Nutrition Facts Water and Beverages Print How Much Sugar Is in a Can of Soda? By Shereen Lehman, MS Updated June 25, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Getty Images More in Nutrition Facts Water and Beverages Dairy Fruit and Vegetables Proteins Whole Grains Snacks It's no secret that soft drinks are brimming with sugar. Nor is it news that soda, as well as other sweetened beverages such as fruit juices, bottled iced teas, and energy and sports drinks, are suspected to play a role in the increased risks of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer that are associated with a high intake of sugar. If you're a regular imbiber of sweetened beverages, you aren't alone. In 2009, for example, the total sales of fizzy beverages reached $18.7 billion dollars, or around $5 billion more than total milk sales, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you suspect you may be downing more sugar than is healthy (or that your soda-sipping kids are), read on to learn how much sugar (including other common sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup) is too much, the amount of sugar in popular beverages, and ways to tame a sweet tooth in order to kick a sweet-drink habit. How Much Sugar Is Healthy? The short answer: none. There's no recommended daily allowance for sugar because it offers no nutritional benefits whatsoever. The only thing added sugar and other sweeteners bring to the table are calories. So rather than advise people to get a certain amount of sugar in the diet, groups concerned with nutritional health all suggest specific limits to the amount of added sugar people eat or drink each day. There's no amount of added sugar that's considered "healthy." For example, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA), recommend that women take in no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, which amounts to 25 grams or 100 calories worth of sugar, and that men get no more than nine teaspoons of sugar per day (38 grams or 150 calories). The American Academy of Pediatrics also caps sugar intake for kids between 2 and 18 at six teaspoons per day. Note that these recommendations do not apply to sugar that naturally occurs in foods, including the fructose in fruits. Sugar in Common Beverages Keeping in mind that depending on your age and gender you should try to limit your intake of added sugar from all sources, not just soda and other sweetened beverages, you may be shocked to learn just how much sugar and how many calories are in a single sweetened drink. Here are some examples of the approximate amount of sugar in a 12-ounce serving of several popular beverages. Drink Sugar Calories Cola 39 grams 140 Orange soda 44 grams 160 Clear (lemon-lime) 38 grams 140 Sports drink 21 grams 80 Sweetened bottled iced tea 35 grams 135 Vitamin-infused water (20-ounce bottle) 32 grams 120 Sweetened cranberry juice cocktail 38 grams 165 Caffeinated energy drink 41 grams 165 Apple juice (10 ounces) 32 grams 140 Coconut water 13 grams 60 It's also important to note that most of the calories in these beverages are "empty," meaning they have little to no nutritional value. Even the potential benefits of certain drinks—such as the vitamins in fruit juice or the urinary tract health boost provided by cranberry juice—are minimized by their excessively high sugar content. How to Decrease Soda Intake Drinking an occasional soda probably won't hurt you so long as you keep your daily intake in check. If you have an insatiable appetite for soda and other sweet drinks that you'd like to overcome, here are some tips from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics you might try. Taper Off If you or your child are downing super-size servings of soda or other sugary beverages each day, it will be tough to go cold turkey. Your goal is to cut back to no more than 8 to 12 ounces, or none at all, per day. To get there, note how many ounces you typically drink in a day and then come up with a reasonable plan to decrease that amount by 2 or 3 ounces every few days until you reach the goal. Order a Fountain Drink With Ice You'll dramatically decrease the amount of sugar this way. In the case of soda, for example: 12-ounce cup (child-size): 23 grams of sugar and 95 calories16-ounce cup (small): 31 grams of sugar and 128 calories21-ounce cup (medium): 44 grams of sugar and 180 calories32-ounce cup (large): 65 grams of sugar and 267 calories Switch to Diet Drinks These typically are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, that have zero calories but are made from chemicals that have no nutritional value. What's more, many artificial sweeteners have a high glycemic index which means they cause blood glucose levels to rise after being consumed. They aren't safe for people who have diabetes. What's more, while diet beverages don't add extra calories to a person's daily intake, and so they can be useful for weight loss, research has found that people who have a diet soda every day are at an increased risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. So although downing the occasional soda or other beverage sweetened with fake sugar is fine for satisfying an occasional craving, it isn't a healthy option overall. Diet sodas are a better option than regular sodas, but with meals, it's best to drink water or low-fat or skim milk. And when it comes to quenching your thirst between meals? Plain old water is the best way to go. 6 Healthier Sodas That Are Easy to Make at Home Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get nutrition tips and advice to make healthy eating easier. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Hard Facts about Soft Drinks. Jan 14, 2014. www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/hard-facts-about-soft-drinks American Academy of Pediatrics. AHA: Limit Children's Sugar Consumption to 6 Teaspoons Per Day. Aug 23, 2016. http://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/23/Sugar082316 Coca-Cola Product Facts. How Much Sugar in Coke Is There? www.coca-colaproductfacts.com/en/faq/sugar/how-much-sugar-in-coke/ U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28: Basic Report: 14148: Beverages, Carbonated, Cola, Regular. May 2016. Continue Reading What You Should Know About Invert Sugar Surprising Health Benefits of Cutting Soda From Your Diet Tips and Tricks to Help Your Kids Avoid Summertime Sugar Bombs Can Sugary Drinks Reduce the Benefits of Your High-Protein Diet? Is That Gatorade You’re Sipping Actually Harming Your Health? What Is a No Sugar Diet? Are Artificial Sweeteners Really That Bad for You? 5 Experts Weigh In The Health Effects of Eating High-Fructose Foods How to Stop Sugar Cravings During Weight Loss Is Organic Gatorade Really Better for Athletes? Is Drinking Blueberry Juice Good for You? 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