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How Many Calories Does Soda Have?

author image Leigh Ann Morgan
Leigh Ann Morgan began working as a writer in 2004. She has extensive experience in the business field having served as the manager of a $34 million rental property portfolio. Morgan also appeared as a guest on an episode of National Public Radio's "Marketplace Money" in 2005.
How Many Calories Does Soda Have?
The calorie content of soda depends on the flavor and serving size. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Soda represents the number one source of calories in the average American's diet, according to ABC World News. The calorie content depends on the serving size and flavor of each soft drink.

Calorie Source

The calories in soda come from sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The CalorieKing website reports that just 1 tbsp. of high-fructose corn syrup contains 53 calories.

Calorie Content

The average can of soda sweetened with sugar contains 150 calories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. A 20-oz. bottle of soda has 250 calories.


Consuming the empty calories in soda without burning them off can lead to weight gain. An October 2010 study published in the "Diabetes Care" journal revealed that drinking just one sweetened beverage per day also increases the risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 25 percent, as reported by "U.S. News & World Report."


Diet soft drinks sweetened with aspartame or Splenda contain zero calories, making them an alternative to calorie-laden soft drinks.

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Some diet sodas contain phenylalanine, an essential amino acid. While this substance does not harm most people, those who have a metabolic condition called phenylketonuria should not drink beverages that contain this ingredient. Water, tea and other drinks make safer choices.

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