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The Worst Soda Flavor You Should Never Drink, Says an RD

Soda is always bad news, but there is one flavor that is truly trouble.
FACT CHECKED BY Jennifer Maldonado

Soda in any flavor is never the best choice. It's a drink that is lacking in nutrition, to say the least. Plus, it can cause digestive discomforts like gas and bloat from the carbonation and any artificial sweeteners that may be present. It's been proven that there are plenty of long-term health effects of frequent soda consumption, too.

Yet, which is the worst flavor you really should never drink?

Well, that would be none other than bright, bubbly orange soda. (Instead, go ahead and stock up on any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.)

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

"Orange soda is a sweet, refreshing drink that many people enjoy but some are under the impression that it's healthy to drink orange soda because it has fruit in it," says Eat This, Not That! Medical Board expert, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT.

However, that is just not the case. Orange soda has no real, fresh orange fruit in it to make your bubbly beverage even remotely healthy.

For such reason, orange soda is the worst soda flavor you can pick. You might think you're drinking something with nutritional value and end up sipping more than you would if you were drinking another flavor. A tricky cycle!

So, beyond the misleading factor of associating the soda with orange fruit and citrus' wonderful health properties, like immune-boosting vitamin C, you'll notice the label on orange soda also contains high amounts of unhealthy ingredients.

"There is a concerning amount of sugar and calories in this beverage," Lakatos Shames says.

The number one thing you need to know about drinking orange soda?

It provides no nutritional value!

Here are two common orange soda flavor branded sodas that might taste good, but aren't doing your health and body any favors.

Fanta Orange Soda

fanta orange bottle
Courtesy of Fanta


Per 20 oz: 270 calories, 0 g fat, 90 mg sodium, 73 g carbs (0 g fiber, 73 g sugar), 0 grams protein

A small bottle of Fanta Orange has 73 grams of sugar, which is roughly the maximum amount of sugar women should consume in nearly three days. Yikes!

"Men aren't off the hook because one bottle provides more sugar than they should get in two days, too," Lakatos Shames warns.

Since there is no fiber in this drink, it will spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry, tired, and craving more sugar shortly afterward.

"Although this brand claims to have 100% natural flavors, the word 'natural' doesn't really mean anything. According to government regulations, it can still be highly processed and contain many chemical additives," Lakatos Shames explains.

Orange soda, like other high-sugar drinks, contributes to weight gain in many people—especially if you are drinking it regularly in your diet.

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Sunkist Orange Soda

Sunkist Orange Bottle
Courtesy of Sunkist
Per 20 oz botttle: 270 calories, 0 g fat, 110 mg sodium, 74 g carbs (0 g fiber, 73 g sugar), 0 grams protein

This serving of Sunkist orange soda has 74 grams of sugar. That's as much sugar as you would get from 24 Oreo Thins! It far exceeds the American Heart Association's daily recommendation limit for both men and women.

Having that much sugar from just one drink, at one time is—you guessed it—troublesome. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that those who actually drank sugar-sweetened beverages like soda daily had a 10% higher volume of visceral fat. That was compared to those who did not drink soda. Visceral fat is the (hard to shed) dangerous belly fat, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes.

"[This soda also] has 31 milligrams of caffeine per serving, which may cause anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms to anyone sensitive to caffeine," Lakatos Shames says. And you wouldn't normally think to check caffeine content in orange-flavored soda, right?

So, you definitely don't want to drink a can of orange-flavored soda prior to bed. Or ever, for that matter!

Isadora Baum
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. Read more about Isadora
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