Reducing Added Sugar with Healthy Drink Swaps

By Emily Lesky – Gleaners Nutrition Education Team

Consuming added sugars in your diet can lead to dangerous health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Added sugars can be found in both food and beverages. Some examples of beverages that can be high in added sugar are soda, flavored or sweetened teas, sports drinks, flavored milks, and juices that are not 100% juice. To reduce added sugar in your diet, consider swapping beverages with added sugar for ones with little to no added sugar. Check out the swaps below for ideas!

Soda – Try sparkling water sweetened with fruit or 100% fruit juice.

Flavored or sweetened teas – Try brewing your own tea! If you prefer sweetened tea, try to limit the amount of sweetener that you use.

Sports drinks – Sports drinks can be helpful for individuals that need to rehydrate after exercise. Consider mixing half sports drink with half water to reduce added sugar while still getting needed hydration.

Flavored milks – Try plain milk – skim or low-fat options are also low in saturated fat!

Juice – Try 100% juice instead of juice from concentrate with added sugars.

Check out the ideas below for healthy drink alternatives:

Infused Water – Add fresh or frozen fruit to water to add natural sweetness. Try adding fresh herbs, like mint or rosemary, or citrus fruits, like lemons and limes, for added flavor.

Raspberry Lime Fizz – Combine seltzer water, 100% juice, and lime juice for a refreshing, bubbly beverage! Get the full recipe here:

Fruit Smoothie – Fruit smoothies are a fun way to stay hydrated! Start with low-fat milk or 100% juice and add in your favorite fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Get ideas here: