How many Kcals are in a can of Sprite?

Sprite is a popular lemon-lime flavored soda that is caffeinated and contains high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. Many people enjoy Sprite, but want to know how many calories are in a can so they can fit it into their daily calorie goals. In this article, we will explore how many calories are in a 12 ounce can of regular Sprite and diet Sprite.

Calories in Regular Sprite

A 12 ounce can of regular Sprite contains 140 calories. The calorie breakdown is as follows:

  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Potassium: 15mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Sugars: 38g
  • Protein: 0g

As you can see, there are no calories from fat or protein in Sprite. All of the 140 calories come from carbohydrates, specifically sugar. A 12 ounce can contains 38 grams of sugar.

Sugar Content

The 38 grams of sugar in a can of Sprite comes from the use of high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener. High fructose corn syrup is added to many processed foods and beverages as a cost effective sweetener, but it has been linked to obesity and other health issues when consumed in excess.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

As you can see, a 12 ounce can of Sprite contains well over the recommended amount of added sugar for women and over a third of the daily allotment for men.

Other Ingredients

In addition to high fructose corn syrup, Sprite contains carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, and sodium benzoate as a preservative. It does not contain any juice, but gets its lemon-lime flavor from citric acid and natural flavorings. The sodium content comes from sodium citrate.

Calories in Diet Sprite

Diet Sprite contains significantly fewer calories than regular Sprite. Here is the nutrition information for a 12 ounce can of diet Sprite:

  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Potassium: 1mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Calories: 0

As you can see, there are 0 calories in a can of diet Sprite. This is because it is sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium rather than high fructose corn syrup.

Artificial Sweeteners

Diet sodas like Sprite use artificial sweeteners to provide the sweet taste without the calories. While artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are considered safe for consumption by most health organizations, there are some concerns about potential side effects with heavy use.

Potential side effects of artificial sweeteners include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea
  • Increased appetite and weight gain

These side effects are usually associated with excessive intake of artificial sweeteners beyond the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Having an occasional can of diet soda is not likely to cause issues for most people.

Sprite Nutrition Facts Comparison

Here is a nutrition facts label comparison between regular Sprite and diet Sprite:

Nutrition Facts Sprite (12 oz) Diet Sprite (12 oz)
Calories 140 0
Total Fat 0g 0g
Sodium 35mg 35mg
Potassium 15mg 1mg
Total Carbs 39g 2g
Sugars 38g 2g
Protein 0g 0g

As you can see, the main difference nutrition-wise is the sugar and calorie content. Regular Sprite gets its sweetness and calories from 38g of sugar, while Diet Sprite uses artificial sweeteners to provide sweetness without calories or sugar.

Kcal vs Calorie

The nutrition labels on Sprite list calories rather than kcals. So what is the difference between calories and kcals?

A calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C. A kilocalorie (kcal) is equal to 1000 calories. Food labels use kcals because it would require an enormous number of calories to sustain the human body.

In nutrition, calories and kcals are used interchangeably. Kcals are also sometimes referred to as “large calories.” No matter what term is used, the values on nutrition labels refer to kilocalories, or the amount of energy in food.

Daily Calorie Needs

When looking at the calorie content of Sprite, it is helpful to understand general daily calorie needs. According to the USDA, average daily calorie needs are:

  • Women: 2000 calories
  • Men: 2500 calories

Of course, individual needs vary based on age, activity level, and other factors. Here are some general guidelines for calorie needs by age and activity level:

Calorie Needs for Women

Age Sedentary Moderately Active Active
19-25 years 2000-2200 2000-2400 2400-2800
26-35 years 1800-2000 2000-2200 2200-2400
36-45 years 1800 2000 2000-2200
46-55 years 1600-1800 1800-2000 1800-2200
56-65 years 1600-1800 1600-1800 1800

Calorie Needs for Men

Age Sedentary Moderately Active Active
19-25 years 2400-2600 2600-2800 3000
26-35 years 2400-2600 2600-2800 3000
36-45 years 2200-2400 2400-2600 2800-3000
46-55 years 2200-2400 2400-2600 2600-2800
56-65 years 2000-2200 2200-2400 2400-2800

Using these general guidelines, a 140 calorie Sprite would account for about 7% of calorie needs for an average sedentary woman and around 5-6% for an average sedentary man.

Sprite and Weight Loss

When trying to lose weight, calories are king. Weight loss boils down to a calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you burn each day. So enjoying the occasional Sprite can be factored into weight loss plans through portion control and balancing calories throughout the day.

That being said, regular soda may not be the best choice when dieting due to its sugar content. While Sprite only contains 140 calories per can, the 38g of sugar can contribute to blood sugar spikes and crashes which stimulate hunger.

Going with diet Sprite can help avoid excess sugar. Artificial sweeteners provide the flavor of regular Sprite without the high calorie and sugar content. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as consuming diet soda in excess has been linked to unhealthy outcomes.

Tips for Drinking Sprite While Dieting

Here are some tips for enjoying Sprite in moderation as part of a weight loss diet:

  • Treat Sprite as an occasional treat rather than an everyday beverage
  • When you do indulge in Sprite, stick to a 12 ounce can or less
  • Swap half regular Sprite and half diet Sprite to cut down on sugar
  • Substitute seltzer or flavored sparkling water for some of your soda cravings
  • Don’t “drink back” the calories by consuming extra calories to make up for soda intake
  • Increase physical activity on days when you drink Sprite to account for the additional calories

Alternatives to Sprite

If you are looking to cut back on soda but still want a satisfying carbonated beverage, here are some alternatives to consider:

Low/No Calorie Options

  • Sparkling water
  • Unsweetened seltzer
  • Diet 7UP
  • Diet lemon-lime soda
  • Flavored seltzer like La Croix
  • Natural lemonade sweetened with stevia

Low Sugar Options

  • Diluted fruit juice
  • Light lemonade
  • Kombucha
  • Flavored sparkling water
  • Diluted Sprite
  • 50/50 mix of Sprite and seltzer

The options above can satisfy a craving for something fizzy and flavorful while controlling calories, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Sparkling water with a splash of real fruit juice is a tasty, refreshing way to get flavor without all the additives.


A 12 ounce can of regular Sprite contains 140 calories, all of which come from its high sugar content. Diet Sprite provides the lemon-lime flavor without the calories and sugar. While Sprite can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, limiting intake is advisable due to its high added sugar content. Going with lower calorie alternatives can help satisfy cravings for carbonated drinks without excess calories, sugar, and artificial sweeteners.

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