Coca-Cola's latest soda takes aim at gamers, tastes like League of Legends XP

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,992   +190
Staff member
In a nutshell: Coca-Cola has partnered with Riot Games on the latest soda flavor from its Creations brand. Formally known as Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar, the limited edition beverage is launching today in major markets including the US, Canada, Latin America, China, South Korea, and Africa. The zero-calorie cola is said to taste like experience points (or XP), whatever the heck that means.

The Atlanta-based soft drink maker is no stranger to trying new things. In 2022, Coca-Cola launched its Creations line alongside a new limited-edition drink called Starlight with a taste that was said to be "inspired by space." A couple months later, Coke released a metaverse-inspired soda called Byte that it said tasted like "pixels." The flavor did not appeal to everyone, but at least the company is willing to experiment.

Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar is the seventh beverage to come out of the Creations platform and the first gaming collaboration – League of Legends, in this case. The tie in involves some in-game unlockables as well that'll be available starting today through July 18:

  • Get seven assists in a single game to earn the Ultimate Teamplay emote.
  • Earn 12,000 gold in a single game to earn the Ultimate Gains emote.
  • Win a game in less than 20 minutes to earn the Ultimate Tempo emote.

Gamers are also encouraged to scan the QR code on bottles or cans for more exclusive content.

So, what does the League of Legends soda taste like? That will be up to you to interpret.

Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy for Coca-Cola, said this and most other Creations beverages are mystery flavors. The flavor profile is always 85 to 90 percent Coke, but the other 10 to 5 percent is left to the imagination. Starlight, for example, reminded some drinkers of cotton candy or fruit. Dreamworld, another Creations formulation, is said to have hints of citrus and mango. Marshmellow's limited edition soda is infused with strawberry and watermelon flavorings, Coke notes.

The ball is in your court, Pepsi.

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Kashim

Posts: 373   +664
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.
 

Nobina

Posts: 4,317   +5,185
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.
I can taste the difference but it's negligible, I don't drink sodas often but when I do I prefer "zero calories" cause I'm not trying to get fat.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,783   +7,380
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.

Xylitol and Sucralose taste just fine to me. I don't even mind aspartame in SOME drinks, even though its a neurotoxin (I'm old enough not to care any more). Personally I find Kroger's no-cal, no-caff cola pretty good.
 

Kashim

Posts: 373   +664
I can taste the difference but it's negligible, I don't drink sodas often but when I do I prefer "zero calories" cause I'm not trying to get fat.
To you the taste difference may be negligible, but to me and many others it's absolutely disgusting. Not only that, but they act as a diuretic, which in turn makes you more thirsty. If you don't drink sodas often then why even care if it has zero calories? Drinking a soda every now and then is not going to make you fat. Also, sugar substitutes are just as bad for you if not worse than actual sugar. Do a few searches and see for yourself.

"Artificial sweeteners are a popular sugar substitute for people looking to reduce their calorie or sugar intake or control their weight. However, there is evidence that these products can increase appetite and weight, disrupt gut health, and put you at risk of metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes."
 

Kam7r

Posts: 361   +740
Since I lost 77kg in less than a year by myself 147 -> 70kg ... I'll don't touch this thing even with a stick... this and 99% of the sh!t food that's coming from the US ...
 

Kashim

Posts: 373   +664
Xylitol and Sucralose taste just fine to me. I don't even mind aspartame in SOME drinks, even though its a neurotoxin (I'm old enough not to care any more). Personally I find Kroger's no-cal, no-caff cola pretty good.
After drinking anything with sucralose in it try to rinse out your mouth with water and see if you can get rid of that gross sugary taste that's left in your mouth. For me it stays in my mouth for hours after drinking anything with sucralose in it. If you're fine with that nasty taste in your mouth that's great, but personally I can't stand it.

They started sneaking sucralose into lots of products in recent years and I have to check labels now to avoid it. Anything that says "no sugar added" on the container (pudding, yogurt, etc.) will almost certainly have sucralose in it. They think that if they replace only part of the sugar with sucralose people won't notice it, but some of us do.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,383   +2,621
Since I lost 77kg in less than a year by myself 147 -> 70kg ... I'll don't touch this thing even with a stick... this and 99% of the sh!t food that's coming from the US ...

Good on you. I get crazy looks from people when I tell them I don't drink pop nor anything with caffeine anymore. They think I'm crazy, but I feel better now that I don't consume that junk. I stopped drinking pop 8+ years ago and about 2.5 years ago I cut caffeine out of my diet too, not even things with natural caffeine in them.

When I stopped drinking pop I probably cut out 95% of alcohol, too. When I had pop I was always thinking, Jack Daniels tastes good in Coke, so I'd pick up some Jack. I never drank enough to get drunk, but one or two mixed drinks a day on top of the fact that I was probably drinking about a gallon's worth of pop a day wasn't a healthy diet. I lost my taste for beer and most liquor. Now I generally have some gin in the house and a bottle can last me 3-4 months before it's gone, just the occasional gin and tonic these days.

After I stopped drinking pop I slowed down on energy drinks, too, but I didn't give those up. I moved to green and black tea for a while, but eventually drifted back to energy drinks and I was drinking 2-3 a day. I wasn't drinking them for energy by now, it was just a habit and I really did enjoy the taste of some of those Monster drinks. Driving by the gas station and pick 3 up for $5 almost every day on my way to work. 3+ years back I stopped with them, went strictly to tea, but I was pounding tea like it was air and after about 6 months of strictly tea I even stopped drinking that. December will be 3 years without caffeine and will be 9 years without pop. I don't miss either.

I was surprised by how much a 12-pack of pop is these days because my wife asked me to grab some when I was at the store a handful of months back. $8 for a 12-pack! Cripes. When I was drinking pop you could get a 24-pack for $6.50 and 12-pack was usually around $3.50. I'm glad I gave this crap up.
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,486   +4,857
TechSpot Elite
Good on you. I get crazy looks from people when I tell them I don't drink pop nor anything with caffeine anymore. They think I'm crazy, but I feel better now that I don't consume that junk. I stopped drinking pop 8+ years ago and about 2.5 years ago I cut caffeine out of my diet too, not even things with natural caffeine in them.
I wish more people would realize this for their heath.

I also stopped drinking sugary drinks several years ago and barely go for sugary treats either. Saves me money and empty calories.

And then I also don't do caffeine, but not because of anything more than "I don't need to". Though, I am probably sensitive to it now (so best not to have too much if I choose to).

Alcohol is the only one I drink from a few times per week, to a few times per month. More or less to try the new beers that look interesting. Or for social reasons.
 

Axeia

Posts: 96   +118
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.
In addition to some of them tasting awful I also get unwanted side effects. Aspartame gives me an upset gut (and dry mouth) and many of the others give me a massive headache.

The only sweetener my body seems to tolerate is Stevia (which is a natural one) but the aftertaste is a bit bitter. Avoiding sweeteners in the UK is difficult when it comes to drinks, doubly so since they added a 'sugar tax'which lead to a lot of companies replacing at least part of the sugar with sweeteners to avoid the additional tax.

To be fair the only sugary drink I enjoy is the 'original' coca cola and that's give up in price over the years like crazy. £2.45 now for a 1.75l bottle.


Anyway the only thing I can imagine a zero sugar LoL inspired drink to taste like is salt, pure salt. All the sugar replaced with salt because that fanbase is the saltiest I've ever seen.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 560   +938
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.
I actually like them. I avoid refined sugars.
 

Nobina

Posts: 4,317   +5,185
To you the taste difference may be negligible, but to me and many others it's absolutely disgusting. Not only that, but they act as a diuretic, which in turn makes you more thirsty. If you don't drink sodas often then why even care if it has zero calories? Drinking a soda every now and then is not going to make you fat. Also, sugar substitutes are just as bad for you if not worse than actual sugar. Do a few searches and see for yourself.

"Artificial sweeteners are a popular sugar substitute for people looking to reduce their calorie or sugar intake or control their weight. However, there is evidence that these products can increase appetite and weight, disrupt gut health, and put you at risk of metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes."
I think some people are too obsessed about being able to tell the difference, like they're some sort of a coke gourmet. I can't believe that the difference is so big it's actually disgusting since I drink it myself.

Even if I drink soda rarely it can add up to a lot of calories so I'll drink low calorie versions instead.

Sugar substitutes are not healthy but they are not worse than sugary soda, I've seen a lot of evidence suggesting diet coke helps with weight loss which is the main factor in improving health. Science is all over the place on that one. Main cause for diabetes is being a fast slob, which is achieved by drinking a lot of regular soda.
 

Loli Pop Carbon

Posts: 90   +109
Anything that claims "zero sugar" is going to taste absolutely awful because of the sugar substitute they're using. It doesn't matter what lab concocted chemical flavors they try to use to mask it. Whether it's xylitol, inulin, erythritol, or aspartame they all taste horrible. They're most likely using sucralose, which is the worst offender of them all with it's disgusting after taste.

Instead of giving it these silly names they should just call it what it really is: chemically flavored carbonated water with sugar substitutes.

It tastes awful indeed. I tried it for the first tkme recently. Nope! I prefer the original.
 

Dr Roboto

Posts: 111   +217
I personally don't like artificial sweeteners. I can notice the taste difference and they usually give me a headache. I have tried numerous times, but nope.

I like the occasional Coke or Dr. Pepper for a treat. It is a shame IMO that Coca-cola has gone all in on "Zero" calorie. I wouldn't mind trying some of these "fun" flavors, but I just don't drink diet or zero calorie.

Is there a reason they don't make a version that is maybe half sugar and half artificial sweetener? Why is all or nothing?
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 667   +1,000
A little known fact, but men's sperm counts and testosterone levels in general are way down from previous decades. Aspartame is just one of the chemicals that they have found that has very detrimental effects on male reproduction. Nearly all these zero sugar products contain Aspartame.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32681620/
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,211   +894
I don't drink sodas often but when I do I prefer "zero calories" cause I'm not trying to get fat.

I don't drink sodas often but when I do I prefer "full fat" cause I won't get fat from that occasional drink.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 560   +938
A little known fact, but men's sperm counts and testosterone levels in general are way down from previous decades. Aspartame is just one of the chemicals that they have found that has very detrimental effects on male reproduction. Nearly all these zero sugar products contain Aspartame.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32681620/
Not what my wife says. But there are some very iffy men these days. Hell, I'm 57, run 5k a day, row 20 minutes a day, ride bike 20 minutes and stair climb 20 minutes. about 2 straight hours of working out at LEAST 5 days a week. I sit on my arse working at home, so I have to do something. I drink quite a few diet drinks, most using Stevia. But I enjoy regular diet sodas as well. Love the Vitamin Waters (stevia).