Is Coke Zero Keto Friendly?

​Are you thirsty for an ice cold bottle of Coke but a little worried that it might affect your keto diet?

We have all wondered that when starting a Keto diet. 

In this Athletic Muscle guide, I'll be covering:

  • Wh​y is Coke Zero keto friendly?
  • ​Is Coke Zero a source of Phenylalanine?
  • And ​a whole lot more!
coke zero keto

Can I drink Coke Zero following a keto approach?

The short answer is yes! However, be careful, there are physiological and psychological implications to that taste even though there are no carbs. 

Coke Zero has zero carbohydrates. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, generated  from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy.

coke zero

In the absence of this blood sugar from food, the body starts breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies. The process is called ketosis.

Once the body is in ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until carbohydrates are consumed again.

Therefore, Coke Zero, with zero carbohydrates will not affect the ketogenic state.

What are the ingredients in Coke Zero and why does its inclusion cause such debate?

Coke Zero is predominantly water.

The Coca Cola website lists the ingredients as follows; Water, Colour (Caramel E150d), Phosphoric Acid, Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K), Natural Flavourings Including Caffeine, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate).

​Read Also: ​​What are the best nuts for keto diet?​​​​​​

​Is Coke Zero a Source for Phenylalanine?

It seems the reason why many keto fans get worked up about Coke Zero, and other diet drinks, is the inclusion of sweeteners, such as aspartame and acesulfame K.

Some keto followers assert that sweeteners can impact blood sugar and insulin levels. Although, the research does not validate this line of thinking.

Many followers further believe that the consumption of these sweeteners can contribute to an increased risk of certain cancers and other non-communicable diseases.

​Read Also: ​​What are the 5 best keto multivitamins for your diet?​​​​​​

However, that has not been supported, but rather debunked, in the last fifteen or so years with support from both EFSA and the FDA.

Potential Physiological and Psychological implications to drinking Coke Zero

Some advocates feel Coke Zero could be detrimental to long term keto adherence and success. They are of the belief that the intake of Coke Zero may create a craving for carbohydrates, encouraging an exit from a ketogenic state.

This line of thought actually has some validation supported by research. However, it may be better described as a form of general “food addiction” whereby sweetness may drive an individual to rely on and even binge on certain foods due to the physiological and psychological effects it has on them, as opposed to carbohydrates in isolation.

It should also be noted that the majority of this research has been carried out in animal studies. The dosages are also superficially high and while being fed in isolation.

​Read Also: ​​What is the role of sucralose on the Keto diet?​​​​​​

coke zero facts

The transferability of this research to a practical human subject is yet undeterminable.

Additionally, people will binge on tastier options rather than a pure carbohydrate source (plain rice for example) so, again, the target of the worry (carbohydrate) may be misguided.

What makes this issue more confusing is that, despite possibly links to food addiction, the use of sweeteners may actually work as an effective weight loss aid!

It is important to note that not all keto advocates’ goal is to lose weight, however, many use it as a tool for weight loss.

The consumption of Coke Zero as a beverage of choice during long term keto adherence may depend on the person using it.

​Read Also: ​​What are the best potassium supplements for a keto deit?​​​​​​

​Conclusion

For individuals choosing a calorie restricted diet and or those new to keto, may find it to be a helpful tool for curbing sweet cravings.

For those who experience difficulties with addictive tendencies towards food and or generally unhealthy relationships with food, should seek professional medical advice before trying any dietary changes.

Coke Zero may be considered keto friendly as an effective tool to curb sweet cravings.

However, it should be consumed in a reasonable manner; if it seems to initiate additional cravings, reduce your intake and/or swap it for an alternative.

​Read Also: ​​What are the tips to help you choose a good CrossFit box?​​​​​​

Jamie Wright

Jamie Wright

Jamie is a registered nutritionist and REPs recognized personal trainer with a MSc in Nutrition and BSc in Sports and Exercise Science. He runs his own nutrition and exercise coaching company, OUTWRK, and has authored a number of books of which include HealthyHer and FitHer. He has contributed on a number of external organisations nutritional guidance educational notes/booklets aimed at recreational exercisers/dieters to elite, internationally competing athletes. Additionally, Jamie has worked with this spectrum of clients in the past and just released his new program Everyday Athletes aimed at recreational exercisers/dieters. Reach out to him on his website for nutrition advise or consulting.

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