The 10 Most Caffeinated Diet Drinks

2997-diet-coke.jpg

Did you know that diet sodas have more caffeine than regular soda?

Diet Coke has 46.5mg caffeine compared to regular Coke that has 34.5mg. That’s a thirty per-cent increase!

Here are the 10 most caffeinated diet soft drinks – and they are nowhere near the levels of caffeine in Starbucks drinks.

i-d7af43b24d04077e74ff13ea30b268c8-caff1.jpg

Diet Pepsi Max

Per 12oz can : 69mg caffeine

A can of regular Pepsi-cola contains 38mg caffeine.


i-b35ca907e913eb3af9d98ea376c1152b-caff2.jpg

Diet Sundrop

Per 12oz can: 69mg caffeine

Sun Drop is a brand of citrus soda drink from Cadbury-Schweppes. The level of caffeine in the Diet version came as a complete surprise – but then – even the regular version has 63mg in a 12oz can. Note: regular can displayed.


i-993c85e50ab92d16158ce909407ff99a-caff3.jpg

Diet Mountain Dew

Per 12oz can: 55mg caffeine

Mountain Dew is one of the most popular citrus soft drinks. Both diet and regular have the same amount of caffeine. In countries outside the USA – Mountain Dew has either reduced amounts of caffeine (or no caffeine at all).


i-973436a6dd515d8c977512cba5abcb55-caff5.jpg

Pepsi ONE

Per 12oz can: 54mg caffeine

Pepsi ONE is a very similar formulation to Diet Coke with Splenda – although Pepsi ONE contains significantly more caffeine.


i-6853c0e391211b1148610144b58d1745-caff4.jpg

Diet Cheerwine

Per 12oz can: 48.1mg caffeine


i-6fe5b33783eba5300842c820033ce059-dietrc.jpg

Diet RC Cola

Per 12oz can: 47.3mg caffeine

Royal Crown (RC) colas have been around for a long time and are currently owned by Cadbury Schweppes. As in the case of Diet Coke – here the diet version has more caffeine than the regular RC Cola. 2


i-d1831161097a438c72ea4e66da21f935-caff6.jpg

TaB

Per 12oz can: 46.5mg caffeine

TaB (from Coca-cola) is one of the oldest diet or sugar-free soft drinks around. It has more caffeine than Diet Coke


i-c71f5a9f81a0b6e03d50c956c3c66e05-caff8.jpg

Diet Coke

Per 12oz can: 46.5mg caffeine

Diet Coke has significantly more caffeine in it than regular coke (34.5mg).


i-e17b42133154eca60aa0da83689b3bf9-caff7.jpg

Diet Sunkist Orange Soda

Per 12oz can: 41.5mg caffeine

Contains slightly more than the regular version of Sunkist. Who would have thought that Orange Soda was caffeinated?


i-aa24c4c7b9cda0bd2d701b0b525c0d4e-caff9.jpg

Diet Dr Pepper

Per 12oz can: 41mg caffeine

Contains the same amount as regular Dr Pepper.


How Much Caffeine in Instant Coffee?

i-d909a40d2be2accac91150b118584603-coffeepowder.jpg

According the USDA – 1 rounded teaspoon of instant coffee powder contains 57mg of caffeine. (source).


What about Diet Coke Plus?
The vitamin-filled Diet Coke Plus contains the same amount of caffeine as Diet Coke.

Diet Pepsi?
Didn’t even make it to this list. Diet Pepsi has 36mg caffeine in a 12oz can.

Sources: The CaffeineInformer caffeine database and caffeine in citrus soda, along with PepsiCo, Coca-cola, Sundrop.

111 Comments

Comments now closed
  1. Michael

    Jason said:
    Vault[…]

    My can says 69mg. Wonder why 69mg? (Also in Diet Pepsi Max)

  2. Barbara

    So we should basically keep on drinking what we love? You know… I never ever thought this would happen but I feel enlightened. I think this is such a phenomenon. Thank you so much and happy trick or treating. [I’m giving out soda’s this year.] Yeay! [:

  3. Cory

    You can order Cheerwine off their website. A bit pricey but if you’ve grown up on the stuff, then moved away (like I did), and want to get it, they’ll ship 2 12-packs ($12 plus shipping) to your door.

  4. Gilbey Scott

    Caffeine is also a big issue for those with heartburn problems. The caffeine relaxes the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) which allows stomach acid to wash back into the esophagus. Over time this causes permanent damage, not to mention the pain.

  5. Matt Katz

    I’m coming a little late to the game, but I’ll mention my favorite: Diet Manhattan Special.

  6. anna

    i love the new diet pepsi max (thanks for the review)…it gives me that extra punch i need by the end of the work day…and their commercials crack me up!! i was on their website watching the ads the other day and pass them around the office…makes me yawn everrrry time =)

  7. Spectra

    Karen–yeah, I live in Wisconsin and we can get caffeine-free Mountain Dew. But then, what’s the point? LOL. I only drink Diet Dew when I need a quick burst of caffeine.

  8. Karen

    When I lived in the midwest (Nebraska), I could be caffeine-free diet Mountain Dew. Have they stopped making it in the US? I know it’s not available on the west coast, but just assumed it was still on the shelves back home.

  9. crystal

    STOP DRINKING ANYTHING WITH ASPARTAME OR YOU WILL DIE….

    • Steven Ferris

      You will die not drinking aspartame regardless.

  10. Merna

    No one has mentioned my favorite (spelled favourite here in Australia) — no caffeine Diet Coke. If it is not on the shelf when I’m shopping I MIGHT buy the other lo-cal Coca-Cola and Pepsi drinks, but usually I pass them up and wait for the no caffeine Diet Coke at the next store or on my next shopping trip. Most of the previous comments seem to be from the USA (where I was born and lived the first twenty-one years of my life) or Canada. Here in Australia, the no caffeine Diet Coke is readily available. Is it a line that is not sold in the USA/Canada?

    Side note / comment about caffeine. In 1993 my husband and I made a three-month trip to the USA. At one stage I needed a pain killer and went to various pharmacies (known here as chemists or chemist shops) looking for what I had been taking here — paracetamol. The major brand for it here is Panadol, but I buy it as a cheaper generic house brand from the major supermarkets.

    After unsuccessfully scouring the shelves of several pharmacies in Minneapolis, where we happened to be at the time, reading the active ingredients on all kinds of pain killers and getting nowhere, I asked the pharmacist if it was available in the US or was not on the shelf because it was by prescription only. Paracetamol meant nothing to him, but he checked it for me and found it was sold in the US as acetaminophen. I bought some and took them according to the package instructions, as I did with paracetamol in Australia.

    Later that day while we were visiting one of my high school teachers and his wife I found myself “charged up” or acting rather “hyper.” As I had not seen these people for over twenty years, I put my feelings down to excitement which I also figured was the reason I spent hours trying to get to sleep that night.

    The next day I discovered that the painkillers contained caffeine. At that stage I drank one or two cups of tea a day and had a cup of coffee once or twice a year. Perhaps those who have caffeine in one form or another would not have reacted to the painkillers as I did, but once I stopped taking them I was able to calm down again.

    Panadol and the generic brands of paracetamol here do not contain anything else (at least the ones I buy don’t).

    While writing this I could not remember what paracetamol is known as in the US. Googling “paracetamol” + “name in USA” gave me several results including this one – http://www.irishhealth.ie/askdoc.html?q=5703&section=1 (watch the wraparound, depending on how this prints online) – which provided it for me.

    Have I started a new thread — caffeine in medications?

    Merna

  11. Jim

    Kevin said:
    How could you leave out Vault Zero?[…]

    Coca-cola define Vault as a “Hybrid Energy Soda” – they do not classify it as a regular carbonated soft drink.

  12. Kevin

    How could you leave out Vault Zero? At 70.5mg per 12oz. can, it ranks higher than any of the others listed. (And is my current favorite, btw.)

  13. Emily

    Most of the drinks that have been mentioned in the comments (Jolt, Red Bull, etc.) fall under the energy drink label, which is not what this list is about

  14. Tanner

    Yeah, cheerwine rocks!

  15. Jason

    FYI, Vault Zero has 70.5 mg of caffeine in a 12 oz. can.

  16. MK

    Get the real scoop on coffee at http://www.CaffeineAwareness.org
    And if you drink decaf you wont want to miss this special FREE report on the Dangers of Decaf available at http://www.soyfee.com

  17. Andrea

    Wow. Maybe I’ll just give up soda altogether…

  18. Mike H.

    cowboy_k said:
    A couple years ago, Mountain Dew figured out how to work around that here in Canada – they started selling “Mountain Dew Energy” as an energy drink, which doesn’t fall under the same regulations as normal soft drinks – I believe it’s classified as a “nutritional supplement”, and they just have to show the caffeine in the list of “active medicinal i[…]

    To Christine and Cowbow_k

    Those are very interesting tidbits – thanks for the enlightenment!

  19. Mike H.

    Dont Drink Diet said:
    You should eventually be held responsible for all the future deaths caused by Aspartame and your promotion of this poison. Good job death dealer.[…]

    To whom are you referring? Am I missing something here? Nobody is promoting diet drinks.

    • Cyndi

      As a Type I diabetic for 41 years I’ve drunk a whole lot of aspartame and still prefer it over all the other garbage sweeteners out there, so Mike H, thanks for handing me a death sentence because you have no idea what its like to NOT have an option. Truvia, Stevia or whatever you want to call it is awful in hot beverages and on fruit, it has a fruity taste and changes the flavor of everything. I can’t have regular sugar sweetened items or it raises my blood sugar – I’ve managed to avoid complications for 41 years and plan to continue to do so…and continue to use aspartame! Maybe if you had no choice you’d be more understanding. There is nothing wrong with aspartame – it certainly isn’t going to cause anyone’s death. If it did I’d be gone long ago. Stop being melodramatic and understand some of us are happy to have options like aspartame because we don’t have any other choice – except regular sugar which will raise glucose levels and cause complications and serious problems. Not an option. Aspartame is just fine in my book.

    • Stu

      Haha …. you can’t reason with social justice warriors …. their mission in life is to spurt out accusations & condemnation in every direction, whether it makes any sense or not.

  20. Dont Drink Diet

    You should eventually be held responsible for all the future deaths caused by Aspartame and your promotion of this poison. Good job death dealer.

  21. andyb

    Diet Red Bull has 80mg caffeine in an 8.3oz can – so it’s almost 70% more caffeinated than Diet Pepsi Max…

    Seems like this isn’t the definitive list.

  22. cowboy_k

    Christine said:
    Mike H. I think it’s the law in Canada that only dark-coloured pop can be caffeinated? I’m not too clear on that one. Barq’s is caffeinated, but that’s the only non-cola that has any caffeine in it.[…]

    A couple years ago, Mountain Dew figured out how to work around that here in Canada – they started selling “Mountain Dew Energy” as an energy drink, which doesn’t fall under the same regulations as normal soft drinks – I believe it’s classified as a “nutritional supplement”, and they just have to show the caffeine in the list of “active medicinal ingredients”. 🙂

  23. Christine

    Mike H. said:
    In Quebec you aren’t allowed to make margarine the same colour as butter!?[…]

    Actually, I think that *used* to be true for all of Canada (as your parentals about mixing the colour with the margarine) but it was changed a handful of years ago; we can now buy butter-coloured margarine, rather than that garishly coloured stuff.

  24. Kevin

    What? No Jolt?

  25. goblyn13

    Tony C said:
    No sugar… This particular list is all DIET sodas. That’s also why there’s no Jolt sodas here, as they are all sugared concoctions.[…]

    Jolt Ultra is Jolt’s suger-free version. From there Website (http://www.joltenergy.com/Fridge/tabid/80/Default.aspx)

    Jolt Ultra

    No carbs, no calories, just caffeine, Vitamin B
    complex, guarana, ginseng, taurine and great
    taste, so you can drink more and do more
    naturally.

  26. rosendo

    thats because your an idiot

  27. Jim

    This list does not include anything in the Energy Drink category – but just low-calorie CSDs (Carbonated Soft Drinks).

    Reduced sugar does not mean reduced caffeine.

  28. Josh

    You guys forgot Rockstar Zero. No carbs, no sugar, 280 mgs of Caffeine

  29. Jim

    Is the caffeine level increased across other Coke brands, such as Coke Zero, or the Splenda-sweetened Diet Coke?

  30. Dave

    How on EARTH does Tab have more caffeine than diet coke, but they both are listed as 46.5 grams? Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

  31. Mike H.

    Christine said:
    Mike H. I think it’s the law in Canada that only dark-coloured pop can be caffeinated? I’m not too clear on that one. Barq’s is caffeinated, but that’s the only non-cola that has any caffeine in it.[…]

    Thanks! Shouldn’t surprise me with some of the other bizare food legislation they have here. In Quebec you aren’t allowed to make margarine the same colour as butter!?

  32. Tony C

    Sunny said:
    hmmm isn’t it amazing how they can get so many grams of caffeine AND sugar into these cans? just amazing ….i feel sick >[…]

    No sugar… This particular list is all DIET sodas. That’s also why there’s no Jolt sodas here, as they are all sugared concoctions.

  33. Jenn

    i cannot tell you how much i LOVE pepsi max. i am a huge fan of diet pepsi (i drink it when i want a cola drink, but it’s less harsh on my teeth), but pepsi max now takes that title of favorite soda. i like even more than regular pepsi! i really hope they keep it around.

  34. plasticorange

    Daily drinker of Pepsi One, I like that is uses Splenda, which is like the only artificial sweetener that hasnt caused cancer in lab rats, YET.

    Interesting about the Sunkist.

  35. SHANNA

    Diet Pepsi Max is SUPPOSED to have more caffeine- hence the name MAX! Tastes really good too!

  36. Josh

    Maksimir: Jolt Ultra you mean?

    12oz of that has approx 77 mg caffeine.

  37. Maksimir

    I am surprised Jolt Cola is not on the list, they must have missed it.

  38. Christine

    Mike H. I think it’s the law in Canada that only dark-coloured pop can be caffeinated? I’m not too clear on that one. Barq’s is caffeinated, but that’s the only non-cola that has any caffeine in it.

  39. Janelle Jenkins

    Crystal Light recently started selling a new version of their “On The Go” packets. It’s for energy in the flavor of wild strawberry. This little packet makes 2 servings of 60mg of caffeine… And you’re definately gonna use the whole packet. That’s 120mg of caffeine… What a kick!!!!

  40. rpm2004

    Ann said:
    So does Cheerwine taste like wine? Like cheer … ? […]

    Cherry flavored

  41. Ann

    So does Cheerwine taste like wine? Like cheer … ?

  42. Spectra

    Diet Sunkist is awesome! My brother drinks the regular Sunkist and no one believes us when we tell them that it has a good jolt of caffeine. Everyone always says: “Orange soda doesn’t have caffeine”. Yes, except for Sunkist and Diet Sunkist.

    Oh, btw…I love Diet SunDrop. That’s some good stuff.

    I’ve never tried that new Diet Pepsi Max, but I’d be curious to see what it tastes like.

  43. Eeyoreem

    Dr.J said:
    […]

    Cheerwine is awesome. I went to college in NC and got hooked on it. I never tried diet until this year. Now I’m up in PA but my brother lives down there so whenever he comes to visit or anyone in the family goes down there they have to get me my fix. Its awesome.

  44. Mark

    What the heck is Diet Cheerwine? Hilarious.

  45. Mike H.

    I’ve always known that mountain dew was particularly high in caffeine (I think the regular is also 55mg) but I found out a couple years back that up here in Canada it contains none! I wonder if this is the same for the diet version. Anyone know?

  46. Dr.J

    Ann said:
    Diet Cheerwine? … […]

    HaHa!! Cheerwine rules!! It’s a small company in North Carolina that persisted due to local loyalty and their refusal to sell out to the big soda company!(Coke and Pepsi)

  47. Sunny

    hmmm isn’t it amazing how they can get so many grams of caffeine AND sugar into these cans? just amazing ….i feel sick ><

  48. Claire S.

    Wow, when I took a trip to North Carolina this summer, I drank Diet Sundrop every day! Who knew?

  49. Shanosha

    There are some sodas on this list that I’ve never heard of in my life. But this is good info to know. I’ve been cutting back on soda for about a year now, ever since I noticed that cafee sometimes give me headaches and can make me feel a little dizzy. Now I only drink it occasionally when eating out.

  50. Ann

    Diet Cheerwine? …