Hidden sugars in soft drinks!

How much sugar are in soft drinks

A lot of manufactured beverages contain hidden sugars in soft drinks. Many of us go on diets, eat healthy and afterwards reward ourselves with a soft drink or two. We wonder why we do not seem to lose weight or not as much weight as we should. Sounds familiar? The reason you do not lose weight is thanks to the sugar loaded soft drinks. Soft drinks are empty calories and lead to weight gain. So, it pays off to know how much sugar is in soft drinks so you can make a conscious choice when you grab the next “coke”.

Know how much sugar is inside soft drinks?

The best way to find out how much sugar are in the soft drinks is to check the nutrition label on the back of the bottle or can. The “sugar” content is usually located right under the carbohydrate section of the label. Carbohydrates are a form of sugar and therefore you find the pure sugar content right under the carbohydrates.

IMPORTANT: You need to be aware of the amount indicated per SERVING! Most labels calculate the sugar, fat and carbohydrate content based on 100g or 100ml per serving. However, most products you consume are more than 100g or 100ml. For example, one can of Coke is 330ml but the servings they show on the nutrition label are based on 100ml. This means if you drink the entire can of Coke you drink the sugar content per 100ml X3.3. More on reading nutrition labels here.

Hidden sugars in soft drinks

Image Source: Theuns Kruger

Another way to visualize how much sugar is inside our popular soft drinks is by teaspoons. 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4g of sugar. Now take a look at how many teaspoons of sugar you consume with your favorite soft drinks:

  • 330ml Fanta contains 40 grams of sugar. Total of 8 teaspoons of sugar per serve
  • 500ml Vitamin Waters contains 30 grams of sugar. Total 6 teaspoons of sugar per serve
  • 250ml unsweetened fruit juice contains 27 grams of sugar. Total 5 teaspoons of sugar per serve
  • 600ml Sport Drinks contains 36 grams of sugar. Total of 8 teaspoons of sugar per serve

How are we able to drink 5-8 teaspoons of sugar in one beverage?

If I asked you to eat 5 teaspoon of sugar in a row with nothing else, would you do so? Probably not. Just thinking of eating 1 teaspoon of pure sugar makes most of us gag. So, how are we able to consume 5 -8 teaspoons of sugar just with one drink without feeling sick and actually liking it?

Easy! When you mix sugar with water and acid the beverage becomes less sweet and drinkable. So, we can drink it without problems and in gallons without feeling sick of it. You also become addicted to the beverage and gain weight! More on soft drinks and weight gain here.

The bottom line

Read the labels every time you grab a “sugary drink”. Be conscious of how much sugar is inside each beverage and think if you really need to add so much sugar into your body. Soft drinks are empty and addictive calories and lead to weight gain thanks to the high sugar content. So perhaps increase the amount of plain water you drink to start losing weight!