The 4/11 on Sugary Beverages and Alternatives!

The 4/11 on Sugary Beverages and Alternatives!

sugary drinks

The 4/11 on Sugary Beverages and Alternatives!

At Living Health Integrative Medicine we dedicate every day to helping improve your quality of life through an integrative approach to health. One major aspect we focus on is nutrition, and March happens to be “National Nutrition Month”! We’re going to spend this month providing easy, key changes that can be made to improve health, as well as some awesome new recipes!

This week, we are concentrating on one simple change that will have a huge benefit towards your health: STOP ALL SODA, SWEETENED TEA, AND FRUIT JUICE!!!

According to the Center for Disease Control, sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet, contributing to various health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay/cavities, and gout. In 2013, the journal Circulation published research stating the consumption of sugary drinks may lead to approximately 184,000 deaths each year worldwide! As five years have passed since this study was conducted, I could only imagine how much this number has increased.

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at six commonly consumed sweetened beverages and just how much sugar each one contains:

  • A 20 oz. bottle of Coca Cola contains 65 grams of sugar which is just over 16 teaspoons of sugar or 5 Little Debbie Swiss Rolls! 16 teaspoons!!!
  • A 15.2 oz. bottle of Minute Maids 100% apple juice contains 49grams of sugar which is the same amount in 10 Oreos. Just because the sugar in fruit juice is coming from a natural source, it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.
  • Arizona Green Tea with Honey and Ginseng….sound healthy? This 23 oz. contains 51 grams of sugar which is equivalent to 20 Hersey kisses!
  • A 20 oz. bottle of Lipton Iced tea is equivalent to 32 grams of sugar which is about 12 Hershey kisses.
  • Juice Smoothie: Naked Berry Blast A 15.2 oz bottle=29 grams of sugar= 8 Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.
  • Starbucks iced flavored Latte: 16oz contains approximately 28 grams of sugar= 2 1/2 Krispy Cream donuts.


This is a whole lot of sugar!!! So now what? We switch to diet and sugar-free products? Definitely, NO! When one ingredient is taken out, something else must be added; therefore the sugar gets replaced by chemicals and neurotoxins such as aspartame. These not only contribute to the list stated above, but create a whole other set of possible health concerns.

Here’s a great list of options when switching out your surgery beverages:

1) Replace juice with water, herbal teas (fruity tea bags in water is great), or stevia sweetened electrolyte powders. One that is used throughout our office and we all love is Ultima, which is offered in a variety of flavors such as Raspberry, Grape, Orange, and Pomegranate. You can also use a natural sweetener such as Stevia, Monk Fruit, or Inulin to give a hint of sweetness to your tea.

Read more about the importance of water: Water - Essential For Your Health 

2) If you like carbonation, switch sodas to kombucha or simply get carbonated water and add flavors such as grated ginger, lemon, lime, etc. Again, you can add a little stevia if you’re looking for a touch of sweet. One of my personal favorites is La Croix water which is carbonated water with a hint of fruit essence. These are great because they are offered in a wide range of flavors, easy to find, inexpensive, and extremely satisfying!

3) For some added energy to replace that daily coffee, we carry a product called ATP-Up. Add one packet of either the berry or natural citrus to a bottle of water and you’ll get a sustained caffeine release as well as a great flavor to your water.

By alternating water, tea, carbonated water, different flavors, electrolyte powders, and natural sweeteners, you can create a whole new list of beverages that will be sure to satisfy any urge of a sugary beverage.

Dr. Steph and Dr. Tom will revisit and expand on the concerns and replacement options for sugary beverages on Living Health Live, March 22nd from 12:30pm-1pm, so don’t miss it!