Why you should be concerned about sugary drinks – according to CDC

The next time you go grocery shopping, read the nutrition labels on the items in your cart to see which ones have the most added sugars. You may be surprised to see that the beverages have more added sugars than the food.

Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet.

These sweetened liquids include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters. The flavored coffees we grab on the way to work and the sweetened tea we make at home also count as sugary drinks.

Sugar in drinks
Drink (12-ounce serving) Teaspoons of Sugar Calories
Tap or Unsweetened Bottled Water 0 teaspoons 0
Unsweetened Tea 0 teaspoons 0
Sports Drinks 2 teaspoons 75
Lemonade 6 ¼  teaspoons 105
Sweet Tea 8 ½ teaspoons 120
Cola 10 ¼ teaspoons 150
Fruit Punch 11 ½ teaspoons 195
Root Beer 11 ½ teaspoons 170
Orange Soda 13 teaspoons 210


People who often drink sugary drinks are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.

Tricks to Rethink Your Drink

  • Choose water (tap or unsweetened, bottled, or sparkling) over sugary drinks.
  • Need more flavor? Add berries or slices of lime, lemon, or cucumber to water.
  • Missing fizzy drinks? Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • Need help breaking the habit? Don’t stock up on sugary drinks. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
  • Water just won’t do? Reach for drinks that contain important nutrients such as low fat or fat free milk; unsweetened, fortified milk alternatives; or 100% fruit or vegetable juice first.
  • At the coffee shop? Skip the flavored syrups or whipped cream. Ask for a drink with low fat or fat free milk, an unsweetened milk alternative such as soy or almond, or get back to basics with black coffee.
  • At the store? Read the Nutrition Facts label to choose drinks that are low in calories, added sugars, and saturated fat.
  • On the go? Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Still thirsty? Learn how to drink more water.

Remember that you can be a role model for your friends and family by choosing water and other healthy, low-calorie beverages.


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