The Soda Karl Lagerfeld Drank 10 Cans Of Daily

The late German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was best known for bringing the Chanel brand back to life, creating game-changing designs for Fendi, and following a seriously questionable diet. Apparently, the celeb suddenly was overcome with the desire to lose a bunch of weight. The motivation? Wear clothes designed with slim people in mind. The method? Drink literally so much Diet Coke.

The main focus of the very restrictive diet was to cut out nearly all carbohydrates, fats, sugar, and red meats and to limit caloric intake to shockingly low levels. With each scant meal and every moment in between, Lagerfeld was known to down a can of Diet Coca-Cola — the aspartame-sweetened soda a sad stand-in for any desserts. Lagerfeld's typical consumption of 10 cans a day was equal to just shy of a gallon of Coke. At least Lagerfeld did not try to pretend that he was exemplifying the epitome of healthy living. The whole process — detailed in the book he co-wrote titled "The Karl Lagerfeld Diet" — was purely in pursuit of one man's misguided perception of beauty.

What is even in Diet Coke?

The sweet and bubbly beverage gets its distinctive flavor from a proprietary and closely guarded blend. It originally was flavored with kola nuts, which come from a type of evergreen tree. Kola nuts are the same ingredient that Pepsi-Cola was originally named for. Coca leaves were also a part of the original formulation. Kola nuts are not an ingredient anymore, but some derivatives of decocainized coca leaves are still in the mix. Anything like citrus oils, vanilla, cinnamon, and other flavorings common in generic colas would fall under the vague natural flavorings category.

For Diet Coke specifically, the ingredients are as follows: Carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine. Fans of the product say the taste is absolutely irreplaceable and even prefer it to the original Coke. Diet Coke purists would be undeterred by flashy offerings like Coke Zero's limited-edition flavor inspired by the year 3000. If it isn't Diet Coke, it just isn't cutting it. The uniquely zippy flavor probably comes from the citric acid, which classic Coca-Cola does not have. For his part, Karl Lagerfeld couldn't get enough of the fizzy libation. Women's Wear Daily writes that Lagerfeld once said, "I drink Diet Coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed."

Why do celebrities love Diet Coke?

Karl Lagerfeld is not the only star enamored with this particular soda pop. The likes of Renée Zellweger, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Whitney Houston have all been featured in advertisements for the product. After Coca-Cola purchased Columbia Pictures in 1982, the beverage began appearing in all sorts of movies and shows, quickly becoming synonymous with Hollywood. 

Celebrities ranging from Taylor Swift to Daniel Radcliffe have all been photographed sipping away, both on and off set. The cans were wrapped up in Lady Gaga's hair in the music video for her song "Telephone;" Ben Stiller's character Derek Zoolander acted in an over-the-top, fake advertisement for the soda in the movie; and Diet Coke was the prop for a multi-episode joke on the show "Friends." Diet Coke is even one of icon Betty White's go-to snacks.

The soda has also long been a feature at fashion shows and events. Sociologist and former model Ashley Mears told The Street that this was probably an intentional strategy to get models seen drinking Diet Coke as a form of low-cost, high-impact advertising. In 2011, Diet Coke buddied up with the fashion world in a big way when they had Karl Lagerfeld himself design three, limited-edition aluminum bottles. Fashion icons Jean Paul Gautier, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, and Kate Moss have all also been part of creating special Diet Coke packaging, a move that might never have happened if it weren't for Lagerfeld's love affair with Diet Coke.