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40 Drinks You Should Always Leave on Grocery Store Shelves

There are just some beverages you'll want to cross off your shopping list.

When you need to quench your thirst, not just any drink will do. Even though some drinks, particularly juices and teas, might sound refreshing and even healthy, don't be fooled. See, they are often loaded with sugars and preservatives and really aren't good for you, at all. Yes, they are simply unhealthy drinks you might not even be aware of how bad they actually are for you.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar to 25 grams daily for women and 36 grams daily for men, yet some of your favorite beverages have more than that in just one serving.

The next time you make a trip to the grocery store, be sure to avoid these 40 unhealthy drinks, all of which are some of the worst options on the market. When in doubt, it's never a bad idea to sip on some water! And while you're making healthier changes, be sure to try out these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time, too.

1

Welch's Grape Juice

welchs grape juice

Per 1 serving: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (3 g fiber, 36 g sugar), 1 g protein

Grape juice is a lunch box staple, and although it does have some fiber and even a bit of protein, Welch's iconic grape juice is loaded with sugars. There are no added sugars which is an upside, but even so, 36 grams of sugar in just 8 ounces is definitely excessive. Enjoy as a treat or even mix a smaller amount of grape juice with plain or sparkling water.

2

Minute Maid Lemonade

minute maid lemonade

Per 1 serving: 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (0 g fiber, 40 g sugar), 0 g protein

Is there anything more refreshing than lemonade on a hot summer day? Well, yes there is—water! And you should definitely opt for water over Minute Maid Lemonade, as one can of this is loaded with 40 grams of added sugars. If you want lemonade, make your own instead to control the amount of sugar going into it. (And just so you know, this 7-day smoothie diet will help you shed those last few pounds!)

3

Mountain Dew

moutain dew

Per 1 can: 170 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (0 g fiber, 46 g sugar), 0 g protein

Obviously Mountain Dew isn't touted as a healthy beverage, but we'd recommend steering clear of it even for a treat. There are plenty of other sweet beverages to enjoy that don't have nearly 50 grams of sugar per serving—one can of Mountain Dew has almost twice the daily recommended amount of sugar!

4

Red Bull

red bull worst energy drink
Shutterstock
Per 1 can: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (0 g fiber, 27 g sugar), 0 g protein

It's no secret that Red Bull isn't great for your health. With 27 grams of sugar, it will leave you crashing not long after drinking it. According to a study by WHO, full the most concerning issue is the amount of caffeine, which "can cause palpitations, hypertension, dieresis, central nervous system stimulation, nausea, vomiting, marked hypocalcemia, metabolic acidosis, convulsions, and, in rare cases, even death."

5

Gatorade, Lemon-Lime

Gatorade sports drink on track
Shutterstock
Per 1 bottle: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (0 g fiber, 34 g sugar), 0 g protein

More sugar than an energy drink? No, thank you! Marketed as a sports drink, Gatorade has 34 grams of sugar in a bottle. Cut the portion way down, or rehydrate with water and refuel with whole fruits and vegetables.

6

Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

starbucks frappuccino

Per 1 bottle: 200 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (0 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 6 g protein

Sure, you can save some time in the morning by grabbing a bottle of Starbucks' Frappuccino from the fridge, but you'll also be consuming a lot of calories, fat, and sugar for a 9.5-ounce beverage. You'll be thankful to spend a few extra minutes making your own coffee.

7

Pure Leaf Sweet Tea

pure leaf lemon tea bottle

Per 1 bottle: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (0 g fiber, 42 g sugar), 0 g protein

Consider us pretty shocked to find that Pure Leaf's popular sweet tea, a staple often bought right during checkout at the grocery store, has more sugar than drinks like Frappuccinos and Red Bull. Yikes.

8

Bolthouse Farms Protein Keto Coconut

bolthouse farms protein keto coconut

Per 1 bottle: 280 calories, 22 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 15 g protein

This bottled smoothie has all of the buzzwords: protein, keto, coconut. But don't be deceived—this drink is high in fat. The Cleveland Clinic recommends consuming 20% to 35% of your daily calories in fat, or about 44 to 77 grams. This drink alone is about one-half to one-third of the limit.

9

Bolthouse Farms Strawberry Banana Smoothie

bolthouse farms smoothie

Per 1 bottle: 250 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 61 g carbs (5 g fiber, 52 g sugar), 1 g protein

While the Protein Keto Coconut is high in fat, Bolthouse Farms' Strawberry Banana Smoothie, which sounds like a health haven, has way more sugar than you should consume in a day. If you really want a smoothie, make your own and sneak in some veggies!

10

Coca-Cola

coca cola cans close up
Shutterstock
Per 1 can: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (0 g fiber, 39 g sugar), 0 g protein

Coca-Cola is definitely not a healthy drink, but maybe once in a while it doesn't seem so bad, right? Well, we suggest resisting the temptation that can come with having Coke in your fridge, as you're consuming 39 grams of sugar in just one can. Opt for flavored sparkling water instead.

11

Pepsi

pepsi real sugar soda can

Per 1 can: 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (0 g fiber, 41 g sugar), 0 g protein

Similarly to Coca-Cola, Pepsi is also loaded with sugar—in fact, it even has more than Coca-Cola. Hard pass!

12

Naked Juice Green Machine

naked green machine

Per 1 bottle: 270 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 63 g carbs (0 g fiber, 53 g sugar), 4 g protein

Oh, these bottled smoothies. They always sound refreshing, and even good for you, but they are super sneaky. This popular bottled green smoothie looks healthy, but its 53 grams of sugar say otherwise.

13

Vitaminwater Power-C

vitaminwater power-c

Per 1 bottle: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 27 g sugar), 0 g protein

Vitaminwater is another deceptive beverage. It sounds like you would be sipping on water that is packed with vitamins, but it's actually just full of sugar. Add fresh fruit to a glass of water instead.

14

Snapple Peach Tea

snapple peach tea

Per 1 bottle: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (0 g fiber, 40 g sugar), 0 g protein

Snapple has been a popular drink for years. How can you not love a drink when it has 40 grams of sugar added to it?! This is another overly sweet beverage best left at the store.

15

Barq's Root Beer

barq root beer
Courtesy of Barq's
Per 1 can: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (0 g fiber, 44 g sugar), 0 g protein

A root beer float on a hot summer day? Yum! So if you do want root beer, opt for a small amount as a special treat, because this pop is heavy-handed with the sugar, and if you're adding ice cream to it, that amount of the sweet stuff is just going to skyrocket.

16

Swiss Miss Marshmallow Lovers Hot Chocolate

swiss miss

Per 1 serving: 190 calories, 2.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (1 g fiber, 33 g sugar), 1 g protein

On the contrary, nothing makes a chilly winter day better than a mug of hot chocolate—don't forget the marshmallows, right? Although, with 33 grams of sugar for one cup, maybe hot tea or coffee can warm you up instead…

17

Arizona Southern Style Arnold Palmer

arizona
Courtesy of Arizona
Per 1 serving: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (0 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 0 g protein

In just 8 ounces of this tea-lemonade mixture, there is a whopping 24 grams of sugar. But it is typically sold in a 23-ounce can, meaning you can easily consume over 60 grams of sugar in this beverage alone. Yikes!

18

A&W Cream Soda

Per 1 bottle: 170 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (0 g fiber, 46 g sugar), 0 g protein

Like root beer, cream soda was practically made to become an ice cream float. But with 46 grams of sugar, this should also be reserved as an occasional treat due to the high sugar content.

19

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice

ocean spray cranberry juice

Per 1 serving: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (0 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 0 g protein

Fruit juice is good for you, right? Unfortunately, fruit juice is high in sugars, albeit natural sugars. But compared to whole fruits, it lacks fiber, and some of the vitamins are lost when whole fruits are juiced.

20

V8 Vegetable Juice

v8 cans
Shutterstock
Per 1 serving: 45 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 640 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein

Finally, a drink not high in sugar! …But not so fast. Unfortunately, this vegetable juice is high in sodium. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium content to 1,500 milligrams daily, and this drink has nearly half of that in just 8 ounces.

21

V8 Splash Tropical Blend

v8 splash

Per 1 bottle: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (0 g fiber, 25 g sugar), 0 g protein

Meanwhile, V8 also has several popular lines of fruit beverages, like the V8 Splash. It is low in sodium, unlike the brand's vegetable juice, but it's packing in the sugar, especially since 24 out of the 25 grams are added sugars here.

22

Sunny Delight, Tangy Original

sunny delight

Per 1 serving: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 0 g protein

Don't confuse Sunny Delight with orange juice. While whole oranges are still better than orange juice, fresh-squeezed OJ is much healthier than Sunny Delight. Sunny Delight is technically a "tangy orange drink." On 100% orange juice labels, you'll typically see ingredients like orange juice concentrate and ascorbic acid. But the first two ingredients of Sunny Delight are water and high fructose corn syrup. If you want orange juice, drink the real deal.

23

Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink

Yoo hoo chocolate drink
Courtesy of Yoo-Hoo
Per 1 bottle: 220 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (0 g fiber, 47 g sugar), 3 g protein

Yoo-Hoo has been popular for decades, but this drink has far too much sugar for anyone to consume in one day. The top two ingredients? Water and high fructose corn syrup. Definitely not a healthy version of chocolate milk.

24

Big Red

big red

Per 1 bottle: 250 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 63 g carbs (0 g fiber, 63 g sugar), 0 g protein

Big Red is a delicious red cream soda, but at what cost? A bottle has over 70 grams of sugar!

25

Jarrito's Mandarin Soda

jarritos mandarin soda bottle

Per 1 serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (0 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 0 g protein

This fruit-flavored soda is refreshing, sure, but with 29 grams of sugar in one bottle, it is best reserved for special occasions.

26

Martinelli's Apple Juice

martinellis apple juice

Per 1 serving: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 1 g protein

Apple juice can sometimes be a healthy drink option, but this brand's juice is packed with sugar. Find a lower sugar option if you want to enjoy this refreshing beverage.

27

Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix

Jose cuervo margarita

Per 1 serving: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (0 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 0 g protein

Alcoholic beverages aren't healthy by nature, but you can certainly enjoy drinks in moderation. Still, if you want a margarita, you are better off making it from scratch. This margarita mix has a lot of added sugar that you can bypass by going the DIY route.

28

IZZE Sparkling Peach

izze sparkling peach

Per 1 can: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (0 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 0 g protein

Just 8 ounces of this sparkling peach juice has 21 grams of sugar, nearly an entire day's limit! Mix sparkling water with fresh fruit if you want a similar flavor profile with less sugar.

29

Evolution Fresh Defense Up

evolution defense up

Per 1 bottle: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (0 g fiber, 27 g sugar), 1 g protein

This Evolution Fresh cold-pressed juice sounds healthy enough, unless you check the nutrition label. The amount of sugar is pretty high; just enjoy whole fruits for the nutritional benefits and delicious flavor.

30

Canada Dry Ginger Ale

canada dry ginger ale can

Per 1 can: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (0 g fiber, 35 g sugar), 0 g protein

Drinking ginger ale is often touted as a way to calm nausea, but don't go reaching for it the next time you feel ill. It's the ginger that is bringing on the nutritional benefits, but most likely, you're not getting a ton of actual ginger in one can of this soda. This Canada Dry ginger ale has a whopping 35 grams of sugar per can, so that tells you what you're most likely sipping on.

31

Simply Limeade

simply limeade

Per 1 serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (0 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 0 g protein

Limeade can be a light, refreshing drink, but instead of gulping down 28 grams of sugar in a mere 8 ounces, enjoy a tall, ice-cold glass of water with slices of lemons and limes to cool down and hydrate. A simple swap!

32

Odwalla Mango Tango

odwalla mango tango

Per 1 bottle: 260 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 64 g carbs (3 g fiber, 55 g sugar), 2 g protein

Another bottled smoothie you should stay far away from. Odwalla's Mango Tango contains a shocking 55 grams of sugar per bottle! Make your own smoothies at home—you can even prep them in advance and store them in the freezer if you love the idea of a grab-and-go option.

33

Starbucks DoubleShot Energy, Mocha

starbucks doubleshot mocha

Per 1 can: 200 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 10 g protein

While it doesn't have quite as much sugar at the bottled Frappuccinos, Starbucks' DoubleShot energy drinks still aren't doing you any favors.

34

Calypso Ocean Blue Lemonade

calypso lemonade

Per 1 serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 2 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (0 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 0 g protein

You can probably assume that an electric-blue lemonade isn't the healthiest drink option, and you'd be right. This lemonade has more than a day's worth of sugar in just 8 ounces—and who can really drink only 8 ounces of lemonade? You're likely to consume more, and ultimately drink more sugar.

35

Lipton Citrus Green Tea

lipton green tea

Per 1 bottle: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (0 g fiber, 27 g sugar), 0 g protein

Although green tea can certainly be a good-for-you beverage and a great afternoon pick-me-up, this Lipton Citrus Green Tea has a lot of sugar to make it sweeter. Enjoy a pitcher of homemade green tea with plenty of fresh citrus slices for a more nutritious version of this drink.

36

International Delight Caramel Macchiato Iced Coffee

international delight coffee

Per 1 serving: 180 calories, 3.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (0 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 5 g protein

Anything with caramel is going to have a higher sugar content, and this caramel macchiato-flavored iced coffee is no exception.

37

Gold Peak Georgia Peach Tea

Per 1 bottle: 170 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (0 g fiber, 45 g sugar), 0 g protein

A bottle of this sweetened, peach-flavored tea has far more grams of sugar than one should consume in a day. This is another great opportunity to make your own version at home!

38

Dr Pepper Cherry

dr pepper cherry soda can

Per 1 can: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (0 g fiber, 41 g sugar), 0 g protein

Like other pops, Dr Pepper Cherry is best avoided for your health. This has even more sugar than regular Dr Pepper.

39

Honest Organic Half Tea & Half Lemonade

honest tea

Per 1 bottle: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (0 g fiber, 25 g sugar), 0 g protein

Sometimes, organic foods and drinks can be confused as being healthy. But a product labeled as certified organic can still be full of sugar, which is the case with this half-tea, half-lemonade drink by Honest Tea.

40

Tazo Classic Chai Tea Latte Concentrate

tazo classic chai latte

Per 1 serving: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 0 g protein

You can easily make a delicious, creamy chai tea latte with less sugar than these premade, shelf-stable versions.

Paige Bennett
Paige Bennett is a Los Angeles-based editor and freelance food, health, sustainability, and travel writer. Read more
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