We all know soda and other sugary drinks aren’t good for us, but it helps to have a visual of just how much sugar we get from these drinks! One 12 oz can of regular soda contains about 9-10 teaspoons of added sugars. Soda is one of the main sources of added sugars in the American diet, but don’t forget coffee drinks, tea, lemonade, flavored milk, juice drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Recommendations on Added Sugars
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugars per day for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugars per day for men. To figure out how many teaspoons of sugar are in your favorite beverage, divide the total grams of sugars by 4. One teaspoon is equal to about 4 grams of sugar.
Similarly, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines also recommend limiting calories from added sugars to 10% or less of your total daily calories. That’s about 30-50 grams of added sugars per day, depending on how many calories you need.
Drink Water Instead!
Despite the plethora of supposedly healthier alternatives to soda, the best option for all of us is to drink plain old water. Humans are 60-70% made up of water, so don’t tell me you’re not a water drinker! If you have access to clean water, first of all be thankful for it, because that means you are not one of the 2.5 billion people without access to improved sanitation, and then drink up!
If you must, jazz up your water by adding lemon, cucumber or other frozen fruit, or try drinking water out of a fun water bottle instead of a glass. Aim to drink at least 8 cups or 64 oz of water per day. Water, water, water- water all the way! *
Dietitian nerd alert- I literally just made up a cheer for water…. But seriously, drink more water! =)
If this post convinced you to drink more water and less soda, let me know!