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How Many Teaspoons Of Sugar Are There In A Can Of Coke?

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How Many Tsps Of Sugar Are There In A Can Of Coke?

Coke is a popular sugary drink. One can of Coke has 39 g or 9.75 teaspoons of sugar in it. A half-liter bottle of Coke has 65 g or 16.25 teaspoons of sugar in it whereas a liter bottle of the beverage has 108 g or 27 teaspoons of sugar in it. While one can of Coke has 165.75 calories, a half liter bottle of the beverage has 276.25 calories and a one-liter bottle has 459 calories. A soda a day translates to 35 pounds or 16 kg of sugar a year which can add 15 (or more) pounds or 7kg or more to your bodyweight in a year!

If you are concerned about the obesity epidemic the world over, you might want to stay a mile away from sugary drinks. Sugary drinks or sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are the number one contributor to our burgeoning waistlines. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion adults throughout the world are overweight, with a body-mass index or BMI of more than 25. About 300 million of them are considered obese. In the US, 64 percent of the population or 129.6 million people aged 20–74 years, are overweight with 30 percent of them obese. Children and young adults also fall victims to this unhealthy trend. With sugary drinks considered to be contributing 8-9 percent of the total energy intake in both children and adults in the US, the increasing consumption of soda is a major reason for obesity.1

Obesity and the comorbidities, however, are just some of the reasons why sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) need to be avoided. It can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long run. Reduced quality of life and increased healthcare expenditure are some other reasons.2

The WHO recommends a reduced intake of free sugars to less than 5 percent of total energy intake throughout the life course. According to the WHO, “free sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates”.3

According to the USDA recommendation4, on an average, an adult male in the age group of 18-40 who is sedentary needs about 2400 calories per day while an adult female needs about 1800 calories a day. A CDC report5 indicates that 63 percent of youth and 49 percent of adults in the US drink sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) a day which adds to a minimum of 145 calories to their diet which is about 6 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Sugar That Goes Into A Can Of Coke

Sodas like Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc are by far the most popular SSBs. Here’s the amount of sugar that goes into Coke:6

  • One can or 355 ml (12 oz) of Coke has 39 g or 9.75 teaspoons of sugar in it.
  • A can or 12 oz of Pepsi, on the other hand, has 41 g or 10.25 teaspoons of sugar in it.
  • A can of Mountain Dew7, on the other hand, has about 46.5 g or 11.5 teaspoons of sugar in it making it the most sugary one among all SSBs in the market.
  • A half liter bottle or 590 ml (20 oz) of Coke has 65 g or 16.25 teaspoons of sugar in it.
  • One liter bottle or 34 oz of Coke has 108 g or 27 teaspoons of sugar in it.

What Do These Mean In Terms Of Calories?

Let’s do some quick sugar maths to know how many calories come sealed in these soda cans.

Considering there is about 17 calories in a teaspoon of sugar, here’s the calorie count:

  • One can or 355 ml (12 oz) of Coke has 165.75 calories.
  • A can or 12 oz of Pepsi has 174.25 calories.
  • A can of Mountain Dew has 195 calories.
  • A half liter bottle of Coke has 276.25 calories.
  • One liter bottle of Coke has 459 calories.

A little Bit About Weight Gain Now

We know that calories add to our weight. So what does regular consumption of sodas mean to your body weight?8 A soda a day means an average of 45 g of sugar a day (depending on the type of the drink) which translates to 35 pounds or 16 kg of sugar a year. Our bodies do not need so many calories and so they convert the extra calories into weight. Which means 16 kg of sugar a year can easily add 15 (or more) pounds or 7 kg or more in a year! To burn off the calories in one can of soda, you will have to run a minimum of 35 minutes at a stretch!

Are Diet Sodas Any Better?

With the growing concern about weight gain from soda consumption, the solution seems to be in choosing diet sodas. Diet sodas like Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke have no sugar in them but are sweetened with artificial sweeteners which are essentially chemicals with no nutrients to offer.9

Moreover, diet sodas are no solution to health problems related to soda consumption because a study has shown that daily consumption of diet soda is associated with a 36 percent greater relative risk of incident metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent greater relative risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with nonconsumption. Of metabolic syndrome components, high waist circumference and high fasting glucose were associated with diet soda consumption.10

The high content of sugar in sodas make them extremely dangerous for health. Diet sodas are no better because of the harmful chemicals that sweeten them. It is better to completely eliminate any form of soda from your diet for a happy, healthy life.

References   [ + ]

1. Malik, Vasanti S., Matthias B. Schulze, and Frank B. Hu. “Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 84, no. 2 (2006): 274-288.
2. Malik, Vasanti S., Barry M. Popkin, George A. Bray, Jean-Pierre Després, and Frank B. Hu. “Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease risk.” Circulation 121, no. 11 (2010): 1356-1364.
3. Reducing free sugars intake in children and adults. WHO.
4. Estimated Calorie Needs. USDA.
5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. CDC.
6. How Much Sugar In A Can Of Coke? Med-Health.
7. Nutritional Content Of Regular Soda. FACTS.
8. Just One Soda Per Day. HEPFDC.
9. How Many Teaspoons Of Sugar Is Your Child Drinking? Michigan State University.
10. Nettleton, Jennifer A., Pamela L. Lutsey, Youfa Wang, João A. Lima, Erin D. Michos, and David R. Jacobs. “Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).” Diabetes care 32, no. 4 (2009): 688-694.