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How Much Sugar Is in a Can of Soda? Why You Should Make the Switch to OLIPOP

Posted Jul 11, 2021 Updated Apr 15, 2024

Popping open a can of soda to satisfy your thirst each day might feel like a harmless choice. However, drinking a standard can of soda (or more!) daily can wreak havoc on your diet while offering little to no nutritional or health benefits. Here is why you should consider making the switch from your standard can of soda.

How Much Sugar Is in a Can of Soda?

A 12-ounce can of standard soda contains about 39 grams of sugar and 150 calories. [1] That's equivalent to about 9 teaspoons of sugar per can just to put things into perspective. What is even more alarming is that sodas offer very little nutritional value and fail to provide key nutrients that most Americans fall short of, like dietary fiber. [2]

But regular soda isn't the only beverage offering little to no nutritional value! Other beverages with added sugars include:

  • Some fruit drinks
  • Sweetened teas
  • Sports drinks
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • And more!

Collectively, all these drinks can increase total calorie intake throughout the course of the day without you even noticing. Especially if you consume more than one.

Comparison of sugar-sweetened beverages including soda, sports drinks, kombucha, and OLIPOP

Can Sugar in Soda Cause Weight Gain? 

You may have heard that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, can contribute to weight gain. But how does this happen?

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Soda, as well as other sugar-sweetened beverages, suppress the natural process that typically would occur after eating a well-balanced meal or snack. This process is referred to as “satiety” or more commonly defined as “the feeling of fullness you experience after a meal”. [3] In an ideal scenario, if you feel full and satisfied, you're less likely to reach for snacks or beverages that add unwanted and extra calories to your diet. But with the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, your body compensates, leaving you feeling hungrier, not fuller.

A recent publication found that individuals who consumed one or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages daily had an obesity risk that was twice as large as those who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages less than once per month. [3] Consider this research as a mindful suggestion to watch your intake levels of sugar-sweetened beverages to help avoid long-term health conditions.

A Healthy & Low-Sugar Soda Alternative

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recommends that you consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars. [2] What does this mean in the context of your diet? If, for example, you were following a 2,000-calorie per day diet, this translates into a 200-calorie allowance for added sugars.

That's not a lot of added sugars! This means your standard can of soda can quickly put you way above the limit. Consuming sugary sodas in moderation is one thing, but enjoying them every day could pose a health concern. Which might leave you wondering: is there a way to enjoy soda without all that extra sugar? The answer: absolutely. 

OLIPOP is a healthier, low-sugar soda alternative formulated with key ingredients like fiber. We're a new type of soda that only contains 35 calories per 12-ounce serving. And unlike a standard can of soda, we feature only 2-5 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. Plus 9 grams of prebiotic fiber to support your digestive health. Including 1-2 servings of OLIPOP daily can fit into a healthy and well-balanced diet, along with other nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

Lineup of OLIPOP flavors

Prebiotics & Digestive Health: Why You Need Prebiotics in Your Diet

Ever heard of prebiotics before? They're a group of naturally occurring ingredients that we get from plant sources. They travel through the digestive system undigested until they hit the large intestine or colon, where bacteria are present. [4] The prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your gut through a process known as fermentation.

Kind of cool right?!

With fermentation comes an array of health benefits, such as the stimulation of more beneficial bacteria in your gut and the production of metabolites known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These include acetate, propionate, and butyrate, that further work to contribute to whole-body health.

Other more emerging health benefits of prebiotic dietary fibers include: [5]

  • Immune system defense
  • Calcium absorption
  • Decreases in allergy risk
  • Increases in healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli
  • Decreases in the production of pathogenic (or bad) bacteria

Prebiotics in OLIPOP

OLIPOP contains prebiotic dietary fiber in every serving. Our high-fiber ingredients include chicory root inulin, Jerusalem artichoke inulin, and more. OLIPOP also helps fill the fiber gap by contributing to overall fiber consumption in the diet. That's thanks to the 9 grams of dietary fiber per 12-ounce can!

Sugars in Soda: The Takeaway

It's currently recommended that you consume 25-38 grams per day of dietary fiber, based on factors like your age and gender. Yet, most Americans are only consuming about half that amount. [6] [7] We need to make many changes in our standard Western diet to close the fiber gap. But making conscious choices, such as choosing a beverage with lower levels of added sugars and digestive health benefits, is a step in the right direction.

Learn more about the health impacts of high-sugar sodas and make the swap to OLIPOP today.


  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019.
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. 9th edition. December 2020.
  3. Malik VS, Hu FB. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic health: An Update of the Evidence Nutrients 2019; 11(8): 1840.
  4. Slavin JL. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits Nutrients 2013; 5(4): 1417-1435.
  5. Carlson JL, Erickson JM, Lloyd BB, and Slavin JL. Health Effects and Sources of Prebiotic Dietary Fiber Curr Dev Nutr 2018; 2(3): doi: 10.1093/cdn/nyz005.
  6. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2005.
  7. Quagliani D, Felt-Gunderson P. Closing America’s Fiber Gap. Am J Lifestyle Med 2017; 11(1): 80-85.
Cheat Sheet
  • A standard serving of soda contains 9 teaspoons of added sugar and offers little to no nutritional benefits
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages including standard soda, do not leave you feeling full and may contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain
  • Beverages that contain added fiber, a shortfall nutrient in the American diet, contribute to filling the fiber gap
  • Prebiotic dietary fibers, such as those found in a serving of OLIPOP, help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut
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