Just because something is marketed as healthy, does not always mean it it. In the case of sugars, you could be drinking way more sugar than you think. So, to help educate, I created a sugar comparison chart using some popular "healthy" perceived drinks. I say "perceived" because certain drinks are assumed to be healthy like Green Tea or anything with fruit. In their natural states they are good for you, but once these items get into a bottled mass produced drink, the story can change dramatically.
A common mistake that people make as well is that a bottle of a drink does not always mean it is just one serving. For example, your typical Odwalla bottle is actually 2 servings, and a bottle of Vitamin Water is 2-1/2 servings, so when you read the nutrition label be sure to calculate for the full bottle serving amounts.
As a benchmark, we all know that a Coca-Cola has a significant amount of sugar. To be exact, this is exactly how much sugar a 20oz bottle of Classic Coke contains.
To make the sugar message even more impactful, I converted the amount of grams of sugar in each drink into the equivalent number of shots like shots of booze in your favorite cocktail. One shot glass is 1.5 oz. So, for each drink in the comparison, you can see basically how many shots of sugar you are taking in. When you start looking at your sugar consumption that way, it gives you a whole new perspective.
So let's take a comparison look...
First, for this comparison, I used drinks that use regular type sugars including sugars from fruit. I did not include any of the "diet", "light" or "slender" versions of the drinks that contain an artificial sweetener.
I also picked a representative group of drinks like Vitamin Water
for fruit/electrolyte drinks, Fuze for fruit drinks, Jamba for fresh
made To-Go drinks, Odwalla and Naked for Protein and Green shakes, and
Snapple for a green tea. Yes, there will be healthier choices for each
group, but for a simple comparison I picked drinks that would be most
popular and readily available to most people in the US.
In the case of Jamba Juice, since they have a large choice of drink offerings, I chose one representative drink that was in the middle range. I also stuck to the 16oz (small size) because once you get into the bigger sizes, the sugar content goes through the roof. For example, in the chart below I chose the Mango-a-go-go which at 16oz has 64g of sugar which is basically the same amount of sugar as a 20oz Coke. When you go the next size up to the Original size the sugar amount is 100g which is 2-1/3 shots of sugar. Yikes!
So, let's take a look:
Just from this small sample of "healthy" drinks, you start to get an eye opener to the real sugar picture. Now some will argue that natural sugar from fruit is better for you than processed sugar like high fructose sugar in Coke which to a degree is true. However, when it comes to your overall health, too much sugar whether is be natural or processed is not optimal for ideal health or for maintaining a healthy weight. Too much sugar consumption is a large contributor to our nation's rising obesity problems.
So now, when you go buy your drinks, you are armed with more awareness. Be sure to check the nutrition labels and see how many grams of sugars are in that drink. You don't necessarily have to cut out some of your favorite drinks completely, but it is wise to cut the amount way down, so you get your sugar intake down. Also, as to not be totally depriving, you could just limit certain drinks to the "on a rare ocassion" category.
Hope this chart helps with learning more about your sugar consumption from "healthy" drinks.