Coke Zero adds no nutritional value to the diet and the long-term effects of drinking diet soda are still unclear. If you want to reduce your regular consumption of sugar or soft drinks, opt for healthier, low-sugar beverages, such as herbal tea, fruit-infused water and black coffee, and leave Coke Zero on the shelf. The main, and perhaps the only, advantage of drinking regular soda is that it tastes great without the strange aftertaste found in diet soda. It's also the preferred soda option for people who want to avoid drinking the artificial sugar substitutes found in diet sodas.
Regular soft drinks contain lots of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, both of which are high in calories. A regular can of soda has an average of 150 calories. However, drinking these calories won't necessarily make you fat. It takes about 3,500 excess calories to gain a pound of weight, so if you don't drink a lot of soda and follow a fairly good diet, you shouldn't see any weight gain.
However, if you drink a lot of soda, you could start to have weight problems and excess calories would accumulate. Excessive weight can increase the chances of developing diabetes and cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, so they recommend not drinking sugary soft drinks because they increase the chances of gaining weight. Your dentist may be the strongest voice against regular soft drinks and all other sugary drinks, because sugar can cause tooth decay. If you regularly drink soft drinks and other sugary beverages despite your dentist's recommendations, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards to minimize the chances of tooth decay.
Healthy people may experience mild gas or bloating after eating foods sweetened with sugar alcohols, but if you have a gastrointestinal condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or eat a large amount of something sweetened with sugar alcohols, you could experience more extreme symptoms. A more immediate unpleasant effect of consuming sugar alcohols, a type of low-calorie sugar substitute, are gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Breaking the cycle of craving for sweets isn't easy, but continuing to replace sugar with fake sugar isn't the solution. Zero-sugar or low-calorie alternatives are usually hundreds or thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, but they don't raise blood sugar levels.