By Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
There is always a reason for eating, drinking and enjoying time with family and friends! For most people, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages such as sweet-tea, soda pop, and sports drinks is not just for special occasions, it is an everyday habit that can be devastating your health.
How much and how often do you consume unhealthy sugar-infused drinks?
If you know the answer to that question, you are off to a good start. Beginning to change a habit begins with awareness. If you have no idea how much sugar-sweetened beverages you drink, now is the time to educate yourself and become aware of how much you are consuming!
Once you are aware of your consumption, you may become more aware of how companies are trying to sell you on their product. Research has repetitively found that marketing campaigns and advertising that promote the consumption of sugary beverages can significantly increase how much we drink.
Research suggests that we are all susceptible to the persuasiveness of clever marketing. Improving your knowledge about sugary drinks and how they are marketed can alter your purchasing behavior and may even help you decrease the number of sugary drinks you consume daily.
Read the nutrition label to identify number of calories
To better understand how much sugar from drinks you consume daily, you need to know how many cups, cans, or bottles of soda-pop or sweetened drinks you guzzle throughout the day.
Once you have an idea of the quantity, you can then learn to read the nutrition label on the back to identify the number calories and the number of grams of sugar contained in your favorite drinks. A simple understanding of the sheer quantity can then help you unlock the actual amount of sugar you are consuming on a day-to-day basis.
Once you have established how much sugar you consume, ask yourself if that number is more or less than 50 grams a day. It is best to limit your sugar consumption to less than 50 grams per day. If you drink one, 20-ounce bottle of cola or sweet-tea, you have consumed more than 50 grams of sugar.
If you can take control and reduce your sugar consumption, you will likely take control of your health!
**For help with diet planning and nutrition, consult with a registered dietitian
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Chen, Yvonnes, et al. “Development and evaluation of the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Media Literacy (SSB-ML) scale and its relationship with SSB consumption.” Health communication 32.10 (2017): 1310-1317.
Jasti, Sunitha, Rosita Rubin, and Colleen M. Doak. “Sugar-sweetened Beverage Knowledge and Consumption in College Students.” Health Behavior and Policy Review 4.1 (2017): 37-45.