Tips

Is Orange Juice Healthier Than Soda?

November 2, 2016 by
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Today’s tidbit is brought to you by Athlete Daily.

THE SCENARIO

So you (finally) kicked your soda habit, but that daily glass of orange juice with your breakfast could be doing almost as much harm.

Most people know by now that soda is bad for you, particularly with the recent war CrossFit has waged on the titans in the soda industry. But juices haven’t gotten nearly the bad rap they should, considering some of them stack up as no better than a bag of candy alongside your morning coffee.

DID YOU SAY JUICES?

You heard that right. Orange juice, on average, delivers 27 grams of sugar (to go with 34g carbohydrates and 2.4g protein). That’s about as good nutritionally as a bag of M&Ms or —wait for it— a glass of soda.

When researchers at the University of Glasgow polled more than 2,000 adults, people underestimated the sugar content in juice by an incredible 48 percent.

BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE VITAMIN C?

The key health benefit people associate with orange juice is Vitamin C, but no studies have bee able to conclude that Vitamin C can help cure or even shorten a cold. Instead, most juices bottled and sold in commercial grocery stores have since lost some of their nutritional value and are pumped with “flavor packs” to help them still taste OK.

Labels like “no sugar added” on bottles are easily maneuvered around by adding different fruit concentrates, bringing a lot of juice bottles around the same sugar content as that vilified soda (26-31g per cup).

PepsiCo is reportedly being sued for exaggerating the health benefits of their Naked Juice line. The Pomegranate Blueberry Juice contains 50% more sugar than a 12 oz can of Pepsi.

GIMME THAT JUICE BOX KID

The war on sugar consumption in America is nothing new, though it’s becoming an oft-debated topic. A 2012 study showed the average American consumes 756g of sugar every five days, which is an average of three pounds of sugar per week over the course of their lifetime.

One school in the United Kingdom recently enacted a new rule to confiscate juice cartons from children’s lunch boxes, asking for the juice to be diluted or for the kids to simply drink water instead.

The bottom line, think twice when going to grab an OJ at the store next week, or even more when buying that half gallon carton for the young ones.

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