar-free.

What Is The Healthiest Diet Soda?

Some people are looking for a healthier alternative to soda. The Diet Pepsi can be a great choice, because it is a diet soda with no sugar. Diet Pepsi is also an option for people who have to watch their sugar intake. There are also other options like Diet Coke and Diet Mountain Dew.

Is Coke Zero Really 0 Calories? 

The product is advertised as being a zero-calorie drink that has the same taste as a coke. Coke Zero is a new diet drink that contains no calories, no sugar, and no carbs. The drink is marketed as being for people who want to drink a Coca-Cola without any of the negative side effects of drinking the original.

Jess Smith