One of the most important aspects of cleaning up your diet is cutting out sugar. As delicious as it is, sugar is one of the worst foods for your health. It can increase our risk for a number of diseases and can even affect your mental health.
When working to decrease sugar intake, many people start by ditching donuts, cookies, candy and other sweets. But what you may not realize is that the drinks you’re consuming may actually be even worse for you.
For reference, a typical candy bar — such as a standard-size Hershey’s chocolate bar — contains 24 grams of sugar, but it’s not uncommon for a sweet drink to contain much more sugar than that. The following seven drinks contain more sugar than this entire candy bar.
Gatorade is often a go-to drink after a workout, but we’re not filling our bodies with the best nutrients when we load up on this sports drink post-exercise. Although amounts vary depending on flavor, a typical 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34 grams of sugar.
2. Red Bull
Many of us turn to Red Bull for energy, but we may want to think again. In addition to its high caffeine content, Red Bull is also loaded with sugar, coming in at 27 grams of sugar per 8.4 fluid ounces. Red Bull may make us feel alert for a bit, but we can expect to feel that sugar crash later.
3. Vitamin Water
Just because it says “vitamin” in the name doesn’t make it healthy. Just after water, cane sugar is the second ingredient in Vitamin Water. A typical 20-ounce bottle contains 31 grams of sugar. We’re better off getting our vitamins from natural sources, like fruits and vegetables.
4. Naked Juice
If it’s juice, it can’t be bad, right? Think again. Because it’s concentrated with so many fruits, Naked Juice contains an unnecessarily high amount of sugar. Even a 15.2-ounce bottle of their “Green Machine” juice contains 53 grams of sugar. Although it’s natural, we’d be better off eating a whole fruit. Too much sugar is too much sugar, and eating a whole fruit also provides fiber, which helps us to feel full.
Coffee on its own isn’t a red flag. When it’s blended with a whole boatload of sugar, then we’ve got problems. Even just a tall Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 46 grams of sugar. Upgrade to a grande, and we’re at 66 grams. Opt for a venti, and it’s a whopping 84 grams of sugar.
When we think of sugary drinks, soda is usually the first thing that comes to mind — and for good reason. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, contains 39 grams of sugar. Opt for a flavor like vanilla or cherry, and we’re up to 42 grams. Considering there are no other nutrients in the drink, we’re better off skipping soda entirely.
Lemonade is packed with sugar. Minute Maid lemonade, for example, is only made with three percent juice. It’s no surprise the rest of it is made up of sugar in the form of fructose. One 20-ounce bottle contains a shocking 67 grams of sugar.
In the end, nothing is as good for you as a glass of water — or in this case, an edible pod of water!