Getting your groove on while you're watching your calorie intake can be tricky. Apart from calorie content, here's what you need to know about your Captain Morgan and Diet Coke drink.
A drink with 35 milliliters of Captain Morgan’s Original Rum (40 percent) and 330 milliliters of Diet Coke has 79 calories.
Calories in Diet Coke
A 330-milliliter serving of Diet Coke contains 1 calorie and 0 grams of fat, protein, sugar and salt. In comparison, a 330-milliliter serving of regular Coca-Cola has 139 calories, 35 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fat, protein and salt.
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This is because regular Coca-Cola is sweetened with sugar, whereas Diet Coke is artificially sweetened using aspartame and acesulfame-K. These artificial sweeteners help keep the sugar and calorie content low and give Diet Coke its signature flavor, which is not quite the same as regular Coca-Cola.
Diet Coke and Weight Gain
You're probably wondering whether drinking a lot of Diet Coke can help you lose weight, given that it barely has any calories. However, the relationship between diet soda and weight is slightly more complex.
A study published in April 2015 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that consumption of diet soda was linked to abdominal obesity in older adults. The researchers found that the relationship between diet soda and abdominal obesity was a dose-response relationship, where the more frequently people consumed it, the more weight they gained.
Another study, published in the Journal of Nutrition in August 2016, found similar results. The researchers noted that people who drank more than five servings a week of both artificially sweetened beverages and sugar-sweetened beverages were at a greater risk for metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and abdominal obesity are some of the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome.
Read more: Which Diet Sodas Do Not Contain Aspartame?
Ingredients in Diet Coke
Apart from artificial sweeteners, the other ingredients in Diet Coke are carbonated water, caramel coloring, caffeine, phosphoric acid, citric acid and phenylalanine.
Diet Coke is an acidic drink, thanks to the carbonated water and the citric acid it contains. The American Dental Association warns that drinking acidic drinks like carbonated sodas can wear away the enamel coating that protects your teeth. Tooth erosion not only damages the appearance of your teeth but also leads to cavities and tooth infections.
Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to a higher risk of other health conditions, like stroke, Alzheimer's and dementia, according to a study published in the journal Stroke in May 2017.
Aspartame, one of the artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke, also contains phenylalanine, which can be harmful to people who have a genetic condition known as phenylketonuria. People with anxiety or other mental disorders are also advised to take aspartame cautiously.
Pregnant women who have high levels of phenylalanine are also advised to avoid aspartame. Of course, if you're pregnant, rum is out of the question too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, since it can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and a range of lifelong disabilities in the child.
Read more: The Side Effects of Drinking Diet Coke
Calories in Captain Morgan Rum
Rum is an alcoholic drink of Caribbean origin made from the byproducts of sugarcane, like molasses and cane syrup, via a process of fermentation and distillation.
Since a 330-milliliter serving of Diet Coke has only 1 calorie, the majority of the calories in your rum and Diet Coke drink come from the rum. A 35-milliliter serving of the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (35 percent) has 73 calories, 1.4 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fat, protein and sodium. So there are 74 calories in a spiced rum and Diet Coke drink.
Other varieties of Captain Morgan rum have similar nutrition and calorie profiles. A 35-milliliter serving of either the Captain Morgan White Rum (40 percent) or the Captain Morgan Original Rum (40 percent) has 78 calories and 0 grams of fat, protein, sugar and sodium. So a white rum or original rum and Diet Coke drink would have 79 calories.
Interestingly, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar also has 1 calorie per 330-ml serving, so there would still be 79 calories in a rum and Coke Zero drink. The "zero" in the beverage's name refers to zero sugar and not zero calories, as many people mistakenly believe. However, even though it has the same number of calories as Diet Coke, Coke Zero's taste is not the same as Diet Coke; its flavor profile is modeled after the original Coca-Cola flavor.
Read more: Coca-Cola Vs. Coke Zero
Alcohol and Weight Gain
The studies on alcohol and weight gain have been inconclusive so far, according to a review published in January 2015 in the journal Current Obesity Reports.
However, drinking alcohol could potentially cause weight gain in a number of ways. When you drink, your body burns alcohol as fuel and temporarily stops using carbohydrates and fat as a fuel source. The excess glucose from carbohydrates and lipids from fat end up getting stored as adipose tissue, or fat.
Alcohol also promotes greater hunger and lower satiety, causing you to eat more than you normally would. It can cause you to make poor food choices as well, so apart from the calories in your drink, you may end up consuming a whole lot of other unhealthy calories too.
A Drink Now and Then
Having an occasional drink, whether it's rum and Coke or any other for that matter, should not derail your weight loss goals if you're following a healthy diet and fitness regime, provided that you're accounting for the calories from alcohol within your daily calorie limit.
In fact, moderate amounts of alcohol can even be good for health. For example, a large study published in January 2015 in the European Heart Journal found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of heart failure in men and a 16 percent lower risk of heart failure in women.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting your alcohol intake to up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. One alcoholic drink equivalent is described as 14 grams of pure alcohol or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol).
Apart from potentially causing weight gain, excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking are linked to several health conditions, like liver disease and a greater risk of high blood pressure, dementia, certain cancers, depression and anxiety.
- Coca-Cola: “Diet Coke”
- Coca-Cola: “Coca-Cola Original Taste”
- Coca-Cola: “How Many Calories Are There in a 330 ml Can of Diet Coke?”
- Coca-Cola: “What’s the Difference Between Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke?”
- Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: “Diet Soda Intake Is Associated With Long-Term Increases in Waist Circumference in a Biethnic Cohort of Older Adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging”
- Journal of Nutrition: “Frequent Consumption of Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Natural and Bottled Fruit Juices Is Associated With an Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in a Mediterranean Population at High Cardiovascular Disease Risk”
- Mayo Clinic: “Metabolic Syndrome”
- American Dental Association: “Erosion: What You Eat and Drink Can Impact Teeth”
- Stroke: “Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study”
- Mayo Clinic: “My Favorite Diet Soda Has a Warning About Phenylalanine. Is Phenylalanine Bad for Your Health?”
- American Pregnancy Association: “Artificial Sweeteners and Pregnancy”
- Diageo Drink IQ: “What's In Your Drink?”
- Coca-Cola: “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar”
- Victoria State Government: “Alcohol and Weight Gain”
- Current Obesity Reports: “Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update”
- Oxford Academic: “Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study”
- Harvard Health: “Sorting Out the Health Effects of Alcohol”
- USDA: “2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Alcohol Use in Pregnancy”