How Much Sugar is in Sweet Tea?

How Much Sugar is in Sweet Tea?

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of sipping on a tall glass of sweet tea, especially on a scorching hot summer’s day. But, have you ever wondered just how much sugar is hanging out in your go-to refreshing drink? 


Strap yourself in, because we're about to spill the tea on the not-so-innocent sweetness hiding in that beloved Southern classic. For a fresh-flavored beverage that’s often marketed as a healthier alternative to soda, you might be surprised (or terrified) by what you’re about to read.


But don’t worry! We’ll share just how “sweet” your sweet tea is, but we’ll also introduce you to an incredible alternative that brings 100% of the flavor with a fraction of the sugar! So, just how much sugar is in sweet tea? Let’s find out. 

What Exactly is Sweet Tea?

Sweet tea, the elixir of the South, has been a refreshing summer staple for generations. This iconic drink, born in the heart of the Southern United States, is a simple yet delightful concoction that marries the bold essence of tea with the comforting touch of sweetness.


Comparison With Other Types of Tea

When we talk about sweet tea, it's essential to distinguish it from its counterparts, which are usually served hot. Sweet tea is a powerhouse of flavor, featuring a robust black tea base that is generously sweetened, often with a blend of cane sugar. 


The deep amber hue and the perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness set sweet tea apart from its more understated relatives, making it the go-to choice for those who crave a more indulgent tea-drinking experience.


Why Sweet Tea Has Gone From Southern Staple to Worldwide Favorite

What started as a regional tradition in the Southern states has blossomed into a global sensation. The meteoric rise of sweet tea's popularity can be attributed to its ability to captivate taste buds and offer a satisfying respite from the ordinary. 


Many people have turned to sweet tea not just because they like the flavor, but because it seems like a healthier alternative compared to soda. But is this really the case? Let’s take a look at how much sugar is in sweet tea so that you can decide for yourself. 


How Much Sugar is in Sweet Tea?

While the blend of tea and sweetness is undeniably tempting, understanding how much sugar is in sweet tea is crucial. If you’re trying to lose weight, dealing with diabetes, or just want to make healthier food choices, you should be aware of just how much sugar is in a glass of sweet tea.


How Much Sugar is in a Glass of Sweet Tea on Average?

So, how much sugar is in a glass of sweet tea, exactly? On average, a standard eight-ounce glass of sweet tea made at home might contain anywhere from 15 to 25 grams of sugar. It varies, depending on whether the tea is homemade or store-bought.


This estimation is based on moderately sweet tea, striking a balance between flavor and healthy dietary choices. Keep in mind that factors such as the type of tea, brewing time, and the specific sugar-to-tea ratio can affect how much sugar you’re consuming with each glass of sweet tea.


How Much Sugar is in McDonald’s Sweet Tea?


For those who indulge in the convenience of fast food, a pitstop at McDonald's for a refreshing sweet tea is not uncommon. But, have you ever wondered how much sugar is in McDonald's sweet tea?


In a large cup (32 oz), there are 40 grams of sugar. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men, and 25 grams for women. So, a single sweet tea from McDonald's already puts you well over the limit.


How Much Sugar is in Milo’s Sweet Tea?


So, how much sugar is in Milo’s Sweet Tea? Surely it can’t be more than McDonald’s, right? RIGHT? Wrong. Staggeringly, there are 26 grams of added sugars in just a 12-ounce serving of Milo’s sweet tea. 


That means for 32 oz (the same as a large McDonald’s tea), there are 69 grams of added sugar. Just let that sink in for a second - it’s more than double the daily recommended amount for men, and almost triple for women! Fun fact: Milo’s also has an “Extra Sweet Tea,” but that’s best left on the shelf.


How Much Sugar is in Arizona Sweet Tea?

Ok, so how much sugar is in Arizona Sweet Tea? Surely it can’t be higher than McDonald’s or Milo’s, right? Wrong again! In a 17oz serving, Arizona Sweet Tea has 43g of added sugar. It’s the sweetest of the three, containing a staggering amount of added sugar.


While these numbers might be blowing your mind, you may also be wondering why they matter. What’s the problem with all this added sugar, anyway? Well, even if you’re not worried about your waistline, too much sugar still brings some big health problems. Let’s explore this further.


Why is the Sugar Content in Sweet Tea a Concern? Health Risks of Excess Sugar Consumption

While sweet tea brings joy to our taste buds, that’s about the only benefit we can get from it. In this section, we’ll dive into the health implications of excess sugar consumption and how sweet tea, with all its tempting sweetness, can contribute to potential risks.


Weight Management Woes

One of the biggest concerns associated with high sugar consumption is its impact on weight. Sweet tea's sugar load adds extra calories to our daily intake, which can contribute to weight gain over time. 


Sugary beverages are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic, because many people just don’t realize how unhealthy they are. One recent study found that every 1% increase in soft drink consumption was associated with a 4.8% increase in overweight and obesity. 


Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

The rapid spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar levels induced by sugary beverages can lead to a rollercoaster effect. This not only affects energy levels and mood but also poses much more serious risks for those with diabetes or insulin resistance. 


Dental Dilemmas

The love affair with sweet tea may come at a cost to our pearly whites, as excessive sugar consumption is a known culprit behind tooth decay and cavities. The sugary environment in the mouth provides a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, posing a threat to dental health. 


Heart Health Concerns

Elevated sugar intake has also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. Sweet tea enthusiasts should be cognizant of the potential impact on heart health, as excessive sugar consumption can cause hypertension and an increased risk of heart disease.


Is There a Way to Enjoy Sweet Tea Without the High Sugar Content?

Once you learn just how much sugar is in sweet tea, it’s only natural to want to find a healthier alternative. Many people believe that artificial sweeteners and sugar free drinks are a better choice, but these tend to bring their own health concerns.


For example, sucralose can cause various neurological side effects, and many people find themselves learning how to get rid of a sucralose headache. Other sweeteners like aspartame can cause digestive issues, while erythritol has been linked with heart attack and stroke. 


The harmful effects of artificial sweeteners lead many people to search for diet drinks without aspartame, or an erythritol substitute that doesn’t put their cardiovascular health at risk. But what are the options for guilt-free, healthy, natural, low-calorie, tasty beverages? Glad you asked…


Get the Best of Both Worlds at Oobli: Tasty Sweet Tea Without the Guilt!

Oobli is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the way we snack. Rather than relying on artificial sweeteners or insane amounts of sugar to sweeten our refreshing sweet iced tea, instead, we’ve found the perfect, natural, low-calorie sweetener: sweet proteins


Sweet proteins are naturally found in certain tropical fruits, and can be up to 5,000x sweeter than sugar. With just a tiny amount of sweet protein (which adds almost zero calories), we can give our fruity iced teas a delightfully natural, sweet flavor, without the guilt or health risks! 


Our tea has just 7g of sugar in each 16oz can - compare that to the 43g you’ll find in Arizona Sweet Tea and it’s easy to see why Oobli is the healthier choice! Plus, we don’t use any colors, additives, or anything else you don’t need - just natural, delicious sweet tea! 


And, if you’re looking for guilt-free chocolate for sale, we’ve got you covered there as well! Our decadent chocolate bars contain just 1 gram of added sugar, are high in fiber, keto-friendy, vegan, and free from artificial sweeteners. Find your favorite flavor today! 


Alternative Sweeteners: Exploring Options from Stevia to Monk Fruit

Another option is to try other alternative sweeteners, like stevia. However, if you compare stevia vs sucralose, or Splenda vs stevia, you may find that stevia isn’t as natural or healthy as it first seemed. 


In fact, there are questions about the safety of stevia during pregnancy, and it was actually banned by the FDA in the 1990s due to concerns about its effects on reproductive health. While it’s now legal in certain formats, stevia can still cause nausea, bloating, and blood pressure changes.


Monk fruit is a more natural option, but be careful if you’re buying it from the supermarket - many commercial monk fruit sweeteners actually include other artificial sweeteners like aspartame or erythritol. Make sure you read the fine print! 


Adjusting Palates: Tips for Gradually Reducing Sugar in Your Tea

If you make your own sweet tea, you could gradually start reducing the amount of sugar you use, for a healthier beverage that won’t have as much impact on your waistline. If you’re diligent, it won’t take too long to ease yourself off excessively sweet tea.


If you buy sweet tea, you can try diluting it with water to reduce your sugar intake, but be aware that you’ll also lose some of the flavor when you dilute the tea; not just the sweetness. Still, it’s a healthier option than drinking all that added sugar! 


Closing Thoughts on How Much Sugar is in Sweet Tea

Learning how much sugar is in sweet tea is pretty surprising, especially seeing as tea is generally marketed as a “healthier option” to soda. In fact, most commercial sweet teas contain more sugar than a can of soda does! 


While artificial sweeteners have paved the way for low-sugar teas, they often have a yucky aftertaste, and even worse side effects. What they don’t have in sugar, they make up for in digestive issues, migraines, and cardiovascular risks. 


Instead of consuming sugary drinks or potentially harmful artificial sweeteners, switch to Oobli! Our sweet tea is sweetened with sweet proteins, free of nasty sweeteners, and contains just 7 grams of sugar in every 16oz guilt-free can. 


The best part? Oobli tastes amazing. Try it for yourself today - you’ll never look back! 

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