Checking the amount of calories on the drink can is a good start, but it's not enough. Hiding in sweetened beverages in general and carbonated beverages in particular are unhealthy ingredients and a whole lot of sugar. Here's how you can find out what's really hiding in sweetened drinks.

It's a great habit to check the amount of calories listed on the label of a bottle or can, but it's not enough. This is because the amount of sugar in a drink is calculated differently:

Look for the category "carbohydrates," which is indicated in grams. Each 5 grams of carbohydrates contains a teaspoon of sugar. For instance, if the label says the drink contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, that means it contains

4 teaspoons of sugar!

Take note! The list of ingredients on the drink label doesn't necessarily describe the amount it contains. For example, the listing may refer to 100 grams, which can be confusing. Make sure you make your final calculation after determining the actual amount.

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Another important tip to remember - the order of ingredients:

The ingredients in the product are listed in descending order. This means that the higher the ingredient is listed, the more the product contains. So if the list includes vitamins or desirable additives - but they're at the bottom of the list - that means there's a relatively small amount of them. Furthermore, the longer the list, the less natural and more processed the product.

Not just sugars - other warning signs:

Besides carbohydrates, which, as mentioned above, "camouflage" the sugars concealed in the drink, there are other ingredients found in sweet drinks that aren't healthy for us, to put it mildly:

  • Food colorings - Indicated by the letter E and numbered between 100 and 199.
  • Phosphoric acid - E338, which causes the calcium in the bones to enter the bloodstream instead of the other way around.
  • Sodium benzoate - E221 - a preservative which has been found to be involved in damage to parts of the DNA.

To sum up, drinking sweetened beverages isn't healthy or nutritious at all. We often tend not to check the ingredients of what we drink so we don't really know what we're drinking. So instead of taking chances and ingesting large amounts of sugar, it's best to drink water.

According to a TNS survey conducted in September 2017, 78% of families surveyed stated that since they've had a Strauss Water Bar at home their children drink more water and less sweetened beverages.

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