What is the recommended daily intake for added sugar?

We support the current recommendation by several leading health authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They say that children and adults should limit added sugar to no more than 10% of their total energy/calorie consumption.


How many calories does added sugar have?

One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories.

We know this because one gram of sugar has 4 calories, and there are 4 grams in a teaspoon.


1g* of sugar = 4 calories

1 teaspoon of sugar (or 4g of sugar) = 16 calories

*g = gram(s)


How many grams of sugar per day can I have?

Use this formula:

Total daily calorie intake x 0.10 (recommended limit) / 4 (amount of calories per 1g of sugar)

= Recommended added sugar intake in grams


So, for a diet of 2,000 calories per day, you should have less than 50g of added sugar.


What does this mean?

50g equals:

  • a little more than one 12 oz can of Coca-Cola, which has 39g of added sugar, or
  • about two 12 oz cans of Coca-Cola Life, which has 24g of added sugar in each can, or
  • 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar


What else should I know about added sugars?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods or drinks. They do not include naturally occurring sugars, like sugar found in dairy, whole fruits or 100% fruit juice that is unsweetened (like in odwalla or Simply Orange).

Examples of foods and drinks with added sugar: soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks (e.g., fruit punch), candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream

There are different kinds of added sugars, such as: brown sugar, cane juice, confectioner’s powdered sugar, dextrose, fructose, fruit nectar, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maltose, maple syrup, sucrose and sugar cane

Look for these on the ingredients list next to the Nutrition Facts label on our cans and bottles.


Looking to reduce sugar or calories in your diet?

See how we’re reducing sugar in our products.

For more information about our Coca-Cola products, click here.


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