Re-think Your Beverage Choices

Do you drink many sugar sweetened drinks like regular soda, sweet tea or flavored coffee beverages? Maybe it is time to re-think your drink, as we say at Extension, and switch to non-sugary, healthier beverage choices. Water is an example of a great choice.


Did you know? National Beverage Day is celebrated on May 6th annually. It is time to enjoy your favorite beverage.

Why re-think your drink?

Think nutrition, health and moderation before you drink. There is a link between consuming sugary drinks and being overweight, higher obesity rates, and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Many sugary beverages provide a significant number of calories but provide few nutritional benefits. We call these types of calories “empty calories”.

How many teaspoons of sugar do you think are in a typical 20-ounce bottle of regular soda? A typical 20-ounce bottle of soda can contain as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar! That’s a lot!

Calories from sugar can add up quickly. Sugar comes in many forms and has many names. Read the Nutrition Facts Label and look for sugar as an ingredient. Added sugars add calories but no nutrients to foods. Added sugars are found mainly in processed foods and drinks. We are encouraged to eat foods with less added sugar.

Names of added sugars found in the ingredients list of foods and beverages include sugars such as: raw sugar, invert sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, maltodextrin, or molasses. Check the ingredients list of beverages. If a type of sugar is in the first three (3) ingredients, the product is likely to have a lot of added sugars.

Reducing the number of sugary and specialty drinks you consume, over time, may lead to weight loss and better health. Plus, if you are not buying these drinks, it can help you save money and control your budget. I bought a cold coffee drink that cost me almost $7.00 a few weeks ago! I was in shock. LOL!

MyPlate has a great resource on making better beverage choices.

Consider these drink choice alternatives.

What can I drink instead of sugary beverages? You may want to try these instead: plain water, water flavored with added fruit, vegetables and/or herbs, unsweetened seltzer water, unflavored sparkling water, unsweetened tea. unsweetened iced or hot coffee, non-fat or low-fat unflavored milk.

What about juice? 100% fruit juices contain natural sugar. It is recommended that we limit our daily juice intake (4 ounces or less) and choose whole fruit that contains fiber.   When you do choose to drink juice, choose unsweetened 100% juice. Read and check the label!

Recipe for Infused Water

Here is a refreshing recipe for watermelon infused water.

Learn more.

UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences – Tips to Drink More Water.

UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences – Calcium and Vitamin D are Important Nutrients.

UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences – Orange Juice is One Good Source of Vitamin C.

The Nutrition Facts Panel –

UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences – Prevent Dehydration: Drink Water.

UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County, Family and Consumer Sciences – Consume Safe Drinking Water During and Emergency.


Have a question? Contact the University of Florida IFAS-Broward County Extension Office at 965-756-8519, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ask for Family and Consumer Sciences.

An equal opportunity institution.


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Posted: May 8, 2024

Category: Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: 100% Fruit Juice, Added Sugar, Added Sugars, Better Health, Broward County, Budget, Calories From Sugar Can Add Up, Eating For Good Health, Empty Calories, How Many Teaspoons Of Sugar Are There In A Bottle Of Soda?, Hydration, Limit Added Sugar, Limit Added Sugars, MyPlate And Beverage Choices, Re-think Your Drink, Stick To Your Budget, Think Nutrition And Health, Tight Budgets, Why Should I Rethink My Drink?

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