Soda Sugar Content: How Much Sugar is Really in you’re Soda?

Do you know exactly what sugary drinks and sodas contain? You may want to think twice before consuming them.

By Sharon Elizur MS, RD, CDN, CDE

Many drinks contain added sugars and offer little or no nutrition. Not only do drinks with added sugars contain no nutrients, calories from drinks can add up quickly. Consuming more calories than our bodies need leads to weight gain. Being overweight and/or obese without obesity management can increase the risk of many chronic diseases, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

High consumption of sugary drinks can also lead to tooth decay. Regular and diet drinks aren’t completely safe either; they may contain an acid that can cause cavities.

Did you know that a 12-ounce glass of the following beverages contains…?

Beverage (12 fl oz) Calories Grams (carbs) Grams (sugar) Tsp (sugar)
Canada Dry® Seltzer Water 0 0 0 0.0
Canada Dry® Ginger-ale 140 36 35 8.75
CocaCola® 140 39 39 9.8
Minute Maid® Lemonade/Pink 150 42 40 10.0
Motts® 100% Apple Juice 180 43.5 42 10.5
Naked® 100% Coconut Water 57 15 10 2.5
Nestea® Lemon Iced Tea 75 18 18 4.5
Ocean Spray®   100% Cranberry Juice 165 42 42 10.5
Sprite® 140 38 38 9.5
Sunkist ® Orange Soda 170 44 43 10.75
Tropicana® 165 39 33 8
Vitamin Water® (Refresh – Tropical Mango) 72 19.8 19 4.75
Water 0 0 0 0
Fanta® Grape 170 44 44 11

Is Sugar Hiding in Your Drink?

Sweeteners that add calories to a drink go by many different names.  They are not always obvious when reviewing an ingredients list.  You should be aware that if one or more of the caloric sweeteners listed below appear in the ingredients list of the drink you choose, you are drinking a sweetened beverage:

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Dextrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose

Want to drink smart? Follow these tips:

  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks when thirsty.
  • Make flavor infused water by adding lemons, limes, berries, cucumbers, mint leaves or other natural flavors to water. Drink it chilled for a refreshing taste.
  • Add a splash of freshly squeezed lemon/lime to seltzer water or water.
  • Juice, puree, chop, or dice fresh vegetables, fruits and/or herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays. Place infused ice cubes in water.
  • Choose water when eating out – it’s free!
  • When at a coffee shop, choose skim or low-fat milk and skip the whipped cream and flavored syrup.
  • Understand the “Nutrition Facts” label of beverages to help you make better choices.

Medical Disclaimer
The articles provided on this website are for informational purposes only. In addition, it is written for a generic audience and not a specific case; therefore, this information should not be used for diagnostic or medical treatment. This site does not attempt to replace the patient-physician relationship and fully recommends the reader to seek out the best care from his/her physician and/or diabetes educator.


DAR -0044 RevA 06/2019