Remember the last post, Hidden sugars, part 1, where we talked about how some of our favorite drinks, like milk, may have more sugar in them than what we naturally think. This time we’re going to talk about two other drinks: sports drinks and juice!
Now for those performance-enhancing sports drinks- One orange Gatorade has 22 grams of sugar. That’s 5 teaspoons! Leading researchers say it’s better for athletes (and the rest of us!) just to stick to water.
And here’s the big sugar shocker, fruit juice. Even with no sugar added, 100% “all-natural” fruit juice can have as much sugar as soda! For example, one 15.2 oz. bottle of apple juice that you might grab at a convenience store has 49 grams of sugar (11 tsp.), and a 16 oz. bottle of cola has 52 grams of sugar (12 tsp.)! When sugars are added to juice, it can be even worse. When you see words like “beverage” or “punch” or “-ade” added on to the name of your beverage, you can be fairly confident that there is sugar added, like the popular Cranberry Grape Juice Beverage, piling on 72 grams of sugar (17 tsp.) into one 15.2 oz. bottle! How can juice have all of this sugar?! Well, we know that fruit has natural sugar. When we make juice from fruit, we squeeze out all of the water and sugar and vitamins and leave all of the bulk of the fruit (and all of that healthy fiber!) behind, which doesn’t leave very much! In one of those 15.2 oz. apple juices, for example, there might be 5 apples squeezed in, which can account for the crazy amount of sugar. You probably wouldn’t sit down and eat 5 apples, but when you’re drinking juice, that’s essentially what you are doing! So if your kid loves juice, don’t panic. We have some tips to help! First, treat juice as a treat. Try giving your child milk or water at meal times, and if they want a glass of juice, maybe you could give it as dessert! If they’d like a glass of juice with their meal, you can cut down the sugar content by cutting the juice in half with water! Fill up your child’s glass halfway with water, and then fill the rest with juice. We’ve had so many mothers tell us how surprised they were at how good the juice still tasted!
Written by Emily Pia