How much liquid sugar is hiding in your beverage?

April 20, 2021 Providence Nutrition Team

Key takeaways:

  • Large amounts of liquid sugar could be hiding in your favorite beverages.

  • Too many sugary drinks can lead to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Every four grams of sugar listed on your drink’s nutrition label equals a teaspoon of sugar.


A considerable amount of sugar could be hiding in your favorite drink. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a leading source of added sugar in the American diet, according to the CDC. If you regularly reach for soda, fruit juice, an energy drink or a big glass of sweet tea, you could be consuming more liquid sugar than you realize.

  • More than half of all adult Americans drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day.
  • On average, American adults consume 145 calories a day from sugar-sweetened beverages.

And while that may not sound excessive, research shows that too many sugary drinks can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Large amounts of sugar overload your liver. Sugar metabolizes the same way alcohol does and dietary carbs (another form of sugar) are converted to fat. Over time, this raises your risk of diabetes. Too much sugar increases your blood pressure and inflammation in your body, both of which can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Drinking sugary and sweetened beverages adds hidden calories to your daily count—making it all-too-easy to add pounds, impact your blood pressure and affect your hormone levels even if you’re not adding to your daily food intake.

Here’s a look at sugar-sweetened beverages and how they may actually be bittersweet when it comes to your health.

How prominent are sugary drinks in your diet? Take this self-assessment to see if your consumption may be putting your health at risk.

Infographic sources

Centers for Disease Control: Get the Facts: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Consumption

American Heart Association: Added Sugars

We Can! U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Find a doctor

The nutrition specialists at Providence can help you recognize the hidden health threats in your diet. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can access a full range of healthcare services. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.






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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

We are all about food! The Providence Nutrition Team loves to talk about and share our expertise on how to help you find the right diet, food types and maintenance tactics to help you live life to the fullest...while also enjoying the best foods that mother nature has to offer.

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