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Facts About Sugar in Drinks

August 1, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC



How much do you know about making healthy drink choices?

Are smoothies, milk or energy drinks good for your health?

Take this quiz to find out.


Are the following statements True or False?

Energy Drinks are a healthy source of energy for kids

True / False!

  • Health Canada cautions that children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid energy drinks.
  • Energy drinks contain a lot of sugar and caffeine. The amount of caffeine in most energy drinks exceeds recommendations for children. Caffeine can cause nervousness, anxiety, jitteriness, stomach upset, rapid heart rate and trouble sleeping – but doesn't increase kids' energy levels!
  • For adults - choose energy drinks less often. Less is best!

Sports Drinks are great for all types of physical activity

True / False!

Sports drinks are suitable for athletes taking part in high intensity continuous activity lasting longer than 90 minutes. These athletes require additional hydration and also sodium and potassium replenishments.

Fast Fact - A sports drink (700 mL) contains 10 sugar cubes.

  • They have no nutritive benefits for athletes involved in sports of lower intensity or less duration.
  • For most people, including young athletes, chocolate milk is a great sports recovery drink. Although chocolate milk contains sugar, it also has everything an athlete needs to help restore energy and nutrient balance. Another option is water and a healthy snack.

For more information refer to the Guidelines for Food and Beverages available at Sporting Events in BC and Sport Hydration fact sheet.

Smoothies are always a healthy choice

True / False!

  • Smoothies often contain added sugar, as well as natural sugars from fruit.
  • Make your smoothies at home with milk or yogurt and fresh or frozen fruits. This is a great way to increase your fruit intake and to also meet your calcium and Vitamin D requirements, without the added sugar!

Canadian milk does not contain growth hormones

True! / False

  • In Canada, no cow can be given artificial hormones to increase its milk production. That means no milk, cheese or yogurt produced in Canada contains these hormones.
  • The use of antibiotics in the Canadian dairy industry is strictly regulated. Antibiotics are only given to a cow if it is sick. The sick cow is isolated from the herd until it recovers and there is no residue of the antibiotics left in its milk
  • Milk undergoes strict testing in Canada to ensure that it contains no traces of antibiotics before it is made available for consumption.

Source: Food Safety Network.

Fruit juice is a healthy alternative to water

True / False!

  • While 100 per cent unsweetened fruit juice is nutritious, it is high in natural sugar, calories and acid that can harm the teeth. Children should limit their intake to 125 mL (1/2 cup) daily. Teens and adults should have no more than 250 mL (1 cup) daily. Fruit juice is best taken with rather than between meals.

You can find more information on sugar and dental health here.

Coffee is the main source of caffeine in the average Canadian diet

True! / False

  • Canadian adults get an estimated 60 per cent of their caffeine from coffee and about 30 per cent from tea. The remaining 10 per cent comes from cola beverages, chocolate products and medicines.
  • For children aged one to five, over half of their caffeine intake comes from cola drinks, about 30 per cent from tea, and about 14 per cent from chocolate. The rest comes from other sources, including medicines.

Source: Caffeine.

Tap water is a safe source of water

True! / False

  • BC's Drinking Water Protection Act requires municipalities to provide safe water for those the system serves and to publicly report any risks to water quality to their consumers.

The information on the Healthy Eating pages of the HealthyFamilies BC website is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a physician or other qualified healthcare professional.



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