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How Much Caffeine Is in Coke Zero? 2024 Breakdown

caffeine in coke zero

Everyone loves a crisp, refreshing can of soda now and then. While it may not be the best beverage choice out there, most soda companies offer their version of healthy alternatives. For the Coke brand, Coke Zero is their offering for people who are trying to eat, drink, and live better.

While Coke Zero is advertised as having no sugar, what about the caffeine content? Caffeine is something many people who enjoy soda keep an eye on. Coke Zero contains 34 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce can. This is relatively low compared to other drink options, but not at the zero level as some people may think. It’s much less caffeine than you’d find in a cup of brewed coffee — about 95 mg.

Let’s learn a bit more about the caffeine in Coke Zero, the drink itself, and whether it’s truly a better option for people who are watching their caffeine intake.

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What Is Coke Zero?

Coke Zero was born in 2005 as a safe alternative for soda drinkers who needed less sugar and calories in their diet. While this drink was welcomed with open arms by Coke drinkers in need of a safer option, the classic argument over the taste of diet or sugar-free sodas immediately began.

While many consumers assumed Coke Zero contained no caffeine or other additives that could potentially be harmful, they were wrong. In hopes of clearing up any confusion and showing the world Coke Zero contained no sugar, the Coke company decided to rebrand the sugar-free beverage. Thus, in 2017, Coke Zero Sugar was born. Luckily, for those who already enjoyed Coke Zero, not much in the formula changed.

two cans of coke zero
Image Credit: Chenyu Guan, Unsplash

Coke Zero vs Coke

Without a doubt, regular Coke contains more sugar than Coke Zero, but what about the caffeine content? With Coke Zero offering only 34 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce can, this beverage finds itself on the lower end when it comes to calorie content. Oddly enough, regular Coke can make the same claims. Coke Zero and Coke contain the same 34 mg of caffeine. This allows those watching their caffeine intake the opportunity to choose which of Coke’s drinks is best suited to their taste buds.

Coke vs Coke Zero
Image Credit: (L) Mae Mu & (R) Mahdi Aminrad, Unsplash

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What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant. People around the world use caffeine as a way to wake up, keep going when feeling tired, or stay focused when working. This stimulant is found in coffee, tea, and cocoa plants. This is why so many people use teas, coffees, and chocolate to give themselves a bit more pep in their step.

You’ll find that many sodas, like Coke Zero, use caffeine due to its pleasant taste. By adding this stimulant to their products, people enjoy the flavor and the effects it has on their bodies. This is why so many people choose to drink coffee throughout the day or grab a quick soda when they’re feeling a bit sluggish.

The Health Benefits of Caffeine

Luckily, for those who enjoy a cold soda or tasty cup of coffee, caffeine does provide the body with health benefits. Caffeine is often added to prescription medicine to help people receive these benefits under their doctor’s watchful eyes. Let’s take a look at a few of caffeine’s benefits below.

Better Brain Function and Moods

When consuming caffeine, people may find themselves feeling happier. It is also possible to feel as though your mind is clearer. This is thanks to caffeine’s ability to block adenosine. If you’re unfamiliar with adenosine, it’s one of the neurotransmitters in your brain that makes you feel tired or sleepy. Several studies have been conducted showing that caffeine helps elevate the mood and increases brain function when safely consumed.

Fat Burning

Many people use caffeine as a way to help them burn more fat and stay energized during exercise. With a healthy boost from caffeine, workouts can seem easier, go on longer, and result in more calories being burned. People who use weight control supplements will find one of the main ingredients is caffeine.

Prescription Medications

Caffeine is used in a wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Those who have asthma, allergies, or experience pain are often treated with medications that include caffeine in their makeup.

These are only a few of the health benefits caffeine can offer the body. It’s best, however, not to overdo it and only ingest the recommended amounts of caffeine throughout the day. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), this is roughly 400 milligrams for an adult.

coke zero on a disposable cup
Image Credit: Waldemar Brandt, Unsplash

Caffeine Concerns and Side Effects

Caffeine in large doses can be dangerous. This is especially true for people who have sensitivities to the stimulant and its effects. When using dietary supplements or drinking several beverages with high amounts of caffeine, it’s important to do so in moderation to avoid any health risks.

Here are a few of the side effects you may experience when consuming too much caffeine daily.

  • Anxiousness
  • Jitters
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Seizures (in extreme cases)

If you experience any of these negative side effects, it is best to reduce your caffeine levels and speak with your physician.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re curious about how much caffeine is in Coke Zero, you aren’t alone. Many people try to watch their caffeine levels and only consume safe amounts. With 34 mg of caffeine present in a 12-ounce can of Coke Zero, this is easily achieved by those who enjoy this sweet drink. Enjoy a refreshing drink throughout the day when you feel you need a pick-me-up. Like with any caffeinated beverage, however, don’t overdo it.

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Featured Image Credit: Mahbod Akhzami, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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