What’s in Your Drink?

Sugary Drinks are drinks containing added sugar such as soda, sports drinks, sweetened iced tea, sweetened coffee, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavored water and flavored milk. These sugar-filled drinks are the number one contributor to tooth decay - the most common chronic childhood disease.1 The United States leads the world in sweetener consumption, and on average, children consume 50-70% more added sugars than recommended by guidelines. What are these guidelines you ask?

The American Heart Association recommends the following amounts not be exceeded per day2:

  • Children under 2 – no added sugars

  • Children 2-18 – no more than 6 teaspoons per day (about 25 grams)

  • Adult Women – no more than 6 teaspoons per day (about 25 grams)

  • Adult Men – no more than 9 teaspoons per day (about 39 grams)

Please note: daily sugar intake limits shown reflect general guidelines and no personal health needs. See your Physician to have your dietary needs evaluated.

How Much Sugar Are You Drinking?

Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugar in a typical American diet3. Many drinks are filled with added sugar that exceed the daily recommended amount an individual should have in one day:

  • Juice box drink (6.75oz) – 25g of sugar = 6 teaspoons

  • Soda (16oz) – 52g of sugar = 12 teaspoons

  • Energy Drink (16oz) – 27g of sugar = 6 teaspoons

  • Sports Drink (20oz) – 34g of sugar = 8 teaspoons

But Why is it so Bad?

After consuming sugary drinks, the mouth and teeth are coated with sugar. Bacteria in the mouth then feed on sugar, producing an acid that can cause cavities.4 In addition to harming your teeth, the added sugars lack nutrients and add calories to your diet, which can negatively affect your overall health.5

Sipping Smarter

Are you looking for ways to cut sugary drinks out of your diet? Look no further – here’s a fun and flavorful sugary drink swap: Infused water.

Infusing your water is an easy and effective way to reduce added sugar consumption while also adding delicious flavor to your water. Infusing your drink is easy and there are so many different combinations to try. Here are some of our favorite combos:

  • Strawberry & Mint

  • Lemon & Cucumber

  • Blueberry & Lime

Preparing your infused water:

  • Cut your fruit/vegetable/herb into smaller slices to release the flavor.
  • Add the cut slices to your container of choice (water bottle, pitcher to share, cup, etc.) and fill the container with water and ice. Let it sit for a few minutes so the flavor can infuse into the water.
  • Enjoy!

Tip: Make a pitcher of infused water at work to drink throughout the day or to share with co-workers. Mix up the fruit combos each week to try new flavors!

1 - American Dental Association, “Diet and Dental Health,” http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diet-and-dental-health
2- American Heart Association, “Kids and added sugars: How much is too much?,” http://news/2018/05/01/kids-and-added-sugars-how-much-is-too-much
3 - American Heart Association, “Added Sugars,” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Added-Sugars_UCM_305858_Article.jsp#.WEmPSPkrLcu
4 - Sugary Drink FACTS, “Tips for Choosing a Healthy Drink,” http://www.sugarydrinkfacts.org/resources/nutrition/Choosing-a-healthy-drink.pdf
5 - American Heart Association, "Added Sugars," http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Added-Sugars_UCM_305858_Article.jsp#