Is Juice Really Better for You Than Soda? (2023)

Is Juice Really Better for You Than Soda? (1)

Despite legal challenges from the beverage industry, it seems that soda taxes are here to stay, for now anyway.On July 18, 2018, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court upheld Philadelphia's tax on soda, rejecting a challenge to the law. Eight other U.S. cities tax sugary sodas, as do a handful of other countries, including the U.K., South Africa and the Philippines. With obesity still at an epidemic level in the United States — nearly 40 percent of Americans were obese in 2016 — health advocates praise soda taxes like Philadelphia's as a way to prioritize health over profits.

But soda's not the only culprit to blame for weight epidemic in the U.S., though it's certainly getting a bulk of the blame, especially when it comes to drinks. What's not getting attention? Fruit juice, and many of our favorites have a lot of added sugar. Case in point: The average 7.5-ounce (221 milliliter) can of Coca-Cola has 25 grams of sugar — that's more than 6 teaspoons. An 8-ounce (236 milliliter) glass of orange juice has about 21 grams, or 5 teaspoons of sugar; apple juice has about 24 grams — that's 6 teaspoons of sugar. And 100 percent juice, no sugar added cranberry juice has 28 grams of natural sugar — almost 7 teaspoons — in part due to added grape juice, apple juice and pear juice. Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends women get no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day; men just 36 grams.


"I wouldn't say juice is just as bad as soda, but I tell my clients to stop drinking juice," Mascha Davis, a Registered Dietitian at Nomadista Nutrition in Los Angeles and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says. "It totally has a health halo, but it's an undeserved health halo. A lot of people drink juice because they think it's healthy."


(Video) Soda vs 100% Real Fruit Juice: What Is Healthier? – Dr.Berg

  1. Juice Over Time
  2. Mixed Messaging
  3. Eat Your Fruit Instead

Juice Over Time

We can point to marketing and innovation for that health halo so many people in the U.S. believe in when it comes to juice. One hundred years ago, few people drank orange juice for breakfast. Before then, fruit juice was mostly preserved, either by adding a lot of sugar and cooking it (and later used in baking and cooking), or by turning it into alcoholic drinks, like wine, brandy, hard cider and perry (which is like cider, but made with pears).

But in the early 20th century, developments in mass production, the invention of commercial juicing machines, refrigerated transportation and the discovery of vitamins offered more opportunities to sell juice and change American habits. In 1907, citrus growers in California organized as the California Fruit Growers Exchange.


In the 1920s, the California Fruit Growers Exchange used the name Sunkist and started an ambitious national marketing campaign that included more than 100 million flyers. The marketing emphasized the vitamin C in citrus juices as a "health-giving vitamin" and recommended a glass of juice daily. The message caught on. Nutritionists and health advocates also started promoting juice. The Pacific Coast Shredded Wheat Co. used a cereal ad in the '20s that said, "for that acid stomach, cut down the daily ration of starchy foods. Drink a glass of water on arising, then a glass of orange juice just before breakfast."

In the 1930s, commercial businesses started selling frozen orange juice, and in the '40s, the first concentrated frozen orange juice in the nation went to market — Minute Maid. Between the 1920s and 1950s, juice sales increased 300 percent.


(Video) Is Fruit Juice Healthier Than Fizzy Drinks?

Mixed Messaging

The health halo created a hundred years ago shines just as blindingly now as ever — and companies have found more ways to keep that halo glowing, fortifying juice with calcium, vitamin D, Omega-3 and probiotics. It's not that juice doesn't naturally have vitamins, even when it's not fortified — but the health messages often outshine the aspects of juice that aren't as good for us.

Juicing fruit throws off the balance of the package that whole fruit provides. Its sugars hit your bloodstream fast, like a soda. "The big thing I tell clients is to view juice as your dessert," said Davis says. "It shifts your mindset about what it's doing to your body. I think there's room for everything in a healthy diet. But instead of drinking it every day, drink it on few occasions, like a dessert."


Eat Your Fruit Instead

Whole fruit, says Davis, gives you fiber and is more filling than juice. "[Fruit juice] spikes your blood sugar level, it doesn't have tons of healthy stuff in it, and you can get all the same nutrients from eating the whole fruit," she explains. As for other nutrients, including those that juices are now fortified with, such as calcium and Omega-3, Davis suggests getting those from other sources, particularly whole foods. "There are much healthier ways to get the vitamins without the sugar spike," she says.

If you enjoy fruit-flavored drinks, try still water infused with fruit, or sparkling water with a little fresh juice squeezed into it; just make sure there are no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Vegetable juices and smoothies are also ways to drink your produce. "Smoothies can be great if they're made correctly, but they can also be sugar bombs," Davis says. She advises making smoothies with whole fruit and vegetables, and without adding fruit juice.


(Video) Fruit Juice vs. Soda | Not what you think!

And for your morning routine, her prescription is to replace the morning glass of OJ with an orange and a glass of water.

Now That's Sweet!

Grape juice is the sweetest juice that's common on the breakfast table, with 36 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce glass (236 milliliter) — the equivalent of nearly 9 teaspoons of sugar.

Originally Published: Jul 30, 2018

Juice or Soda FAQ

What has more sugar, Coke or fruit juice?

A 221 ml can of Coca‑Cola Original contains 25 grams of sugar (6 teaspoons) while a 236 ml glass of orange juice has 21 grams (5 teaspoons), apple juice has 24 grams (6 teaspoons), and grape juice has 36 grams (9 teaspoons). That said, there's no real difference in levels of sugar in Coca-Cola and fruit juice.

Is drinking fruit juice as good as eating fruit?

No, it really isn't. Whole fruit has natural sugars, but none added. It's also packed with nutrients and dietary fiber that make you feel full and help your body process the sugars.

(Video) Is Apple Juice WORSE Than Coke?
Why is juice is bad for you?

The bottom line is that juice has too much sugar. While marketing tactics have made it seem like a healthy choice, many juices have more sugar than sodas. Drinking sugar and calories also isn't always wise, as it may not make you feel full, causing you to both eat and drink calorie-packed goodies.

What is the healthiest juice?

The best kind of juice you can drink is one that you freshly squeeze or press at home with real fruits. This is still packed with natural sugar, so consider making a fruit smoothie instead, which is far healthier. You also shouldn't consume fresh juice nearly everyday - save it for a special breakfast or brunch celebration at home.

Is it okay to drink fruit juice every day?

Juice isn't quite as bad as soda, but you really shouldn't drink it frequently. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day and men no more than 36 grams. Given that an eight ounce glass of juice has between 21 and 28 grams of sugar, you're pretty much guaranteed to be above the recommended amount if you have a glass of juice every day.


Is Juice Really Better for You Than Soda? ›

It's great that you're trying to cut back on soda, but fruit juice isn't the best substitute. "While the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in fruit juice give it a nutritional edge over soda, it can have the same—or more—sugars and calories," says Maxine Siegel, R.D., who heads CR's food-testing lab.

Is juice actually healthier than soda? ›

While juices are more nutritious than sodas, they often contain just as much sugar. For example, a 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains nearly the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke, around 10 teaspoons of sugar. Similarly, cranberry juice contains almost as much sugar as the average root beer.

Is juice or soda worse for you? ›

Fruit juice and soda contain similar amounts of sugar. Still, soda is likely harmful to your health, regardless of the amount you consume, whereas fruit juice may only increase your risk of disease when drunk in large amounts.

Why is 100% juice good for you? ›

It's true that 100% fruit juice is a good source of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. The problem is that too much juice can be an extra source of sugar and calories. Juice also doesn't contain the same fiber and phytonutrients that raw fruits have.

Is juice OK to drink everyday? ›

Studies show drinking no more than five ounces a day is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. So a small amount of fruit juice seems to be OK, but too much sugar from all sources — including juice — is linked to poor health outcomes.

What is a good replacement for soda? ›

Cut the Cola: 10 Healthy (and Delicious) Soda Substitutes
  • Arnold Palmer Lite. ...
  • Tea - iced or hot. ...
  • Freshly-squeezed lemonade. ...
  • Sparkling water. ...
  • Kombucha. ...
  • Sparkling water with a splash of juice. ...
  • Maple water. ...
  • Fruit and herb infusions.

Is fruit juice as bad as soft drink? ›

Fruit juices are considered as bad as soda is because of the sugar content of these beverages. Both soda and 100% fruit juice contain 110 calories and 20-26 grams of sugar per 240 ml.

Is Coke Zero bad for you? ›

Artificially sweetened beverages like Coke Zero have been linked to other health issues, including: Increased risk of heart disease. An observational study found a link between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased risk of heart disease among women with no prior history of heart disease ( 19 ).

Is drinking 100% fruit juice the same as eating fruit? ›

Drinking 100 percent fruit may juice sound like a healthy option, but it's a far cry from eating the real deal—whole, fresh fruit. In fact, new research finds that drinking just one glass of 100 percent fruit juice every day leads to gaining close to half a pound over three years.

Is 100% orange juice really 100? ›

100% fruit juice means nothing added, nothing taken away

This includes sugar, preservatives, colourings, stabilisers, flavourings and even water. Therefore, when a label states '100% orange juice', only pure orange juice made from whole oranges will be inside.

Does 100% juice mean no sugar? ›

Sure, there are positives to drinking fruit juice — starting with an impressive list of vitamins and nutrients that fill every glass. But 100% fruit juice is also loaded with enough sugar to draw unflattering comparisons to soda.

Is V8 actually good for you? ›

Because of these ingredients, V8 is considered an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Low-sodium V8 is also an excellent source of potassium, as potassium chloride is added. An 8-ounce glass has only 45 calories and 8 grams of carbohydrate (if you subtract the 1 gram of fiber).

What happens if you only drink juice instead of water? ›

Juices can never fulfill the needs of water in your body. Though a major portion of juices contains water, however, juices can never provide you with the benefits of water. Considering the points mentioned above, it is necessary to drink sufficient water throughout the day.

What happens if you don t drink water? ›

“If you don't get enough water, hard stools and constipation could be common side effects, along with abdominal pain and cramps.” Dull skin. Dehydration shows up on your face in the form of dry, ashy skin that seems less radiant, plump and elastic. Fatigue.

Is sugar in fruit juice bad for you? ›

The more concentrated sugar and calories in fruit juice can lead to obesity and inappropriate weight gain. Excessive weight gain is associated with high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and other negative health issues later in life.

What is the number 1 juice in America? ›

Juice Brands FAQ

The highest selling juice in America is Snapple. This brand, owned by Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., earned $6.61 billion in revenue in 2022.

Which juice is no 1? ›

Real Orange packs all the fun, quality and nutrition of oranges, sourced from the finest orchards from across the world.

Is it better to juice or eat fruit? ›

Juicing is no healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the fruit.

Is one soda a day okay? ›

Even that amount — even if it is a diet soda — can hurt your health. An American Diabetes Association study reported that consuming one or more sodas per day compared to none at all increased the risk of metabolic syndrome by 36% and type 2 diabetes by 67%.

What happens if I stop drinking soda for a month? ›

Your body's overall health will improve.

"When you give up soda, your body will become more hydrated and you'll have less inflammation. By substituting out water and other healthy drinks instead of soda, you increase your metabolism, improve your cardiac health, and you may even lose some weight!"

Is Gatorade better for you than soda? ›

A 20-ounce serving of Gatorade's Thirst Quencher contains 36 grams of sugar. While that's a bit less sugar per ounce than your average soda, it's not exactly healthy. In fact, Berkeley researchers say the sugar in sports drinks may be contributing to the child obesity epidemic by increasing caloric intake.

Is juice with no added sugar healthy? ›

So even though fruit juices might be labelled "no added sugar", just know they contain plenty of free sugars which could be harmful to your health if downed in greater amounts than recommended.

Are juice boxes bad for you? ›

Giving in to your kiddos' requests to drink multiple juice boxes per day will just fill their bellies with mostly water, sugar, some vitamin C and not much else. Further, not all juices marketed to kids contain 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, which just means you're serving your child pure added sugar.

What soda is the healthiest to drink? ›

Healthiest Sodas to Drink
  1. Sierra Mist. This soda wins by a small margin, as it has the nutritional value of 140 calories, 37 g of sugar, and 35 mg of sodium for 12 oz. ...
  2. Sprite. As you may have guessed, Sprite takes the second spot. ...
  3. 7UP. What is this? ...
  4. Seagram's Ginger Ale.
Jul 25, 2022

Which is worse sugar or aspartame? ›

So, for most people, natural sugars are a far better alternative to either artificial sweeteners or regular table sugar. For people living with diabetes or prediabetes, though, you still need to go easy on some natural sugars.

Is it OK to have Coke Zero everyday? ›

Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn't likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there's no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.

What is 100% real fruit juice? ›

100% juice is fruit juice made from 100% “liquid fruit", i.e. there are no added colourings, preservatives or sugar. However, fruit juice can be made in two different ways. There is "not-from-concentrate” juice, which is bottled after harvesting and stored for later bottling.

Is blending a banana better than eating? ›

Blended fruit isn't nutritionally equivalent to the same fruit left whole, according to some experts. Although, of course, some properties remain present, including soluble fiber, blending can break down insoluble fiber.

Is it better to eat oranges or drink orange juice? ›

Orange juice and whole oranges are nutritionally similar, but there are some important differences. Most notably, compared to a whole orange, a serving of orange juice has significantly less fiber and about twice the calories and carbs — which are mostly fruit sugar.

Is McDonald's orange juice 100 juice? ›

Try the refreshing Minute Maid® Orange Juice at McDonald's with 100% Orange Juice. It contains pure Orange Juice and the goodness of Vitamin C. Pair it with your favorite McDonald's Breakfast Menu item to give a fresh start to your day. There are 150 calories in a small Minute Maid® Orange Juice at McDonald's.

Is Minute Maid 100 orange juice healthy? ›

It helps build healthy bones and also provides a good source of Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium and Thiamin. 100% orange juice. Pasteurized. Excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.

Why do I crave orange juice? ›

Oranges are high in vitamin C and they also keep your immune system healthy. An intense craving for orange juice or any other citrus fruits could mean your body may be fighting off an infection. Craving citrus can also mean digestive dysfunction.

What juice has no sugar at all? ›

Sugar Free Fruit Juice
  • Tomato Juice. The use of tomato juice as a health drink is widely popular. ...
  • Apple Juice. One of the most interesting juices, apple juice, is available in two types. ...
  • Orange Juice. ...
  • Grapefruit Juice.
Mar 26, 2022

Which juice is good for heart? ›

Here are some of the best produce items to include in your juicing for heart health:
  • Beets. Due to the Vitamin B folate content, beets are excellent for lowering homocysteine levels in the blood, which prevents your arteries from hardening. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Red Grapes. ...
  • Any green veggies. ...
  • Pitaya, chia, and acai.
Mar 1, 2018

Can diabetics drink 100% juice? ›

A comprehensive data analysis suggests that 100% fruit juice does not have a significant effect on fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, or insulin resistance, according to a new study.

Is it OK to drink V8 everyday? ›

Most people aged over 14 should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt per day. However, the average salt intake in the United States is about 3,440 mg per day. With 640 mg of salt in every 8 oz of V8, it is best to drink it in moderation.

Are bananas good for you? ›

Bananas are very nutritious. They contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and several other beneficial plant compounds. These nutrients may have a number of health benefits, such as for digestive and heart health.

Which is healthier V8 or tomato juice? ›

V8 has fewer calories, less sodium, and less sugar – those are pretty solid advantages. However, tomato juice is certainly holding its own, with a higher amount of potassium, fiber, protein, Vitamin C, and iron, to name a few.

What hydrates better than water? ›

Milk is more hydrating than water

For example, milk was found to be even more hydrating than plain water because it contains the sugar lactose, some protein and some fat, all of which help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period.

What can I drink instead of water? ›

Juice, smoothies, iced coffee, ice tea, protein shakes, milk, and other drinks can be excellent alternatives to water. You should avoid relying too much on drinks with a high sugar content, such as soda, certain fruit juces, energy drinks and chocolate milk.

Does juice actually hydrate you? ›

While water is typically the go-to for hydration, 100% fruit juice can also be a great way to get your liquids and add a little variety to your beverage game! Juices like 100% orange juice are particularly effective in rehydrating and quenching thirst, as well as restoring electrolytes.

What are signs you need to drink more water? ›

Here are the 10 most common signs you may not be getting enough water throughout the day.
  • Severe Headaches. ...
  • Muscle Cramps & Joint Pain. ...
  • Weight Gain. ...
  • Lack of Energy. ...
  • A Little Disoriented. ...
  • Dry Eyes, Mouth and Skin. ...
  • Indulging in Salty Foods. ...
  • Uncomfortable Stomach Pain.
Aug 8, 2017

What color is your pee when your hydrated? ›

When you are drinking enough fluids your body is in balance and your urine will be a pale straw yellow colour. When you have not drank enough fluids your kidneys try to save as much water as they can and cause your urine to be darker in colour (more concentrated).

How long is it OK to not drink water? ›

As a general rule of thumb, a person can survive without water for about 3 days. However, some factors, such as how much water an individual body needs, and how it uses water, can affect this. Factors that may change how much water a person needs include: age.

Is it bad to drink juice everyday? ›

Studies show drinking no more than five ounces a day is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. So a small amount of fruit juice seems to be OK, but too much sugar from all sources — including juice — is linked to poor health outcomes.

Is it OK to drink fruit juice everyday? ›

If you drink high quantities of fruit juice, you could be contributing to excess energy intake. This can increase your risk of obesity and other conditions like type 2 diabetes. If you're drinking it regularly, it can lead to weight gain by adding unnecessary energy to your day.

What happens if we drink juice daily? ›

However, you may be surprised that drinking juice daily can lead to adverse health outcomes. "Consuming juice every day may spike blood sugar levels, increase total calories consumed in the day, contribute to weight gain and increase risk of cavities," cautions Garcia.

Is juicing actually healthy? ›

They say juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight. However, there's no scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself.

Is Minute Maid healthier than soda? ›

More often than not, companies shovel in the sugar just like they do with soda. Are you ready for your jaw to drop? Minute Maid lemonade contains even more sugar than Coke: 40 grams! And they don't use raw cane sugar either.

What is the negative side of juicing? ›

Drawbacks. A juicing machine leaves nutrient-rich and fiber-rich skin and pulp behind. Without the fruit fiber, your body absorbs the fructose sugar more easily, which can upset blood sugar levels. Juice made with fruit has a high calorie count.

Does juicing shrink your stomach? ›

Despite what you might have heard, juice cleanses don't actually shrink your stomach. But juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel much more satisfied, even though you're eating less.

Is juicing hard on your stomach? ›

It alters the pH balance of your stomach.

“When using juice to replace meals, you alter the pH of the stomach and intestine, as well as alter the bile patterns,” says holistic nutritionist Christina Major. “This can lead to undigested whole foods, ulcers, IBS, diverticulitis, leaky gut, and gallstones.

How much juice should you drink a day? ›

A 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie can count as a maximum of 1 portion of your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Limit the amount of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie you have to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day (1 small glass).

Is it better to eat an orange or drink orange juice? ›

Although juice is indeed high in sugar, the scientists found that certain nutrients in orange juice might be easier for the body to absorb than when a person consumes them from unprocessed fruit. Many health advocates advise people to eat an orange and drink water rather than opt for a serving of sugary juice.

Is sugar from 100% juice bad? ›

The more concentrated sugar and calories in fruit juice can lead to obesity and inappropriate weight gain. Excessive weight gain is associated with high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and other negative health issues later in life.

What are the 3 drinks to avoid? ›

The 3 worst drinks
  • Regular soda. Soda takes the top spot on the list of drinks to avoid. ...
  • Energy drinks. Energy drinks can be high in both caffeine and carbohydrates. ...
  • Sweetened or unsweetened fruit juices.
Aug 30, 2021

What is the most unhealthiest drink? ›

10 Unhealthy Drinks You Should Be Avoiding
  • Soft Drink. Soft drink can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. ...
  • Energy drinks. Energy drinks are usually high in caffeine and sugar. ...
  • Sweetened coffee drinks. ...
  • Sweetened tea. ...
  • Fruit Juices. ...
  • Sports drinks. ...
  • Alcoholic beverages. ...
  • Flavoured water.
Jan 28, 2023


1. Dangers of Processed Foods. Why Juice is Worse than Soda - Dr. Robert Lustig
(Nutrition with Judy)
2. Healthy Soda / Bubbly Juice / Healthy Drink Alternatives
(Dr. Tiffany Lamonde)
3. Drinking Soda or Fruit Juice Daily Ups Your Risk Of Cancer
(Rambling Millennial)
5. Soda Alternative: Easy Recipe (only 2 ingredients!)
(The Dr. Gundry Podcast)
6. Blood Sugar Test: Soda (Coca Cola) vs Grape Juice
(Beat Diabetes!)


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