We reach for soda, juice or energy drinks throughout the day, but do we ever stop to think about what’s actually inside of those drinks? The nutritional benefits, or lack thereof?
Well here’s one, for starters.
A 12-ounce can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar (about 10 teaspoons), which is more than 80% of the recommended daily intake for a healthy diet.
"The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke," says Dr. Hu., professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Now, of course, we’re not talking about the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and carbohydrates, but the added sugars found in processed foods. “Americans take in an average of more than 17 teaspoons of sugar (about 290 calories) a day from added sugars, often in sweetened beverages, far more than recommended.”
Those sweetened beverages can be any of the following, not just soda*:
- juice drinks, like fruit punch
- energy drinks
- sports drinks
- sweet tea
- sweetened coffee drinks
- sweetened water
*Includes other beverages with sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup added to enhance sweetness.
So, let’s break it down to get healthier hydration. Here’s how much added sugar is actually in these beverages, along with a healthier alternative you can consume instead.
Most sodas provide little to no nutritional value. In a single serving of Orange Soda alone, you get 49g of sugar, or about 12 teaspoons. This is almost double the average sugar intake you should be getting per day, let alone in one drink.
To make this even more bleak, a new Gallup poll found that 48% of U.S. adults drink at least one glass of soda a day, and among those who do drink soda, the average amount consumed is 2.6 glasses a day. That’s almost 147g of sugar a day, or 36 teaspoons!
Based on advertising alone, it’s easy to think that sports drinks do it all - from increasing athletic performance to providing lasting energy. But beyond the added electrolytes, their excessively high sugar content minimizes any other nutritional benefit they might offer.
A 32-ounce sports drink contains between 56 and 76 grams of sugar – equal to about 14 to19 teaspoons. To top it all off, nearly 60% of high school students drink at least one sports drink a week.
That Pumpkin Spice Latte you may know, love and consume on a semi-regular basis contains 50 grams of sugar in a grande alone.
But let’s say you don’t consume those sugar-induced drinks, but brew your coffee in the comfort of your home. With creamers and sugars packs alike, researchers found that the average coffee drinker consumed nearly three teaspoons of sugar each day (41.3 Calories worth) in their coffee, while tea drinkers consumed about two teaspoons of sugar (36.7 Calories) in their tea.
Energy drinks are a different beast entirely. People drink them because they claim to improve energy, help with weight loss, increase endurance, and improve concentration, but when one of the main ingredients in energy drinks is caffeine - you’re actually more likely to experience an energy crash later on.
A single energy drink can contain as much as 500 mg of caffeine. You would have to drink 14 cans of cola to get the same amount of caffeine.
Beyond that, they also typically contain around 40 grams of sugar - the main ingredient in energy drinks, right after water.
Last but not least, fruit juices are oftentimes perceived as healthy options, but in fact, are not. An eight-ounce serving of juice and Cola both contain about 30 grams of sugar on average — that's almost eight teaspoons.
We’ve also known juice to help with things - like Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections. Well… Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice has 36 g of sugar per cup. That’s more sugar than in one cup of soda (26g).
So how can we avoid all this nasty added sugar and stick to what we at Sweetkick like to call healthy hydration?
This may sound like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. AKA you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health. Water will always be the best choice before, during, and after physical activity. In addition, our Body Balance Powder was specially crafted to help you manage cravings, establish all day energy, promote gut health, and support healthy blood sugar levels. It's a 100% vegan superblend of prebiotic fiber, vitamins and minerals to support balanced blood sugar levels, gut health and all-day energy. Simply stir it into your water, coffee or tea first thing in the morning to start your day off right.