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    You Ask, I Answer: Fruit Juice/Sugar

    Thanks for answering my first question on fruit juice and sugar content.

    So if you’re drinking 3 or 4 big glasses of some kind of fruit juice instead of 3 or 4 sodas a day you [are] still taking in empty calories and large amounts of sugar like with the soda, right?

    So if you need something to drink while surfing the Internet or just watching TV fruit juice wouldn’t be the best improvement over soda.

    What about PowerAid or something like that, would it be better than both soda and bottled fruit juice? Or should we really only be reaching for a water bottle to actually get any kind of improvement?

    – Andrew Carney
    Spokane, WA

    Yes, four glasses of conventional fruit juice are pretty much equal to 3 or 4 sodas.

    I say “pretty much” and not “exactly equal to” because although calorie content is not too difference, fruit juice does not contain phosphoric acid, (which can leech calcium from your bones) and in many occasions does provide naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals not present in soda.

    That being said, consider that four cups (a cup being eight ounces) of juice a day can add as much as 640 calories to your day!

    That’s a LOT of extra calories a day — more than a Big Mac!

    Replacing soda with juice isn’t the best swap. PowerAid, meanwhile, is still basically empty calories.

    This is not to say you should never have juice.

    I don’t know how large your glasses are, but let’s assume each glass you pour is about 8 ounces. I would have no more than 2 a day (keep in mind, that is still 320 calories); ideally, one.

    What can you do instead? Water is one solution, but there are other more flavorful alternatives, if that is what you seek:

    Canada Dry flavored seltzer water

    Hint Water

    Sugar-free (by this I don’t mean “full of artificial sweeteners”, I mean “without any sweetener”) or low-sugar teas like Teany, Teas’ Tea, or Honest Tea.

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    2 Comments

    1. Luise said on January 30th, 2008

      On the note of tea, there are so many different tea flavors — you can buy looseleaf or just go to the tea aisle at a supermarket and see the rainbow of teabags available; you don’t have to buy pre-bottled, you can brew your own, then you get a near-endless choice of what flavors you want. Although, of course, sweetening them with liberal sugar isn’t the best idea. You could go with a sugar-free sweetener, or only sweeten them on occasion. Personally, though, I’ve found that I don’t even need to sweeten them if I like the flavor as-is.

    2. Anonymous said on January 30th, 2008

      Let me make another suggestion- it’s not for everyone, but saw it in a restaurant and loved it (tried it at home afterwards).

      Cut an apple, an orange, a lemon, and/or a pear in half and put it into a large pitcher of water. Put it in the fridge and drink your very own flavored water. I’ve found that it gives a nice refreshing taste to the water without it being lemonade or sugary at all. It is NOT the same taste as squeezing a lemon in.

      I strongly advise taking the fruits out soon, though.

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