I’ll begin by saying that I’ve never really liked Diet Coke. While I truly like original-formula real Coca-Cola, I suppose I’m so biased against Diet Coke because to me, it isn’t really Coke at all. It bears little taste resemblance to Coke Classic except for perhaps the color of the beverage and the shades of red imprinted on the label as part of the “Coke” logo. They don’t even refer to it as Coca-Cola, so I suspect that the Coca-Cola company didn’t wish to dilute their regular Coke brand by making this Diet Coke look too much like “the real thing.”
But with all that said, I did find some good comments for this diet soda pop. It’s flavor isn’t that bad really. I think my main objection to it has little to do with the quality of the Diet Coke flavor itself, and more to do with the contradiction that they call it Coke, but it tastes nothing like Coke. But variations on this unique flavor have adorned grocery store shelves for thirty plus years with little change in the actual taste. Oh, the formula may have been revamped to incorporate newer sweeteners as they came to fruition. But the flavor itself, over all, has remained virtually unchanged in my opinion.
As I peck out these words, I’m sipping a cold 20-ounce bottle of Diet Coke.
Benefits, Advantages, Pros, And Features
- Neither calories nor carbs in this diet soft drink. It is a zero calorie beverage therefore, like Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. You’d have to walk no miles on a treadmill to burn off the energy contained in a bottle of Diet Coke.
- This bottle indicates that Coke supports women’s heart health programs in their “The Heart Truth” campaign. Nice.
- Low sodium per serving (one bottle) at 70 milligrams. So this product can be consumed without worry by both diabetics and those suffering from high blood pressure.
- The flavor has become less “diety” with the introduction of NutraSweet (aspartame).
- Though I’m not very fond of the taste, this beverage, particularly when kept very cold, can quench a hefty thirst quite effectively.
- Fizz is king in this soda. In my first couple of swigs, I swear that more bubbles touched my tongue that “solid liquid.”
- Diet Coke may not taste much like Coke Classic or original-formula Coca-Cola. But is sure looks like it in terms of amount of carbonation and color. I’m holding my bottle of Diet Coke and one of regular Coke up to the light, side-by-side. Their caramel colors appear identical.
- There’s no more caffeine in Diet Coke than in regular.
- I’ve never experienced any side-effects from drinking Diet Coke; though I may suffer headaches when I stop drinking it cold-turkey. Caffeine withdrawal. But NutraSweet has never bothered me, even on days when I drank three or four cans of Diet Coke at work.
- I’ve heard that you can use Diet Coke to clean the chrome on your car. But that doesn’t put me off from drinking it. Tomato juice has acid as well. Yet I drink it regularly without my stomach being eaten or eroded away.
- I’ve hosted parties where I provided several different diet sodas for the guests, and the Diet Coke always seems to run out first. So a lot of people do like it. It’s popular, even if I myself cannot see why.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- It has 70 milligrams of caffeine per bottle. I prefer the caffeine-free version of Diet Coke myself.
- I hate that the Diet Coke flavor diverges so far from that of original formula classic Coca-Cola. When Coke conceived this diet drink in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, they should have opted to build a diet drink around the original formula’s flavor. Instead, they went totally off the board with this stuff. But apparently, it’s sold well for them. So their business sense appears to be better than my sense of taste. *smile*
- This product relies on the aspartame sweetener for its sweetness. I’ve at times experienced a sweetness fatigue when drinking Diet Coke.
- Despite the exclusive use of aspartame as the sweetener, Diet Coca-Cola still tastes very much like a diet beverage; artificially sweet, and somehow empty or otherwise lacking in flavor. Coke Zero much more effectively matches the taste of original-recipe Coca-Cola.
- The carbonation is quite muscular, and at times, pushes its way up into my nose, triggering a sneeze.
I’d rate this diet soft drink at only 78 out of 100. I’ll drink it when there’s no other soda around. But I usually choose something else when something else is around. Diet Coke works better as a mixer with alcoholic beverages like rum, that offset the flavor deficiencies in the Diet Coke itself.
Where To Buy Diet Coke
Diet Coke is available from just about any vendor, large or little, that carries Coca-Cola products, which is just about every one of them. Indeed, some of them carry only Coke items, and no Pepsi products. I bought my Diet Coke at Sheetz convenience store here in Altoona. Also, last I knew, McDonald’s sold Coke products exclusively in their soda fountains.
- Aspartame on Wikipedia
- Caffeine on Wikipedia
- Diet Coke on Wikipedia
- NutraSweet on Wikipedia
- NutraSweet Web Site
- : Moved this post to the Tom’s Diet Quest blog, added whitespace, adjusted ad placement, revised content, and rearranged category and tag assignments.
- 2012-04-23: Originally published.