Sugary Drinks That Kids Enjoy
For kids, meals are not complete without a delicious beverage. Today some of the most popular beverages are conveniently packaged and easy to throw into our kid’s lunch or to grab out of the refrigerator after school. But what is really in these popular sugary drinks?
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sugary drinks and learn a little more about why the ingredients matter for our kids’ health. Look for the list of drinks that are healthy alternatives and are just as convenient.
(i.e. Gatorade) (8.5 tsp of sugar in a 20 oz bottle): Ingredients: Water, high fructose corn syrup* (glucose-fructose syrup), sucrose syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, glycerol ester of rosin, yellow 5.
Interesting Fact: ONE banana provides the same amount of electrolytes (potassium is an electrolyte) as 10.8 bottles of Gatorade! Always choose natural substitutes of processed sugary drinks.
Banana = 6.75 tsp of natural sugar (fructose)
10.8 bottles of isotonic = 94.5 tsp of processed sugar (almost 2 cups!)
(4 tsp of sugar in a 6.75 oz. bottle): Ingredients: Water, high fructose corn syrup* and 2% or less of each of the following: concentrated juices (orange, tangerine, apple, lime, grapefruit), citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), natural flavors, modified cornstarch, canola oil, sodium citrate, cellulose gum, acesulfame potassium, neotame, sodium hexametaphosphate, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate to protect flavor, yellow #5, yellow #6.
- Sugary drinks for kids are often marketed as fruit juice
- Sunny Delight is manufactured by the multinational chemical and detergent firm Procter & Gamble (P&G).
- The Children’s Foundation, doctors and nutritionists speak out against sugary drinks like Sunny Delight: “The fact that it’s kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store right along side the other juices makes you think it’s the real thing, unless you read the small print,” says Kay Hollestelle, executive director of the Children’s Foundation.
- “There is nothing either sunny or delightful about a junk food dressed up as fruit juice,” said Michael Jacobson of CSPI, a scientists’ group. “Sunny Delight is basically exorbitantly priced sugar water, with a tiny bit of fruit juice and vitamins added. It’s like orange soda without the bubbles.”
* High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is unlike natural sugars because it does not trigger the release of the hormone leptin, part of the body’s natural system that creates the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Those who have HFCS regularly in their diet are more likely to crave sugar and overeat.
Minute Maid Apple Juice
(8 tsp of sugar 10 oz bottle): Ingredients: Pure filtered water, concentrated apple juice, less than 0.5% of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium citrate, potassium phosphate.
- Children who drink more than 12 ounces a day of sugary drinks like apple juice are more likely to be overweight than other children.
- Children under 6 years old should not drink more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day (American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation).
- Even 100% fruit juice is not as nutritious as the fruit itself, as it contains much needed fiber.
Glaceau Essential Vitamin Water
(8 tsp of sugar in 20 oz bottle): Ingredients: Vapor distilled water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, natural flavor, calcium lactate, potassium, gum Arabic, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), gum ester, vitamin A, palmitate, vitamin E acetate, niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), iron, cyanocobalamin (B12), beta carotene (for color), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), selenium.
- The amount of sugar in vitamin water offsets the benefits of the vitamins.
- Glaceau vitamin water only contains 15 – 40 calories less than the same size bottle of Coca-Cola.
- It is healthier to drink plain water and eat fruits and vegetables.
(0 tsp of sugar): Ingredients: water.
- Our bodies are made up of 60% water.
- Our bodies use water to regulate our temperature, transport oxygen and nutrients to our cells, and assist in the process of digestion, metabolism, and elimination.
- Without water our bodies can’t flush out waste and toxins.
- A sufficient water intake is needed to combat dehydration which saps energy, causes fatigue, and reduces concentration.
- Not getting enough water leads to dehydration and this leads to a number of health problems, one of which can be death.
- Absolutely any other fluids may be dehydrating and make your body need more water.
Learn more from Dr. Bill Sears on the side effects of sugary drinks.