18 Drinks With More Sugar Than Coke

Photo (cc) by mikebindrup

Soda’s health risks became one of the biggest health topics of last year when New York City banned large sugary drinks in September.

Championed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to reduce obesity, the measure prohibits restaurants, movie theaters, and other venues from selling sizes larger than 16 ounces.

The media seemed to focus on sodas, as the ban became known as the “soda ban.” But sodas aren’t alone. We’ve rounded up a list of other drinks with even more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola, which has 45 grams (Pepsi has 41).

How to spot a sugary drink

1. Know your limit. You can’t avoid excess sugar if you don’t understand how much is too much. For the average person, the American Heart Association recommends…

  • Women: Limit added sugar intake to 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons, 6 sugar cubes, or 30 grams) a day
  • Men: Limit added sugar intake to 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons, 9 sugar cubes, or 45 grams) a day

That means one soda is enough to reach your daily limit.

2. Consider the source. Not all sources of sugar are bad for you. For example, the sugar in real orange juice comes from real oranges, which are naturally sweetened by Mother Nature. The sugar in the drinks below was added by the manufacturer. To avoid added sugar, scan ingredient lists for words like “sugar,” “fructose,” “corn syrup,” and “high fructose corn syrup.”

3. Read carefully. FDA rules allow manufacturers to use the word “juice” on packaging – “juice drink” and “juice cocktail” are common examples – even if it’s not 100 percent juice. Simply Lemonade, for example, contains only 11 percent real fruit juice. So you can’t trust what’s written on the front of a drink. Only the ingredient list must tell the truth.

If you’re eating (or drinking) out, you can ask to see nutrition info or ingredients or check their website. But FDA rules don’t require restaurants to share nutrition information unless the drink or dish bears a claim like “low-fat.” I find that most major chains at least post the information on their websites, though.

Top offenders

These drinks all contain more than 45 grams of sugar per 12 ounces, or a Starbucks “tall” size.

  1. Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha: 46
  2. Starbucks’ Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Beverage: 46
  3. Minute Maid Citrus Punch: 46.5
  4. Minute Maid Grape Punch: 46.5
  5. Minute Maid Limonada Lemonade: 46.5
  6. Welch’s Sparkling Juice Cocktails (all eight flavors): 46.5 or more
  7. Starbucks’ White Hot Chocolate: 47
  8. Starbucks’ Peppermint Hot Chocolate: 47
  9. Starbucks’ Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Beverage: 48
  10. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Frozen Caramel Coffee with skim milk: 49
  11. Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: 49
  12. Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage: 49
  13. Minute Maid Cherry Limeade Fruit Drink: 49.5
  14. Welch’s Chillers Grape Flavor: 49.5
  15. Welch’s Refrigerated Cocktails (all 11 flavors): 49.5 or more
  16. Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino: 50
  17. Welch’s Essentials (all four flavors): 51 or more
  18. Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice: 57

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New
7 Steps to Keep Your Car Looking Like New

Take a few steps to preserve the beauty of your car, and you stand to get a lot more money at trade-in time.

16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances
16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances

These items put an end to the daily irritations that bug you the most.

10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income
10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income

Looking for additional cash? Here are a bunch of options that are accessible to anyone with internet access.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.