Sometimes a soda just hits the spot. While water is certainly the healthiest choice, a hot summer’s day may create a thirst that simply isn’t satisfied by aqua. Zero drinks allow you to indulge in a soda without all the sugar and calories from regular pop, but some still contain caffeine. In fact, Pepsi Zero Sugar is actually twice as caffeinated as a regular Pepsi! Read on to learn just how much caffeine resides in Pepsi Zero Sugar compared to similar soft drinks.
How Much Caffeine Is in Pepsi Zero Sugar?
A 12-ounce can of Pepsi Zero Sugar contains 69 milligrams of caffeine. By contrast, Pepsi holds a mere 38 milligrams, and a Diet Pepsi has 36.7 milligrams per can.
Pepsi’s main competition, Coca Cola, offers slightly less caffeine in their beverages, but still a comparable amount. A standard Coke holds 33.9 milligrams per 12 ounce can, while Diet Coke has 46.3 and Coke Zero has 33.96, which is basically the same amount as regular Coke.
Sodas typically have a low amount of caffeine compared to coffee. This is because sodas don’t naturally contain caffeine, which must be artificially added. On the other hand, all coffee and black teas contain caffeine in varying amounts depending on the roasting and brewing methods. In other words, you can only get a decaf coffee by decaffeinating the beans, but you only get a caffeinated soda by adding caffeine. It’s virtually impossible to get a 100% caffeine-free coffee since the decaffeination process isn’t perfect, but you can easily acquire a caffeine-free soda since the formula doesn’t organically contain caffeine.
Here’s a look at how Pepsi Zero Sugar stacks up against other Pepsi products and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea:
|Drink||Caffeine in Milligrams Per Fluid Ounce|
|Pepsi Zero||5.75 mg|
|Diet Pepsi||3.05 mg|
|Caffeine-free Pepsi||0 mg|
|Coca Cola||2.85 mg|
|Diet Coke||3.86 mg|
|Coca Cola Zero Sugar||2.83 mg|
|Black Tea||3.92 mg|
|Herbal Tea*||0 mg|
*Some varieties may contain a negligible amount of caffeine
What’s the Difference Between Pepsi Zero and Diet Pepsi?
Pepsi Zero and Diet Pepsi are both sugar-free. Instead, they’re sweetened with aspartame, a popular artificial alternative. However, the similarities stop there. Pepsi Zero also contains ginseng, which adds to the flavor, and has nearly double the amount of caffeine as a Diet Pepsi.
In contrast, regular Coke and Coke Zero contain roughly the same low amount of caffeine while Diet Coke has almost twice as much. While zero or diet soft drinks contain zero calories or sugars, it’s important to note that they definitely do not exclude caffeine and may even add more than regular soda.
Is Pepsi Zero Sugar Healthier Than Regular Pepsi?
Since Pepsi Zero and Diet Pepsi are both sweetened with aspartame instead of sugar, the praise and criticism of these sodas fall on both formulas. Consuming the high amount of sugar that’s in most soft drinks is certainly dangerous for individuals with health conditions such as diabetes, and not a healthy lifestyle choice for anybody.
A regular Pepsi contains 39 grams of sugar, which is almost the maximum recommended amount of sugar for a healthy adult in an entire day. Regular soda is practically off-limits for diabetics who need to watch their sugar carefully. A diet or zero drink allows people to enjoy the soda flavor they love while not risking their health—at least supposedly. However, research casts doubt on exactly how healthy diet drinks are when compared to regular soda.
High amounts of sugar can negatively impact your wellbeing in so many ways. In addition to commonly known issues such as weight gain, bloating, and dementia, a Boston study showed that consuming just one sugary soda per day reduces your fertility by 25-33% alone. And diet drinks aren’t much better, with aspartame being linked to dementia, obesity, and heart disease. Not to mention, the caffeine itself in soda isn’t natural, as previously discussed, so a caffeinated soda isn’t as good for you as a cup of coffee regardless of the sugar content.
From the research conducted so far, it’s looking like all sodas are bad choices for the health-conscious consumer, but some may carry slightly less of a risk than others in certain populations. For example, Pepsi Zero Sugar is certainly a safer choice for a diabetic than regular Pepsi.
How Much Caffeine Should You Consume Each Day?
According to the FDA, the average American should consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine each day. It would take nearly six cans of Pepsi Zero Sugar to reach that limit, which probably isn’t a likely problem for most individuals. However, other popular foods and drinks also contain caffeine, so you want to make sure all of the coffees, teas, sodas, energy drinks, chocolates, etc., all equal to 400 milligrams per day or less. Certain populations such as pregnant women, elderly persons, adolescents, or people with medical conditions may be advised to consume even less caffeine. The stimulant isn’t recommended for children under 12 years old at all.
If you’re cutting down on sugar and calories, Pepsi Zero Sugar allows you to enjoy a soda guilt-free. However, it isn’t caffeine-free, and research has shown that it might not even be healthier than a regular soda due to the controversial artificial sweeteners. Pepsi Zero Sugar contains 69 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce can, which is double the amount of a normal Pepsi, but still considerably less than coffee. The FDA guidelines state that adults shouldn’t exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine each day, which makes Pepsi Zero Sugar a safer choice. However, it’s important to note that some populations are advised to consume even less, and children under 12 years old are advised to skip caffeine entirely.