The term "soft drink" refers to more than just sodas -- it also encompasses any beverage with added sugars or sweeteners, including fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened teas, sports drinks and energy drinks. For optimal health, you should keep your added sugar consumption to less than 10 percent of your daily calories -- that's 200 calories on a 2,000-calorie diet -- but it can be tricky when a soft drink can contain 10 teaspoons of sugar or more per serving.
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The sugar content of sodas ranges from around 32 grams in 12 ounces of certain ginger ales to nearly 40 grams in some colas. Every 4 grams equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. A lemon-lime soda may ring in at 38 grams of sugar while root beer may contain 39 grams per 12 ounces. The amount of sugar in sodas varies by brand.
Fruit Juices, Teas and Other Soft Drinks
Fruit punch, iced tea and lemonade might seem like healthier choices than sodas, but that's not always the case. Fruit punches contain the least amount of sugar at 25 grams per 12 ounces, but some lemon-flavored iced teas have 32 grams and lemonades made from concentrate contain 37 grams. When you're trying to perk yourself up or replenish after sports, choose carefully: Energy drinks contain around 49.5 grams of sugar, while sports drinks have a modest 19 grams.
Diet sodas do not contain any sugar, but they do contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
- USDA Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 14148, Carbonated Beverage, Cola
- Basic Report: 14060, Beverages, Energy Drink with Carbonated Water and High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Basic Report: 14136, Carbonated Beverage, Ginger Ale
- Basic Report: 14144, Carbonated Beverage, Lemon-Lime Soda, No caffeine
- Basic Report: 14065, Beverages, Hi-C Flashin' Fruit Punch
- Basic Report: 14293, Lemonade, Frozen Concentrate, White, Prepared with Water
- Basic Report: 14476, Tea, Ready-to-Drink, LIPTON BRISK Iced Tea, with Lemon Flavor
- USDA Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 14460, Beverages, PEPSICO QUAKER, Gatorade, G performance O 2, Ready-to-Drink.