Is Diet Soda Keto-Friendly?

Author Image

Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

Imge of Is Diet Soda Keto-Friendly?



As more people are becoming aware of the dangers of eating too much added sugars, classic soft drinks are becoming less popular, and not only among the low-carb community. But limiting yourself to water may seem like a letdown. After all, there's no flavor, and it can taste monotonous after a while!

One way to get your daily requirement for hydration without adding unnecessary carbs is to switch to green tea, black tea, or mineral water. But what if you want to enjoy something sweet without ruining your ketosis? Then you might be tempted to include sodas that are sweetened with artificial sugars, such as diet soda. 

Sugar-free soda is often touted as a healthy alternative to regular soda, but is it keto-friendly?  

Here are all the facts you need to know about diet soda on keto. In the following sections, we will discuss the most important questions. What exactly is it? Does it contain any nutritional value? Is it compatible with keto? Which types can be consumed? Are there any alternative keto-compliant choices? 

Let's get started.


What are diet soft drinks?

These carbonated beverages are typically sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. As a result, they tend to have fewer calories than regular sodas. They were introduced in the 1950s and have become increasingly popular in recent years. 

They can be made using a variety of sweeteners. The most common sweetener found in these drinks is aspartame, which is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame is made by combining two amino acids, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid. 
Other sweeteners in diet soda include sucralose (Splenda) and saccharin (Sweet'N Low). 

These kinds of soda also contain a variety of other ingredients, including water, carbon dioxide (for the fizz factor), flavoring, colorings, and preservatives. 


Nutrition facts

One serving of this beverage contains the following nutrients:

Serving size: 1 can Diet Coke 

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Net carbs: 0 g
  • Total carbs: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

Health impact

While some may believe that drinking diet soda is better than drinking regular sugary soda, that is not supported by scientific evidence. Both are unhealthy drinks that do not contain any nutrients.

Plus, excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked with gut health problems. 

Artificial sweeteners could even lead to weight gain over time, as behavioral adaptations may occur because of their use instead of natural sugar. This means that diet soda drinkers may be more likely to consume processed foods containing sugar if they believe they are reducing their calorie intake by drinking diet soda. 

There is some evidence that drinking diet soda may increase cravings for sweeter, higher-calorie food, according to a 2021 study published in the journal Nutrition, Obesity, and Exercise. This is bad news for anyone, and especially for ketogenic dieters who want to prioritize clean eating.




Can you drink diet soda on a keto diet?

Yes, you can. Since it contains zero calories and no sugar, it is an acceptable drink for those on keto. 

From a nutritional perspective, however, it’s best to avoid this unhealthy beverage, or consume it in moderation.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you crave something sweet, this is an option that won’t take you out of ketosis. However, you should be aware that instead of satisfying your craving, consuming artificial sweeteners may actually make you crave sugary foods and drinks more.

In addition, artificial sweeteners such as sucralose may cause people who suffer from insulin resistance to have a cephalic insulin response. The cephalic insulin response is simply the body releasing low-level insulin as soon as it anticipates food to arrive through smell, sight, or the sensation on the tongue. 

Due to the fact that the tongue does not distinguish between the sweetness of sugar and artificial sweeteners, the sweeteners in sodas may trigger a response in the brain that causes tiny amounts of insulin to be released in order to digest them. 


How much diet soda can you drink on the keto diet? 

On keto, you can drink up to 2 cans per day. It doesn't have any calories or carbs, so it's technically fine to drink on keto. However, to avoid excessive intake of artificial sweeteners, it is best to avoid this beverage completely or drink it only in moderation, not every day.

As mentioned above, excessive intake of artificial sweeteners has been linked to several health problems. So, it's important to moderate your consumption not for fear of spiking your blood sugar but for your overall health.


What kind of diet soda can you have on keto?

While some people may believe that all types of sugar-free soda are off-limits on a keto diet, there are actually a few options that can be enjoyed in moderation. For example, Diet Coke and Sprite Zero both contain zero calories and no sugar, making them acceptable choices for those following a keto diet. 

However, it's important to note that these beverages do contain huge amounts of artificial sweeteners. As such, it's best to limit consumption of these beverages to one or two cans a day at most. 

Other diet sodas that may be suitable for a keto diet include Zevia and Partiko, which are both sweetened with stevia. 

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a sugar-free soda on keto, it's important to read labels carefully and select an option that fits into your overall macros for the day.




What can you have it with?

While this beverage is acceptable for those on a keto, as it contains no sugar or carbs. However, it can be difficult to find good food combinations that go well with it. Luckily, there are a few options that can help you get the most out of your soda. For example, it goes well with BBQ chicken or ribs, as the lack of sweetness helps to offset the smoky flavor of the meat. 

Additionally, it can be a great way to add a little bit of extra fizz to your favorite keto-friendly cocktails. Simply mix vodka or your favorite spirit with some soda and enjoy. 

Finally, it can also be turned into a creamy drink. Simply add coconut milk or your favorite low-carb dairy-free milk and some healthy fats, such as avocado or coconut oil, and you’ll have a delicious and refreshing treat that’s perfect for a hot summer day.


Keto-friendly diet soda alternatives

  • Green tea: Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant and has been widely consumed in Asia for centuries. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have various health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and preventing heart disease. 
  • Sparkling water with lemon: This is simply water that has been carbonated, or pressurized with carbon dioxide gas. Carbonated water is often flavored with natural or artificial flavors, and lemon is a popular choice. (For the most natural option, just squeeze in some lemon juice!) While sparkling water is generally safe to drink, some people may experience bloating or gas after drinking it.
  • Vegetable juice: It is a drink made from pressed vegetables. It typically contains a blend of multiple vegetables, though some juices may contain only one type of vegetable. Vegetable juice is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it has been linked to several health benefits, including improved heart health and a protective role against oxidative stress. Do remember to check the label for the carb count
  • Zevia -  It is a type of carbonated soft drink that is naturally sweetened with stevia, a plant-based sweetener.
  • Seltzerade - It is a drink that is usually flavored with lemon or cherry. It is typically made with sparkling water, but some seltzerades also contain carbonated mineral water. 
  • Coffee - If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, coffee is a good option. If you don’t drink it black, try adding coconut or almond milk instead of adding sweeteners. You can also pour it over ice for a more refreshing beverage.
  • Coconut water - This has more nutrients and a different taste than regular water, making it a good alternative for hydration.


FAQ about diet soda on a keto diet

Would you like to know more about this drink? Here are some more answers to your questions.

No, it does not affect ketosis. It does not contain any carbohydrates or calories, so it will not affect blood sugar levels. Hence, your ketosis will be maintained.

There are lots of sugar-free options available on the market from brands like LaCroix, Perrier, Zevia, Virgil, and many more. Classic choices include Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and Pepsi Zero. 

Coke Zero is a sugar-free and calorie-free soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. Diet Coke is a sugar-free and calorie-reduced soft drink also produced by The Coca-Cola Company. Pepsi Zero Sugar is a no-calorie, sugar-free, colorless, and flavorless soft drink produced by PepsiCo. 

Coke Zero and Diet Coke both contain aspartame, while Pepsi Zero Sugar contains sucralose. These ingredients give each drink its unique taste. Aspartame is made from two amino acids, while sucralose is a chlorinated sugar derivative. 

In addition to artificial sweeteners, these drinks also contain carbon dioxide, which gives them their fizziness. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas that is also found in sparkling water. When combined with water, it forms carbonic acid, which gives these drinks their tartness. Carbon dioxide is also what makes these drinks refreshing and helps to quench thirst.

Yes, it is keto-friendly. It is a sugar-free soda that contains zero calories. This makes it an acceptable drink for those on keto.

While both are low in carbohydrates and calories, they actually have the same effect on keto. That's because both sodas contain artificial sweeteners, which have no impact on blood sugar levels.

In fact, the main difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero is the amount of caffeine. So, if you're trying to stay in ketosis, you can choose either soda without worrying about kicking yourself out of ketosis.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed and approved the safety of all ingredients that are used in food and drink products, including artificial sweeteners. Some studies suggest that certain sweeteners may be associated with health risks, but it seems the research has not been conclusive enough to cause the FDA to restrict the use of these ingredients.

Still, it’s best to use artificial additives in moderation and limit your consumption of processed foods and drinks. 

There are ways to make your own keto-friendly version at home. The key is to use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol. These sweeteners won't raise blood sugar levels, making them ideal for those on keto. To make your own keto-friendly soda, simply mix sparkling water with your desired amount of sweetener. For a touch of flavor, you can also add a splash of lemon juice or another fruit juice but just a tiny amount. Stir well and enjoy. With this simple recipe, you can enjoy a refreshing drink without worrying about derailing your diet.