It’s easy to reach for a sugary drink as the afternoon sugar slump sets in. Some of us might even think that it’s healthier than picking up a chocolate bar or a slab of cake.
New research suggests we might be wrong.
Vita Coco has shed light on the sugar contents of our favourite “healthy” drinks by comparing them to the amount of sugar found in Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
NHS guidelines say that added sugar shouldn’t make up more than 5% of our daily calorie intake (around 30g of sugar per day). Many of our favourite drinks surpass that in one bottle.
Drinks such as Irn Bru, Coca-Cola and Sanpellegrino each contain the same amount of sugar as three Krispy Kreme doughnuts per 330ml can.
That’s 5g over the recommended sugar intake set out by the NHS.
These aren’t the only drinks to contain a jaw-dropping amount of sugar, though. Many drinks we might consider as healthier options still contain high quantities.
Naked’s Green Machine Smoothie contains more sugar than Coca-Cola, Irn Bru and Sanpellegrino.
It has a whopping 36.3g of sugar in a 330ml bottle. That’s the equivalent of nine teaspoons or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Innocent’s Bolt From The Blue isn’t far behind that with eight spoons of sugar or two and a half Krispy Kremes.
Other drinks with high sugar content include: Appletiser (two Krispy Kremes), Innocent Bubbles Apple and Berry (almost two Krispy Kremes), Purdey’s Rejuvenate Natural Energy (almost two Krispy Kremes) and Cawston Press Cloudy Apple (almost two Krispy Kremes).
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The UK is currently in the midst of an obesity struggle, and Dr Dan Bunstone, Chief Medical Officer at Push Doctor believes that sugary drinks play a part in that.
“We don’t tend to recognise drinks as food and so it’s easy to misjudge the amount of sugar we are consuming and not recognise how many calories they add to our diet.
“There is very little nutritional benefit from refined sugar so your body will simply convert it to fat.”
The NHS recommends switching sugary drinks or squash for water, low-fat milk or no-added-sugar drinks.
It also recommends cutting out sugar in your tea or cereal by slowly decreasing the amount you have until you don’t need it at all.