Why Do Utahns Put Coffee Creamer in Diet Coke?

Butter and popcorn, ketchup and fries, jelly and peanut butter — all of these are like two peas in a pod. They go together, and they make sense to the majority of us. But how about hot sauce and watermelon or coffee creamer in Diet Coke?  Really? Yes, really! Those may not be normal to most of us, but for some, that’s the only way. 

Well, do Utahns really put creamer in their soda? Let’s learn more about this unique combination.

A young woman in a crop top holds a glass filled with diet coke and coffee creamer.

What Are Utahns? 

Before we can further explain the bizarre pairing of coffee creamer and Diet Coke, we must explain another term — Utahns. We’re certain you can deduce that Utahns are people from Utah, but there’s a little more to it than that.

The biggest debate over what to call people from Utah stems from the term’s spelling. For most locales, people refer to themselves from a state and then add “an” to the end of it. For example, Californians or Nebraskans. But not in Utah.

People from Utah are Utahns, not Utahans. And they stand by it so much that there’s a campaign centered around it. That campaign is appropriately titled “Call Me a Utahn.”

If Utahns are that particular about a term stating where they’re from, then you can imagine that they may also feel quite particular about their soda and what belongs in it.

Do People in Utah Put Creamer in Soda?

We know what you might be thinking. Nothing belongs in soda — except maybe some ice and a straw — but not coffee creamer. Utahns disagree.

Coffee creamer very much belongs in soda. And not just any soda, specifically Diet Coke. At least, that’s what started this craze.

Coffee creamer is slowly poured into a clear cup of diet coke.

Why Do Utahns Put Coffee Creamer in Diet Coke?

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 60% of Utah residents belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And contrary to popular belief, members can drink caffeine but choose to avoid coffee. So, why not make a coffee drink that doesn’t actually have coffee?

Putting coffee creamer in Diet Coke gives a sweet yet tart and tangy flavor that balances each other quite nicely. The unique pairing has become quite popular over the years. 

The original version of the drink used Diet Coke, sugar-free coconut, lime, and coconut creme. Easier to make by adding coffee creamer, it took off as a drink of choice for many Utahns that don’t drink coffee. 

However, it might also just be reminiscent of cream soda. It also compares to Sonic Drive-In’s drink combination options. 

Does Diet Coke Taste Better With Creamer?

But does Diet Coke actually taste better with creamer? If you want a coffee drink with flavor, then yes, Diet Coke might have a better flavor than plain coffee. 

However, if you crave a soda and not a coffee, adding a bit of creamer may change the taste too much, masking the soda flavor you wanted. 

What it comes down to is your preference. A sweet coffee drink without the coffee? Give it a try. Add some coffee creamer to your Diet Coke. A refreshing soda? Stick to the basics, and add some ice instead.

Why Can Mormons Drink Diet Coke But Not Coffee? 

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were once commonly referred to by the nickname Mormons. Latter-day Saints follow a set of rules or guidelines called the Word of Wisdom

In these rules, viewed as a gift from God, members avoid hot drinks such as coffee and tea other than herbal teas. However, this doesn’t exclude hot cocoa, either.

The Word of Wisdom also outlines other guidelines to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, like abstaining from drugs, eating healthy, and getting good sleep.

You may have thought that Latter-day Saints couldn’t drink caffeine. It turns out it’s not the caffeine they can’t drink; it’s the hot drinks. Enter Diet Coke with coffee creamer. Because, well … why not? 

This drink has become quite popular over the years, evolving into other sodas mixed with other ingredients such as fruit syrups and half-and-half. And now, all across Utah and neighboring states, you’ll find Utahns and tourists alike seeking out what are now called “dirty soda shops.” 

HOT TIP
Try out the Best Dirty Soda Shops in Salt Lake City.

What Exactly Is Diet Coke?

But before there were ever dirty soda shops, we simply had Diet Coke. Coca-Cola unveiled Diet Coke in 1982 in response to another low-calorie soda, Tab.

Using artificial sweeteners offered a low-calorie alternative to Coke and created the shift from cane sugar to artificial sugars. This switch saved the company around 100 million dollars a year at that time.

Is It Healthy to Drink Diet Coke?

Diet Coke became a very popular drink with its low-calorie, zero-sugar offerings. But does that make it healthy?

Artificial sweeteners might help make a drink taste sweet without adding sugar and calories. However, those artificial sweeteners aren’t good for you, regardless of how much less sugar you consume than a regular Coke.

According to Healthline, drinking Diet Coke has several downfalls. It’s highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel. It can also disrupt your natural gut biome, where your natural and needed bacteria reside.

Furthermore, Diet Coke can cause increased headaches and decreased bone density. The drink can even impact heart health and may be linked to type 2 diabetes. Ironically, it may also increase sugar cravings which could ultimately lead to weight gain.

As with anything, consume Diet Coke in moderation, and the same goes for your newfound love of dirty sodas.

Is Putting Coffee Creamer in Diet Coke Worth It?

So is putting coffee creamer in Diet Coke worth your time? That all depends on your tastebuds. Are they adventurous? If so, then this tangy, bubbly concoction might work for you. 

This is especially true when you can get even more adventurous with other pairings such as fruited syrups and other sodas than Diet Coke. You may want to try a Dr. Pepper with Cherry and Vanilla. 

If, on the other hand, you’d rather savor a Diet Coke for exactly what it is, you might want to save the creamer for the coffee … if you drink coffee, that is.

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