Monday, July 13, 2009

Sassy Sipping: Honest Ade Beverages

This weekend I felt exceptionally dehydrated and thirsty. As a health-minded dietitian, I don't like to sip on high-sugar drinks like soda, juice and energy drinks. But I'm also not keen on downing diet beverages with artificial sweeteners. Flavored seltzers and plain old water are usually my beverage of choice, but even I get bored with the monotony. I try cutting Gatorade with water for a flavorful change.

Yesterday I tried an Honest Ade beverage ( for the first time. Specifically, the Honest Ade Pomegranate Blue caffeine free drink. It was pretty darn tasty! One 16.9 oz bottle only has 100 calories and 24g of sugar. That's not bad at all if you compare this to other juices and "enhanced" waters that have sugar (nutrition facts for a 16 oz serving):
  • Vitamin Waters: 120 calories, 32g sugar
  • Powerade: 114 calories, 30g sugar
  • Tropicana Orange Juice: 220 calories, 44g sugar
  • Lipton Green Tea: 160 calories, 42g sugar
  • FUZE Peach Mango juice: 180 calories, 44g sugar
  • Red Bull energy drink: 225 calories, 54g sugar
Honest Ade beats them all in calories, but most importantly, in sugar. On the down side, 24g of sugar in the full 16.9 oz bottle is a hefty dose. It is always better to get sugar naturally from whole fruit vs. juices. Why? When you eat the whole fruit, you also get fiber, vitamins and minerals. Most of these valuable nutrients are stripped away when fruits become juice. Some companies add vitamins and minerals back into the juice, or "enrich" the juice (adding back nutrients that the food had naturally but were stripped during processing). Usually the fiber is gone for good. Mentally, chewing on a piece of fruit may fill any desire to eat whereas juice will not. Without the fiber of the whole fruit, the sugars in juices will enter your bloodstream much quicker, causing a spike in blood sugar only to leave you feeling empty and hungry sooner.

Reading beverage labels can always be tricky. Honest Ade's label states 48 calories for one serving (half the bottle or 8 oz.) and 100 calories for the entire bottle (two servings or 16.9 oz.). Below this it lists the sugar content as 12g. Because of the positioning of the sugar listing, one may think 12g is the total amount of sugar in the whole bottle. Not true. It's 12g for one serving (8 fl. oz.) and 24g for the whole bottle.

Nonetheless, if constantly drinking water is bringing you down, Honest Ade and Honest Teas are not a bad choice. Water is the first ingredient, so you are still contributing to your daily water intake. My advice is to only drink half of the bottle (8 oz) and water it down even further to consume less calories and sugar, especially if you are diabetic or trying to lose weight. Also, keep juices like these in moderation. Having 8 oz. once or twice a week will not hurt you if you normally stick with water or flavored seltzers.

Some other low-sugar, water-boredom-beaters for staying hydrated this summer:
  • Fill a glass with 1/4-1/2 of your favorite juice and add seltzer or water
  • Fill glass 1/2 with Gatorade, 1/2 water
  • Brew your own iced tea or purchase unsweetened iced teas
  • In a blender throw berries, water, and ice for a "slushy" type drink low in calories
  • Add lemon, cut up grapes and limes to any water or seltzer for a little extra zip

Bottoms up!

CalorieKing. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from

Honest Ade Beverages. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from Honest Tea:

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