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6 Beverages You Grew Up Drinking That Are Terrible For You

Perhaps it's for the best you don't revisit these former lunch box staples.

Thinking back on the outfits, clothes, TV shows, and music you were obsessed with when you were a kid, and you'll likely chuckle. Your tastes might've changed a bit since then, and that goes for your diet, too. There are plenty of foods and drinks that often filled your lunchbox that today, you know better than to turn to. Especially when it comes to beverages!

Looking for proof? Well, we went ahead and rounded up some drinks from the past you shouldn't really ever sip on. Hey, they weren't healthy for you back then, and they're still not. (Spoiler alert: They're all sugar bombs!) Keep these out of the fridge, and you'll be much better off. Instead, stock up on any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


Yoo hoo chocolate drink
Courtesy of Yoo-Hoo
Per bottle, 15.5 fl oz: 220 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (51 g sugar), 3 g protein

Oh, Yoo-hoo. It seems like you're getting your chocolate milk fix here, but that isn't the case. It's actually a chocolate drink that is made with water and high fructose corn syrup.

So no, you were never getting any of the health benefits you would get from a glass of milk. In fact, 47 of the whopping 51 grams of sugar in one bottle are added sugars. This is not ideal, as The American Heart Association recommends men should consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day, and women shouldn't have more than 25 grams per day. While this drink is said to be "sweet, easy to sip, and is perfect with a PB&J," you're better off leaving it back in your playground days.

Hi-C Orange Lavaburst

hi-c orange lavaburst
Courtesy of Hi-C
Per drink box: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (10 g sugar), 0 g protein

If you weren't ordering this drink along with your Happy Meal at McDonald's, you were likely asking for the little boxed version to be placed in your lunchbox. This orange-flavored drink is made with high fructose corn syrup, along with acesulfame potassium and sucralose, which are artificial sweeteners.

Arizona Iced Tea

arizona lemon iced tea lemon flavor

Per serving, 8 fl oz: 180 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 47 g carbs (45 g sugar), 0 g protein

There was just something about an Arizona Iced Tea—there was an air of coolness if you were sipping on one of these. Well, as you can imagine, these iced tea drinks are no exception when it comes to sugar. One serving of the iced tea is packing the same amount of added sugar that you get from 15 Oreo Thins cookies.

So what's the big deal with high added sugar consumption? It can not only lead to weight gain, but an increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Not cool.

Looking for more helpful tips? Check out the science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.

Kool-Aid Bursts

kool aid grape soft drink
Courtesy of KoolAid
Per bottle, grape: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 30 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein

Twisting the tops off these Kool-Aid bottles was half the fun back in the day. While these drinks seem harmless, taking a look at the ingredients is key. You'll notice it's made of water, high fructose corn syrup, and contains less than 2% of artificial flavor. Grape is nowhere to be found on the list of ingredients…

Minute Maid Pink Lemonade

minute maid pink lemonade
Courtesy of Minute Maid
Per serving, 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (28 g sugar), 0 g protein

Pink lemonade really just tasted different than regular lemonade as a kid—perhaps it was the lightly colored hue that made it that much more fun to drink. Minute Maid's pink lemonade gets its color from grape juice from concentrate, but don't get too excited—one serving has 27 grams of added sugar. If you're wanting to revisit this beverage from simpler times, it's better to squeeze your own lemonade!


vitamin water
Courtesy of Vitamin Water
Per bottle, Focus flavor: 100 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (26 g sugar), 0 g protein

It's easy to have seen "water" on the label of these drinks and think it would be healthier for you. So there's a chance you were all about the Vitaminwater back in your youth. We're here to burst that bubble yet again. As you can see, it's just loaded with sugar. One bottle of the kiwi-strawberry Focus flavor is as sugary as two and a half Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. Yikes.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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