A small McDonald’s Coca-Cola contains 140 calories. A medium contains 210 calories. A large contains 310 calories.
How Many Ounces are in Each Size of McDonald’s Coca-Cola?
A small McDonald’s Coca-Cola is 12 ounces. A medium is 21 ounces. A large is 32 ounces.
The number of calories in a McDonald’s Coca-Cola depends on the size. The larger sizes contain more ounces of soda, and therefore more calories.
Calories per Ounce of Coca-Cola
According to Coca-Cola, there are 11.25 calories per ounce of Coca-Cola.
So by multiplying the ounces in each size of McDonald’s Coca-Cola by 11.25 calories per ounce, we can determine the calories for each size:
– Small (12 oz) = 12 * 11.25 = 140 calories
– Medium (21 oz) = 21 * 11.25 = 210 calories
– Large (32 oz) = 32 * 11.25 = 310 calories
Nutrition Facts for McDonald’s Coca-Cola
Here are the official nutrition facts for the different sizes of McDonald’s Coca-Cola:
Small Nutrition Facts
Medium Nutrition Facts
Large Nutrition Facts
As you can see from the nutrition labels, the calorie count goes up with each larger size, since there are more ounces of soda. However, the basic nutritional make-up is the same.
The calories come entirely from carbohydrates (specifically sugars). A McDonald’s Coca-Cola has no fat, protein or fiber. The main nutrients are 38-85 grams of added sugars, depending on size.
Daily Recommended Sugar Intake
The American Heart Association recommends no more than:
– 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugars per day for women.
– 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men.
As you can see from the nutrition facts above, just one McDonald’s Coca-Cola exceeds the recommended daily added sugar intake.
A small Coca-Cola has 38 grams of added sugars, which equates to about 9.5 teaspoons of sugar.
A medium has 57 grams (14 teaspoons) and a large has 85 grams (21 teaspoons).
This is why health authorities recommend limiting consumption of sugary soft drinks like Coke. They provide a lot of added sugar without any nutritional benefit.
Comparing Calories in McDonald’s Coca-Cola to Other Drinks
Here’s how the calories in a McDonald’s Coca-Cola compare to some other drink options:
As you can see, a small McDonald’s Coca-Cola has 140 calories, while the same size of Sprite has the same.
Beverages like water, diet soda, or milk have significantly fewer calories. However, orange juice and iced tea still contain over 100 calories per small serving.
Smoothies like the McCafe line contain even more calories than soda, with 260 calories in a small size.
So while Coke is very high in calories compared to water, it’s on par with most other sugary beverages.
How Much Sugar is in a McDonald’s Coca-Cola?
A small McDonald’s Coca-Cola contains 38 grams of sugar.
A medium Coke has 57 grams of sugar.
And a large has 85 grams of sugar.
As mentioned earlier, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.
Clearly, even a small size Coke exceeds the daily recommended limit.
For comparison, here are the grams of sugar in some other popular beverages:
– Sprite: 38 grams (small)
– Orange juice: 26 grams
– Milk: 12 grams
– Iced tea: 32 grams
As you can see, the only beverages with more sugar than Coca-Cola are other sugary sodas and smoothies.
Beverages like milk, juice and iced tea still have over 25 grams of sugar in a typical serving.
Is Diet Coke Healthier than Regular Coke?
Diet Coke is healthier than regular Coca-Cola because it has zero calories and sugar.
A small size of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 38 grams of sugar.
Whereas a small Diet Coke has:
Since Diet Coke is sugar-free, it eliminates all the calories and sugar of regular Coke.
Studies have shown that replacing sugary sodas like regular Coke with zero-calorie beverages can lead to weight loss over time.
However, the artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke are controversial. While considered safe by regulatory agencies, some research indicates they may have negative effects on gut health and blood sugar control.
Overall, Diet Coke is a better option than regular Coke for people looking to reduce calories, sugar and weight. But water, unsweetened tea and other drinks without artificial sweeteners are healthier choices.
Is Coca-Cola Bad for You?
There are several reasons Coca-Cola may be bad for your health:
High in Sugar and Calories
Coca-Cola is very high in sugar and calories, with little to no nutritional value.
It provides “empty” calories and added sugar that have been linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Acidity Can Erode Tooth Enamel
Coca-Cola has a very low pH, making it highly acidic. The acidity can erode tooth enamel over time and lead to dental cavities.
Caffeine Can Cause Problems for Some
Coca-Cola contains 34 mg of caffeine per 12 oz serving. Consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues and rapid heartbeat in sensitive individuals.
However, moderate caffeine intake of 400 mg per day or less is generally safe for most adults.
May Lack Nutrients Needed for Bones and Teeth
Since soda has no nutritional value, it displace other healthier beverages from the diet. Consuming too much soda makes it harder to get the recommended intake of nutrients like calcium and vitamin D needed for bone health.
Can Increase Risk of Obesity, Diabetes and Other Diseases
Frequent consumption of sugary sodas like Coke has been linked to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity.
Is Coke Worse than Other Sugary Drinks?
Coke is not necessarily worse than other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Pretty much all sodas, fruit juices and sweetened teas contain a comparable amount of calories and added sugar.
Here’s how the nutrient content of a small Coke compares to other popular sugary drinks:
As you can see, Coke is fairly equivalent to other sodas and sweet tea in calories and sugar content. And it’s lower than some juices.
So while Coke is unhealthy, it’s not necessarily worse than other sugary options. Any beverage with added sugar and calories can contribute to health issues if consumed excessively.
The healthiest options are still water, unsweetened tea and coffee.
Should You Avoid Coca-Cola?
Health experts generally recommend avoiding or limiting consumption of Coca-Cola and other sugary sodas.
Here are some of the leading health authorities’ stances on Coke:
World Health Organization
The WHO recommends limiting sugar-sweetened beverages like Coke to reduce obesity and cavities. They advise restricting intake to no more than 10% of total calories.
American Heart Association
The AHA recommends no more than 450 calories (36 ounces) of sugary drinks per week. They also advise switching to low-calorie or sugar-free options.
US Dietary Guidelines
The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that the consumption of added sugars, especially in beverages, should be limited to reduce calorie intake and achieve a healthy eating pattern.
While occasional intake of Coke in moderation is fine for most people, regular consumption is not recommended. There are healthier alternatives available without all the sugar and calories.
Speak to your doctor or dietitian about appropriate beverage choices as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
Alternatives to Coca-Cola
Here are some healthier beverage options to consider instead of drinking Coca-Cola:
Plain or sparkling water contains zero calories, sugar and other additives. Adding slices of fruit can provide natural flavor.
Seltzer and Flavored Sparkling Water
These offer the carbonation of soda without any calories or artificial sweeteners. Popular brands include LaCroix, Bubly and Perrier.
Unsweetened Tea and Coffee
Swap out sweet tea for plain green, black or herbal tea. For coffee, take it black or just add a small amount of milk.
100% Fruit Juice
Though high in natural sugar, 100% juice contains beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Best to limit to a small glass.
Milk and Milk Alternatives
Low-fat or nonfat milk provide protein, calcium and other nutrients, without the high sugar content of soda.
Make your own smoothie with milk/yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, and greens or protein powder. Much healthier than store-bought versions.
While not completely without drawbacks, diet sodas like Coke Zero provide the carbonation of Coca-Cola without calories or sugar.
The Bottom Line
A small McDonald’s Coca-Cola contains 140 calories and 38 grams of sugar, a medium has 210 calories and 57 grams of sugar, and a large has 310 calories and 85 grams of sugar.
Coke is high in sugar and calories compared to beverages like water, coffee, and unsweetened tea. Drinking too much is associated with weight gain, blood sugar problems, tooth decay and other health issues.
While an occasional small serving is fine for most healthy individuals, health authorities recommend limiting intake of sugary sodas like Coke as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Choose healthier beverage options whenever possible.