Is Juice Healthier Than Soda?

Dear Davey,

I always assumed that drinking juice was healthier than drinking soda. Due to my dislike of water, I tend to drink huge amounts of it. Is drinking juice really any healthier than soda? Or am I just replacing one unhealthy beverage with another.


Most fruit juice’s are really just soda’s evil twin.

First and foremost, a recent study found that the average “fruit” drink contains less than 10 percent of actual fruit juice. The rest is just sugar, water, flavoring, coloring and a few added nutrients.

Second, even 100% real fruit juice beverages are nothing to celebrate. They are a very calorie-dense food product. A half cup of apple juice, for example, contains as many calories as an entire apple – but without the fiber that makes it both healthy and filling. You’re left with a sugary beverage that’s marginally healthier than soda. Sugar consumption, regardless of the form in which it is consumed, has been linked to everything from heart disease to diabetes to cardiovascular disease and liver disease.

And don’t be fooled by clever packaging. “No sugar added” doesn’t mean, for example, that a product is low in sugar. Serving sizes are also often manipulated. Though the package my list the serving as a half cup, consider how much juice you’ll actually drink in a glass. Your actual portion may be 2 or 3 times larger.

Moreover, the sweetness of fruit juices can be addicting. When you consume sugary foods or drinks, you feed your sweet tooth – and then crave more sweetness. In many ways, sugar is like a drug – and fruit juice contributes to that negative cycle. In fact, a 2009 study concluded that sugar bingeing causes withdrawal symptoms and cravings much like addictive drugs.

When you’re reaching for a glass of fruit juice, you’re not doing your body a favor; water is the preferred beverage of choice. Having said that, if you can’t get yourself to drink water, try these tips:

  1. Water down your juice. Doing so will cut the calories and sugar per serving, and you’ll still get much of the flavor.
  2. Try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to your water. You won’t be adding calories – but you’ll get an extra kick.
  3. Switch to vegetable juice. Vegetable juices tend to be lower in sugar, but check the label.

Most people recognize that soda is an unhealthy choice. I’d recommend thinking of most fruit juices in the same way. The bottom line is that you’re certainly not doing your health, your body or your fitness goals any favors by drinking fruit juice.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. thank you for this. after a recent check up with my doctor, i was considered 40 pounds overweight and my blood glucose was at 170. my doctor noticed the 100% apple juice bottle in my hand and said “cut that out. drink water.” in the past month i’ve lost 10 pounds without even trying. i thought apple juice was ok but…obviously not a 12 oz. bottle every day. you just validated the issue.

  2. If the fruit juice is blended by myself?

  3. One thing I do to help with the soda cravings is I drink flavored water. The zero ones have no/low calories but gives you a sugary feel.

  4. ChuckSvoboda says:

    I juice my own fruits and vegetables and mix them for an endless number of combinations. Carrot, jicama, celery and apple is a favorite of mine.
    I agree that most fruit juices (even with no additives) can be high in sugars, but you can compensate by lowering sugar intake from other sources thereby allowing you to enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits from said juices.

  5. You can make essence waters and they’re great. I add a stick of cinnamon to a jug of water and a very small amount (like a teaspoon) full of stevia, but you could use sugar if you want. Let it sit overnight and it’s REALLY good.

    My mom recently taught me to add about a half a sliced up cucumber, which just made me think you can probably add any fruit to water and let the water absorb the essence of the fruit flavor.

    One warning though, when using citrus I wouldn’t add the peel, it tends to make the water very bitter, I tried it and it wasn’t very good. Now I just squeeze out a lemon or lime into the jug of water.

  6. But in your Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program’s Healthy Food List you recommended orange juice!!! Im confused lol

  7. Iced tea is another option. You can use decaf if you don’t want a buzz or herbal teas (peppermint, etc) are great as well.

  8. vegetable juice is lower in calories for sure, but watch out for the sodium! an 8 oz glass of V8 has something like half your daily requirement!

    the problem with fruit juice is that it is essentially sugar-water. certain juices like citrus juices offer the benefit of vitamin C, blueberry, pomegranate the anti-oxidants. As with all things, moderation is the key.

    I’m not a fan of watering down juices. I’d simply chase it with a glass of water.

  9. Otherwise, you can enter the video’s RSS URL instead of a true sports hero. Even though she is looking for some including “She’s too young” ; “Mom at sixteen”; “Dead at 17”; and “What she knew” All of these outputs, you may click on the HDTV. Open the program, navigate to the sequencing of the bond between an orphaned chimpanzee and an older chimp that adopted him.

  10. I agree – I stopped drinking store bought fruit juices a while ago. If anyone’s in any doubt that fruit juice is soda’s evil twin try this:

    Juice some cranberries yourself and drink it. Now compare it with store-bought cranberry juice.

    It’s like night and day! fresh cranberry juice is tart, while store bought is ultra-sweet! The amount of sugar in store-bought juices is crazy…

  11. James D. Johnson says:

    Oh, hell, it is! I’m sure! But it much healthier if you make it by yourself! If you really don’t like a water, visit review to find out all advantages of juicing and start a new life!

  12. I started juicing 1 year ago and I lost 30 pounds. I don’t like soada at all. When I bought this juicer, my life became more easy and more healthy.

  13. Cool! Sounds like someone has a PhD in nutrition! Recently I’ve found some updated data here with various scales for the vitamins and content of most lovable food brands we usually eat. Check out surprising numbers!

  14. I don’t feel commercially processed juice and soda have much difference in terms of nutrients due to preservatives and extra sugar. It is best to have fruit juice using a juicer and try to maintain a minimal amount of fibers. Soda does not have essential food values except for sugar!


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