Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Coke Zero Bad For You?

Also Known As: Coca-Cola Zero



Short answer

Coke Zero is bad for you - it contains carcinogenic chemicals and should be avoided if you care about your health in any way, shape or form.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Coke Zero, an attempt to capture the "want regular coke flavor but on a diet" demographic, is little more than normal coke with the high fructose corn syrup replaced by a carcinogenic sweetener. While its caffeine content is slightly lower than that of regular coke, like Diet Coke, it contains aspartame. 

Proponents of aspartame will claim to it being found in over 6,000 foods as proof of its safety. Also, they will point out that its cancer-causing potential was found in trials done with mice. The first point only shows that the dangers of aspartame lurk almost everywhere. As for the second point - if the effect of a product or ingredient on mice is not of any concern, what is the point to even use mice in the first place? Regardless, some potential concerns with aspartame include multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, and an increased risk of cancer and tumors. In fact, since the release of aspartame into the market in the 1980’s, there has been a 10% increase in the incidence of brain tumors. 

Another scary factor with Coke Zero is that it contains caramel coloring, which has a host of negative effects. Just to mention a couple: this stuff has been proven to decrease white blood cell count (white blood cells help keep us from getting sick) and is a known carcinogen to the State of California. One ironic effect of drinking Coke Zero is that it may actually cause you to gain weight. The beverage in and of itself does not cause weight gain, but it can influence overeating by stimulating your appetite. To keep the list going... another problem is that Coke Zero contains absolutely no nutrients, so if you are drinking it as part of a diet plan, you are potentially robbing your body of vital nutrients. 

One last consideration is for people with the rare disorder known as phenylketonuria (PKU). This genetic condition makes it impossible to metabolize phenylalanine, which is found in aspartame. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • headache
  • nausea
  • muscle spasms
  • muscle aches / pains

Possible long-term side effects

  • neurologic issues
  • visual changes
  • multiple sclerosis
  • ringing in the ears
  • systemic lupus
  • cancer / tumors
  • increased blood pressure
  • decreased white blood cell count

Ingredients to be aware of


  • zero calories zero cholesterol

Healthier alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda

  • Calorie-free
  • Rainbow Variety Pack
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Sugar-free refreshment
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-02-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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