The news on sugary drinks isn't good. One 2015 study attributed 184,000 deaths per year to consumption of sweetened beverages. Too much sugar (as well as sweetened drinks) increases your risk of heart disease, causes diabetes, weight gain, and impairs brain power.
So obviously, you know that soda isn't a health food, but sometimes you have to be confronted with the cold, hard reality. That's why we created this chart comparing popular brands of soda with the number of grams of sugar contained in one can of each. Be prepared to be sugar shocked.
|SODA||GRAMS OF SUGAR|
|A&W Root Beer||45|
|Barq's Root Beer||45|
*Per 12-ounce can
The American Heart Association suggests that women consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. For men, that recommendation caps at 36 grams per day. To get an even clearer picture of just how much you're drinking, think of this in teaspoons. One teaspoon of sugar equals four grams. Therefore, a can of soda with 40 grams of sugar contains 10 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. Take a minute and picture it. That's what you're drinking.
For even more perspective, consider that you could eat nearly nine Oreos, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, or a slice of birthday cake.
If you're grabbing a soda on occasion, get the smallest size possible. (Many brands offer mini cans in a respectable eight-ounce size.) Still, if you're a woman, even a small can may put you over your sugar limit for the day. (Meaning, it's a trade-off for desserts and anything else that has sugar in it, like sweetened yogurts, sauces, breads, and flavored oatmeal.)
Your best bet is to stick with water (spruce it up by adding fruit slices, full berries, and herbs), unsweetened iced tea, or no-sugar-added or lightly flavored sparkling waters, like LaCroix or Spindrift.