Healthy Bodies Need Healthy Drinks Resource Package

Fact Sheet - How much sugar is in what we drink?

Page last updated: 17 September 2014

PDF Version of Fact Sheet - How Much Sugar is in what we drink? (PDF 137 KB)

Sugar content examples

Drink TypeType of SugarAverage Qty of Sugar (grams)Average Qty of Sugar (teaspoons)
WaterNo sugar and essential for health and hydration00
Drink TypeType of SugarAverage Qty of Sugar (grams)Average Qty of Sugar (teaspoons)
Milk (low fat) 250ml (1 cup)Natural sugar14g3 teaspoons
Drink TypeType of SugarAverage Qty of Sugar (grams)Average Qty of Sugar (teaspoons)
100% fruit juice 250ml (1 cup)Natural sugar - but drinking too much can cause tooth decay24g6 teaspoons
Flavoured milk (small) 300mlNatural and added sugar - drinking too much can lead to increased weight gain28g+7 teaspoons
The following types of drinks are very high in added sugar
Drinking too much can lead to increased weight gain and tooth decay
Drink TypeAverage Qty of Sugar (grams)Average Qty of Sugar (teaspoons)
Flavoured fruit drink 250ml27g+6.5 teaspoons
Energy drink 600ml36g+8.5 teaspoons
Soft drink (Can) 375ml38g+9 teaspoons
Soft drink (Buddy) 600ml64g+15 teaspoons
Soft drink 1.25 litre bottle - 1250ml140g+33 teaspoons

Daily intake

There is much debate about ‘daily intake’ of sugar. What we know:
  • The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars.
  • Soft drinks and other high sugar drinks such as energy drinks, flavoured mineral waters, fruit drinks and sports drinks can contain amounts of sugar in excess of dietary needs. Therefore, any high sugar drinks that are consumed may contribute to increased weight gain and tooth decay.
  • When lots of sugary drinks are consumed on a regular basis, the body can’t use all the sugar and turns it into fat.
  • High blood sugar levels and increased weight gain can place strain on key organs such as the heart and kidneys.

High added sugar drinks

Drinking too many high sugar drinks can contribute to:
  • Tooth decay
  • Weight gain
Being overweight can contribute to:
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Other chronic diseases

Diet and low sugar (soft) drinks

  • Still contain high levels of acids and additives such as flavours and colours. Drinking soft drink (sugary and diet) regularly can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel surfaces which then leads to tooth decay.

Further Information