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Sugar in Drinks: How Much Sugar Are You Actually Consuming?

Sugar in Drinks

Sugar in Drinks: How Much Sugar Are You Actually Consuming?

Have you ever wondered how much sugar is hiding in your favourite drinks?

Excess sugar intake is one of the major culprits of weight regain after bariatric surgery. It is high in calories and provides little to no nutritional value.

Excess sugar intake can also result in dumping syndrome, also known as rapid gastric emptying.

This happens when certain food or liquids get ‘dumped’ directly from your stomach to your small intestine without being digested.

When foods or liquids high in sugar and/or fat are consumed, the intestines sense that the food mass is too concentrated, and release gut hormones.

The body reacts by shifting fluid from the bloodstream to the small intestine, causing abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating and/or diarrhoea.

High Sugar Drinks

It is important to note that sugar found in liquid form does not elicit the same fullness response as sugar found in solid food.

This makes it easy to consume large amounts without feeling satiated.

For example, drinking 1 cup of orange juice is easier to consume; and less filling, than eating 4 navel oranges in one sitting.

Sugar in Drinks Chart

 Red BullLemonade / Coca-ColaV- Energy Dare Double Espresso Iced CoffeeDairy Farmers Classic Chocolate Flavoured MilkColes Orange JuiceGatorade Blue Bolt Sports DrinkLipton Peach Iced Tea
Sugar per 100ml (g)1110.710.698.96.864.2
Sugar per serve 51g per 473ml can27g per 250ml52.8g per 500ml can45g per 500ml bottle44.5g per 500ml bottle17g per 250ml36g per 600ml bottle21g per 500ml bottle

Note: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar. 1 can of Red Bull contains nearly 13 teaspoons of sugar!

Low Sugar Drinks: Our Recommendations

Our preference is that you limit your fluids to good old plain water, but if you are craving something else, here are some fluids we can recommend:

Low sugar, high protein drinks

 Protein Flavoured WaterAtkins Plus Protein Low Carb Iced CoffeeMusashi Ultra Ripped Protein Shake ChocolateBodiez Protein WaterUp & Go No Added SugarLow Fat Milk
Sugar (g) per 100ml 00.30.3<14.24.8
Protein per serve15g per scoop per sachet25g per 400ml bottle30g per 375ml bottle30g per 500ml bottle8.5g per 250ml9g per 250ml

Low sugar, low calorie drinks

 Gatorade No SugarPowerade No SugarHerbal teaTwining’s’ Infused Cold WaterBrothCampbell’s V8 Vegetable JuiceHomemade Coffee Using Skim Milk
Sugar (g) per 100ml 00000.42.74.5
Calories per serve7 calories per 600ml bottle1.6 calories per 600ml bottle<1 calorie per tea bag8 calories per tea bag48 calories per 250ml58 calories per 300mlApprox. 115 calories per 250ml

A word on…

Carbonated Drinks after Bariatric Surgery

Carbonated drinks can lead to abdominal discomfort, belching and/or flatulence after bariatric surgery.

Regular consumption over a period of time may also cause your new stomach to stretch. 

Alcohol after Bariatric Surgery

We recommend limiting your alcohol intake after bariatric surgery for a few key reasons:

  • Has a greater effect on the liver, brain and heart
  • Increases the risk of developing a stomach ulcer
  • May trigger reflux/ heartburn
  • Contains empty calories, thus slows down weight loss progress
  • Does not provide any useful nutrients, such as protein, vitamins or minerals
  • Excess alcohol intake diminishes the liver’s function to manage blood sugar levels. Thus blood sugar levels drop causing light headedness, confusion, blurry vision and loss of balance
  • The stomach has a reduced ability to break down alcohol after bariatric surgery as there is a reduction in the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase.
  • Alcohol is absorbed much quicker without the presence of food in the stomach, as bariatric patients are recommended to separate food and fluid intake. For this reason bariatric patients also need to be mindful that they can easily be over the legal limit for driving after one standard drink.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols include sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and maltitol.

They may be found in food or drinks labelled “sugar-free” as well as artificial sweeteners such as Stevia and Natvia.

Sugar alcohols provide a sweet taste to food and drinks without the calories of sugar.

Although they can be used as a sugar substitute, excess intake can lead to cramping, abdominal pain, excess gas and/or diarrhoea.

Sugar in Drinks: The Bottom Line

Be mindful of your drink choices and check to see if they might be stalling your weight loss progress.

What are some of your favourite go-to drinks? Comment below and let us know!

Brisbane Obesity Surgery | Weight Loss Surgery | Brisbane Obesity Clinic

Are ready to make some decisions about your health?

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