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Added sugar in our foods and beverages have no benefits to our body and in fact can lead to many chronic illnesses when consumed in excess over a prolonged period. The recommended added sugar intake is about 50 grams a day with more stringent guidelines suggesting only 25g to 35g of sugar intake per day.
In this article, we will be helping you identify, understand and probably also scare you a little on the sugar content that actually exists in our daily drinks. We have picked out some common local beverages so as to give you an idea how much added sugar is in each of them.
Beverages and their sugar levels
Isotonic drink contains about 15 grams of sugar. Well between 15 to 20 grams, please go easy on these especially after a workout, plain water for hydration is as effective as isotonic drinks. Remember this, you put in so much sweat and effort to get through an exercise session, do not ruin it by consuming more added sugar at the end, it is really counterproductive.
Kopi or Teh (Coffee or Tea)
Next will be your Kopi and Teh, the normal ones with condensed milk, this constitutes 22.5grams of sugar. If you are thinking of having your caffeine fix, you should consider kopi o siu dai or teh o sui dai, less sugar no condensed milk version, which has only about 9 grams of added sugar. Look at that vast difference!
Probably something we might reach out for, for that extra energy boost while burning the midnight oil. This small can of concentrated drink has 27 grams of added sugar. One other detrimental aspect of energy drinks is that it contains a vitamin called nacin, too much of it can actually cause liver damage.
Can of Soda
Now is the most popular of all beverages, a can of soft drink. 35 grams of added sugar! My gosh. One can is able to almost wipe out your entire day’s limit!
Mocha Frappe (with whipped cream)
The last one on the list, has a whopping 60 grams and it is your mocha frappe with whip cream! One serving of this, will exceed you daily limit by almost 10 grams of sugar! It is that much! And no, taking out the whipped cream does not help by a lot, the drink would definitely still have more sugar than your conventional can of soft drink!
When it comes to making healthier choices for the beverages we consume, it is always important to look at the sugar content. Sugar free drinks such as no sugar tea (Ayataka, Hojicha etc) and fruit infused drinks are great options to reach out for. Yes, those laden with artificial sugar can be an alternative but it would be best to drink them in moderation. Still, the best drink to keep us hydrated will be a glass of plain water.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)