Is Coke Gluten Free? | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • Coke is gluten-free.
  • Major soda brands like Pepsi, 7UP, and Dr. Pepper have gluten-free options.
  • Always read labels and double-check ingredients to ensure that soda is gluten-free.
  • Gluten-free alternatives to soda include sparkling water, kombucha, and tea.

Coca-Cola is one of the most popular beverages in the world. However, many people with gluten intolerance may not know if Coke is safe to drink.

Coca-Cola, aka Coke, is naturally gluten-free according to the Coca-Cola Co. It is considered gluten-free to 20 ppm, making it safe for those with gluten-intolerances. Coke claims all its products, including Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero Sugar, are gluten-free.

It is tough to go anywhere and not see a variety of beverages made by the Coca-Cola Company. As a Nutrition Coach, I understand the importance of knowing the ingredients for everything you eat. This includes things that are not listed in the nutrition facts. In this article, I will cover the ins and outs of Coke, including the ingredients, nutritional value, and more info on why Coke is gluten-free.

Table of contents


A Brief History Of The Coca Cola Company

Coca-Cola is one of the world's most recognizable and beloved brands, but its history is as rich as its flavor. Founded in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton, Coca-Cola was initially sold at soda fountains as a cure for headaches and exhaustion.

Pemberton's recipe was a mix of coca leaves and kola nuts, which gave the drink its distinctive flavor and energizing effect.

Coca-Cola's early success was partly due to aggressive marketing tactics, such as placing ads in newspapers and billboards. Pemberton also hired a team of salesmen to distribute the drink to soda fountains and other retailers.

By 1891, Coca-Cola was being sold in every state in the United States and was available in Canada and Mexico.

In 1892, Pemberton sold the rights to Coca-Cola to a group of businessmen led by Asa Griggs Candler for $2,300. Under Candler's leadership, Coca-Cola became a global brand, opening bottling plants in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Candler also introduced innovative marketing techniques, such as giving away free coupons for Coca-Cola and sponsoring events like the Olympics and World's Fair.

Throughout the early 20th century, Coca-Cola grew in popularity and became a symbol of American culture. The company's iconic logo, featuring the famous script and red-and-white colors, was introduced in 1899 and has remained largely unchanged.

In the 1960s, Coca-Cola faced increasing competition from other soft drink brands and began diversifying its product line. In 1960, the company introduced Fanta, a fruit-flavored soda that became popular in Europe and Asia.

In 1961, Coca-Cola launched Sprite, a lemon-lime soda that quickly became one of the company's best-selling brands.

In 1985, Coca-Cola faced one of its biggest challenges when it introduced "New Coke," a reformulated version of the classic drink. The new formula was met with widespread backlash from consumers, who protested the change and demanded the return of the original recipe.

After just 79 days, Coca-Cola reintroduced the original formula as "Coca-Cola Classic," and sales quickly rebounded.

Today, Coca-Cola is a global brand in over 200 countries. In addition, the company has diversified its product line to include bottled water, sports drinks, and other non-carbonated beverages.

Despite facing increased competition and criticism over its health effects, Coca-Cola remains a beloved brand with a rich history and loyal following.

What's In Coca-Cola?

The formula for Coca-Cola is a closely guarded secret, known only to a select few individuals within the company. However, the ingredients made public by Coca-Cola are:

  • Carbonated Water
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Caramel Color
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Natural Flavors
  • Caffeine

Some variations of Coca-Cola may also include additional ingredients like citric acid, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate as preservatives. Others contain trace amounts of coca leaf extract and kola nut extract, which were included in the original formula.

It's worth noting that the exact recipe and proportions of these ingredients may vary depending on the country where the drink is produced and the specific version of Coca-Cola being made.

Nutritional Facts

Coke is sold in many sizes, from 2-liter bottles to mini 8-ounce cans. Each of these will have different nutrition facts based on serving size. With that said, here are the nutritional facts for a 20-ounce Coca-Cola:

One serving per container

Serving size 1 Bottle 20 ounces

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 240
  • Total Fat 0g or 0% of the daily recommended intake
  • Sodium 75mg        or 3% of the daily recommended intake
  • Total Carbohydrate 65g or 24% of the daily recommended intake
  • Total Sugars 65g
  • Includes 65g Added Sugars or 130% of the daily recommended intake
  • Protein 0g or 0% of the daily recommended intake
  • Caffeine Content: 57 mg/20 fl oz

Coke does not contain a significant amount of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Why Is Coke Gluten-Free?

Coca-Cola is gluten-free to 20 ppm (parts per million) because it contains no ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, or rye.

While some soft drinks and other beverages may contain additives or flavorings derived from gluten-containing grains, Coca-Cola's ingredients list does not include any of these ingredients.

It's important to note that some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may still experience symptoms after consuming Coca-Cola or other soft drinks, even if they are technically gluten-free.

This is because some people with these conditions may have additional food sensitivities or reactions to certain food additives or preservatives commonly found in processed foods, including soft drinks.

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. In that case, it's always a good idea to read product labels carefully and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or questions about specific foods or beverages.

Additionally, there are many other gluten-free options available that you can enjoy without worry.

Do Any Coke Products Have Gluten?

Most Coca-Cola products, including Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, and others, are considered gluten-free by Coca-Cola Co. The flavorings and other additives used in these products are also typically gluten-free.

However, some Coca-Cola products sold in other countries may contain ingredients not used in the United States or other markets and may therefore be subject to different labeling requirements or standards. So always be sure to check the label for a gluten-free certification.

Is All Soda Gluten-Free?

No, not all soda is necessarily gluten-free. While most sodas, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other popular brands, do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, other sodas may contain additives, flavorings, or other ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, or rye.

It's important to be aware of these ingredients when purchasing a soft drink including:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Malt
  • Spelt
  • Bulgur
  • Brewer's yeast

In addition, some sodas may be subject to cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains during the manufacturing process or at other supply chain stages.

For example, some sodas may be produced on shared equipment or in facilities that also process wheat, barley, or rye, which can increase the risk of cross-contamination.

What Soda Is Known To Be Gluten-Free?

Here is a list of gluten-free sodas that you can drink without worrying about gluten:

  • 7UP, including Diet 7UP and 7UP Cherry
  • A&W Root Beer, including A&W Diet Root Beer, A&W Cream Soda, and Diet Cream Soda
  • Barq's Root Beer, including Barq's Diet Root Beer, Barq's Cream Soda, and Barq's Red Creme Soda
  • Coca-Cola, including Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla, Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla, Coca-Cola Vanilla, Cherry Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, and their zero sugar versions
  • Dr. Pepper, including Dr. Pepper Cherry, Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar, and their other varieties
  • Fanta, including Fanta Grape, Fanta Orange, and Fanta Orange Zero
  • Fresca, including Fresca Original Citrus, Fresca Peach Citrus, and Fresca Black Cherry Citrus
  • Mist Twist, including Mist Twist and Diet Mist Twist
  • Mountain Dew, including Mountain Dew Voltage, Live Wire, Code Red, Major Melon, and their zero sugar versions
  • Mug Root Beer and Mug Cream Root Beer
  • Pepsi, including Pepsi Wild Cherry, Pepsi Zero Sugar, and their other varieties
  • Sprite, including Sprite Original, Sprite Cherry, Sprite Tropical Mix, Sprite Lemonade, and their zero sugar versions
  • Sunkist, including all Sunkist products

All these sodas are gluten-free and safe for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Is Coke Bad For You Even While On A Gluten-Free Diet?

Like many other soft drinks, Coca-Cola is considered a sugary, calorie-dense beverage that can contribute to weight gain, obesity, and other health problems if consumed in excess. Drinking too much Coca-Cola regularly can also increase the risk of developing dental cavities and may lead to other health issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.

While Coca-Cola does not contain gluten, it is still important to consider the overall nutritional value of the foods and beverages you consume as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Drinking Coca-Cola or other sugary beverages in moderation as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle is generally considered safe.

However, individuals with certain health conditions or concerns, such as diabetes, obesity, or dental problems, may need to limit their intake of sugary beverages, including Coca-Cola.

Additionally, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should be aware of the potential cross-contamination risks and choose gluten-free alternatives when possible.

Gluten-Free Alternatives To Soda

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, or if you are looking to reduce your sugary beverage intake, you can choose from many gluten-free alternatives to soda. Here are a few examples:

  • Sparkling water is a great alternative to soda for those who love the carbonation but don't want the sugar or artificial sweeteners. This is a personal favorite of mine!
  • Herbal teas have many health benefits when compared to soda and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Some popular flavors include peppermint, chamomile, and ginger.
  • Coconut water is natural and gluten-free. The drink is  rich in potassium and other electrolytes.
  • Kombucha is a fermented tea that has become more popular in recent years. It is naturally gluten-free and contains probiotics, which can benefit gut health. It comes in various flavors and can be found in many health food stores.
  • Homemade smoothies can be made at home or at your local juice bar. Add fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy ingredients. They are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.

These are just a few examples of the many gluten-free soda alternatives available. Experiment with different flavors and types of beverages to find the ones that work best for you and your dietary needs.