What are added sugars?

Added sugars are types of sugar that are added to foods and drinks for taste or texture. They give foods and beverages a sweet taste.


Here are four things to know about added sugars:

  1. 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.
  2. Most have about 4 calories per gram.
  3. Added sugars can be found in many items, such as: soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks (e.g., fruit punch), candy, cakes, cookies and ice cream.
  4. Several leading health authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, say that children and adults should limit added sugar to no more than 10% of their total energy/calorie consumption. We support this.


What does this added sugar limit mean for me?

First, lets understand how many calories are in added sugars.

While some added sugars may have different calories, most have about the same amount as table sugar. 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 (or 4g) of sugar = 16 calories

*g = gram(s)


So, how many grams of sugar per day can I have?

Use this formula to calculate how many grams of added sugar per day you can have:

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


How do I know how much sugar is in my drink?

We know it’s important for you to have clear nutrition facts about your favorite beverages. That’s why we make them simple and easy to find.

One of the first places you can look is the Nutrition Facts label. It’s on the back of every can or bottle.

Our SmartLabel™ QR codes on many of our packaging also include nutrition facts about our Coca-Cola products; so does Our Products page.

Did you know? We are taking action to reduce sugar. See how.


Learn more