One cup of frozen lemonade contains 99 calories and 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume less than 100 calories per day from added sugars -- about 6 teaspoons -- and men consume less than 150 calories per day -- about 9 teaspoons. The World Health Organization advises you to keep your sugar consumption to less than 5 percent of your total daily calories. This equates to 6 teaspoons a day for an adult of average height and weight. Diets high in sugar can lead to tooth decay, weight gain and chronic disease. The acidity in lemonade may also trigger heartburn. Drink lemonade in moderation to avoid unwanted health problems.
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Sugary drinks, such as lemonade, don’t leave you satiated the same way food does. Harvard School of Public Health notes people who drink sugary beverages don’t eat less to balance out the calories from their drinks. Sugary drinks may also cause you to crave other sugary, high-calorie foods. A 2011 study in the “New England Journal of Medicine” showed people who drank one 12-ounce sweetened beverage a day gained an extra pound a year compared to those who did not. Extra pounds can lead to obesity and a host of chronic health problems and medical expenses.
Lemonade is acidic and sugary, which is the perfect recipe for a cavity. The acid in lemonade penetrates the outer layer of your teeth, and the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar, leading to tooth decay. Drinking too much lemonade can cause your teeth to erode and become overly sensitive, making it hard for you to eat or drink without pain. Lemonade can also cause yellowing of your teeth as the enamel wears away.
When the acidic juices of your stomach flow back upward, they touch the lining of your esophagus and can cause heartburn, or acid reflux. Heartburn is an unpleasant, burning sensation in your mid chest or upper abdomen. The acid in citrus fruits, such as lemons, increases the acid in your stomach. The Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding citrus fruits if you get heartburn, so steer clear of lemonade if it causes you acid reflux or try diluting it with water.
According to Harvard Medical School, added sugars account for 10 percent of the average American’s total calories. Most added sugars are from sugary drinks, such as lemonade. A 15-year study published in 2014 in “JAMA Internal Medicine” showed subjects who consumed 25 percent of their calories from sugar were more likely to die of heart disease than subjects who consumed 10 percent or less of their calories from sugar regardless of age, sex, weight and physical conditioning. The exact reason is unclear, but it may be due to weight gain, cavities and a lack of disease-fighting vitamins and minerals.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Lemonade, Frozen Concentrate
- Harvard School of Public Health: Sugary Drinks
- New England Journal of Medicine: Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men
- Today Health: The Five Surprising Things Ruining Your Teeth
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Gastroesophageal Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Adults
- Cleveland Clinic: Heartburn
- Harvard Medical School: Eating Too Much Added Sugar Increases the Risk of Dying With Heart Disease
- JAMA Internal Medicine: Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults
- World Health Organization: WHO Opens Public Consultation on Draft Sugar Guidelines
- American Heart Association: Added Sugars