How much sugar is in your favorite drink?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

sugary Coca-Cola
Coke contains more sugar than anyone should have in an entire day!

When it comes to living large in America, nothing could be larger than the amount of sugar in our food. Health experts warn the public about its dangers and parents try to keep their kids away from it, but despite everyone’s best efforts, sugar is everywhere. Sure, this includes obvious sources like candy, donuts, and pastries, but did you ever pay attention to all the sugar inside popular drinks? You’d be surprised by just how much is in there.

Soda is probably the worst offender of them all. Not only does it contain acid that wears down the teeth’s protective layer, causing cavities, but it’s also jampacked with sugar. How much, you ask? Well, the typical 20 oz. bottle of Coke contains about 56 grams of sugar. That’s roughly the same amount as 5 little Debbie Swiss Rolls… you know, those rolls of sweet chocolate filled with cream and dipped in even more chocolate? Pepsi is even worse, with 69 grams of sugar in a 20 oz. bottle.

Okay, well what about fruit drinks? Their labels often say things like “no added sugar” and “100% juice”, so they must be healthy, right? Sadly, our body absorbs “natural sugar” the same way it does added sugar. For instance, a 15.2 oz. bottle of Minute Maid apple juice contains 49 grams of sugar, which is basically the same amount as 10 Oreo cookies! Additionally, fruit juice doesn’t have as much fiber to slow down sugar absorption like real fruit, so any sugar inside these drinks goes straight into the blood.

And, you can bet your lunch money that tea drinks aren’t any better. Arizona Green Tea is often sold in 23 oz. cans with healthy-sounding words like “ginseng” and “honey” scrawled across the label. However, the cans are filled with about 51 grams of sugar. That’s roughly as much sugar as you’ll find in 20 Hershey’s Kisses!

So, if you’re trying to practice a healthy diet, don’t assume that cutting candy and other sweets out is enough. Pay attention to the liquid you’re drinking and read labels carefully to make sure you’re not guzzling tons of sugar hidden inside!

Featured image courtesy of robin_24 on Flickr. Image of Coca-Cola bottle courtesy of JD Hancock on Flickr.