Featured Articles

8 Ways to Cut Down your Child's Sugar Intake

Reducing the amount of sugar your child consumes is a good idea, whether he has symptoms or not. Read More...


The Benefits of Kids Playing with Toy Blocks

Blocks remain one of the most important toys for children to use in order to develop critical skills for school and for life. Read More...


6 Reasons to Give Your Kids Sugar Free Drinks

Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf... Read More...

Where Can I Find Drink Blocks?

posted Aug 10, 2015, 4:02 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 2, 2017, 9:54 AM by Drink Blocks ]

Drink Blocks feels very honored and thankful for the support and welcome we have received from Parents and Kids across the United States.  We are working hard to work with your local grocery stores and retail shop distributors to make Drink Blocks available at even more places.  We understand how important being able to serve you kids a Sugar-Free kids drink is to Parents.  With Childhood and Adult Diabetes on the rise and Childhood Obesity growing into an epidemic, Drink Blocks is doing our part to provide Parents a drink that is healthier for kids than sugar-filled Soda, Fruit Drinks, Sports Drinks, and Energy Drinks.

Parents and kids alike have also raved about the Drink Blocks buildable bottle design and labelling.  Studies have shown amazing benefits of kids using toy blocks and building toys to express their imagination. 

We do get the question often, "Where can I find Drink Blocks for my kids?"  We wanted to take the time to provide you with the answer.  

Currently, we are located in the following retailers:

Tom Thumb's

These select retailers are located in the following States:

Drink Blocks California, Drink Blocks Alaska, Drink Blocks Washington, Drink Blocks Oregon, Drink Blocks Nevada, Drink Blocks Idaho, Drink Blocks Arizona, Drink Blocks Utah, Drink Blocks Montana, Drink Blocks Wyoming, Drink Blocks Colorado, Drink Blocks New Mexico, Drink Blocks Texas, Drink Blocks South Dakota, Drink Blocks Nebraska, Drink Blocks Louisiana, Drink Blocks Alabama, Drink Blocks Mississippi, Drink Blocks Georgia, Drink Blocks Florida, Drink Blocks South Carolina, Drink Blocks North Carolina, Drink Blocks Tennessee, Drink Blocks Kentucky, Drink Blocks Virginia, Drink Blocks West Virginia, Drink Blocks Maryland, Drink Blocks Ohio, Drink Blocks Indiana, Drink Blocks Michigan, Drink Blocks Pennsylvania, Drink Blocks District of Columbia, Drink Blocks Delaware, Drink Blocks Rhode Island, Drink Blocks New Jersey, Drink Blocks New York, Drink Blocks, Connecticut, Drink Blocks Massachusetts, Drink Blocks Vermont, Drink Blocks New Hampshire, Drink Blocks Maine, Drink Blocks Hawaii 

6 Reasons to Give Your Kids Sugar Free Drinks

posted Jul 6, 2015, 12:50 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 12:51 PM ]

Excess sugar Depresses Immunity. 

Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours post-ingestion, but the effect was still evident five hours after ingestion. Water and some Sugar-Free drinks, on the other hand, have properties that benefit the human body’s immune system.


Sugar promotes Obesity.

Kids tend to eat and drink too much foods and beverages that are sweetened with refined sugar. Drinks with a high glycemic index stimulate the production of LPL (lipoprotein lipase), the enzymes that encourage the body to store food in fat cells.  


Sugar promotes Diabetes.  

While the risk of developing diabetes lies more in the genes than in the diet, the old grandmother’s tale that too much sugar causes Type 2 diabetes does have scientific support.  Your Liver and Pancreas have to work extra hard to handle the influx of sugar that sugar-filled drinks brings into your body.  Sugar-Free Drinks, such as water and some Naturally Flavored Water, helps to flush the body of toxins helps your liver, pancreas and kidneys to work more efficiently. 


Sugar promotes Heart Disease. 

When bears are storing up body fat for their long winter hibernation, they consume lots and lots of carbohydrates. When you eat excess carbohydrates, your body turns these sugars into fat.  People who eat too much sugar tend to have higher blood tryglycerides, and this increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Sugar is believed to Decreases Learning Performance.  

Between 1979 and 1983, 803 New York City public schools reduced the amount of sucrose (table sugar) and eliminated artificial colors, flavors and two preservatives from school lunches and breakfasts. This action promoted the consumption of water and other sugar-free drinks by kids. The diet policy changes were followed by a 15.7% increase in a national academic ranking (previously, the greatest improvement ever seen had been 1.7%).


Sugar causes Tooth Decay.  

With all the other life-threatening effects of sugar, we sometimes forget the most basic damage it does to your teeth. When it sits on your teeth, it creates decay more efficiently than any other food substances. 

8 Ways to Cut Down your Childs Sugar Intake

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:59 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:59 PM ]

Reducing the amount of sugar your child consumes is a good idea, whether he has symptoms or not. In this age where Childhood Obesity is on the rise and  early onset of Childhood Type 2 Diabetes, having Healthy Kids is the wish and goal of every parent.   Here are some simple changes you can make.

1. Swap sugar.

“We as parents need to look at smart substitutions because we know that our kids are going to be drawn towards what their peers are eating,” said Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

So instead of ice cream, freeze plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit or use applesauce instead of sugar when baking.

2. Nix the juice.

Even if the juice box says “100 percent juice,” “organic” or “no sugar added,” it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, a typical juice pouch has about 22 grams of sugar. Offer water or seltzer instead and add slices of cucumber, berries or orange to taste.

3. Cut down on other liquid sugar too.

Soda is an obvious one, but sugar can also show up in orange juice, sports drinks and smoothies. Even if your child plays sports, water should be enough to rehydrate.

4. Read labels for sneaky sugars.

The FDA has proposed new food labels to include a line for added sugars, but in the meantime, take a good look at labels. Sugar can hide in unsuspecting foods like pasta sauce, pre-packaged oatmeal, salad dressing, processed foods, and cereal. In fact, a recent report by the Environmental Working Group shows kids’ cereals have 40 percent more sugar than adults’.

5. Be careful about healthy alternatives.

You might think honey and agave are better choices but just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s healthier. Get creative with vanilla extract, cinnamon or nutmeg. Instead of syrup, top pancakes with fresh fruit or almond butter.

“You’re adding flavor without just dumping sugar into it,” Crandall said.

6. Take it slow.

Your kids might not take well to drastic changes in their diets, but if you make it gradual, they’ll eventually come around. Mix a low-sugar cereal with their favorite one until they get used to it. Or buy one less bag of cookies and replace it with a pint of blueberries each week.

7. Teach healthy eating.

It’s important that your kids love how healthy food tastes rather than forcing them to eat it.

“It’s not just about controlling their environment, it’s about teaching them healthier habits so they start engaging in them on their own,” Crandall said. 

8. Voice your opinion.

The new school standards for meal programs will help cut down on sugar and some schools even have “sugar-free” campuses. You can advocate for healthier options at your child’s school by supporting initiatives and advocating for healthier options in the cafeteria, vending machines and events.

Original Article from Fox News writer Julie Revelant -

20 Reasons to Reduce Your Sugar consumption

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:56 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:56 PM ]

Cutting Back on Sugar Can do More Than Just Help You Lose Weight

Eating too many of these empty calories has many health effects, the most obvious being major weight gain. Added sugar drives your insulin levels up, messes with your metabolism and causes those calories to turn right into belly fat.

And while losing weight is well and good, that's just the beginning of the health benefits of cutting back on the sweet stuff. Below are 21 more legit reasons – besides fitting into skinny jeans – to tame that sweet tooth for good.

1. It can Lower your Blood Pressure...

Obesity, one of the main consequences of excessive added sugar intake, is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. New research shows that added dietary sugars – independent from weight gain – can also raise blood pressure. And this is no small thing.

High blood pressure increases the workload of the heart and arteries and can cause damage over time to the whole circulatory system. Eventually, this can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease and other serious coronary conditions.

What's more: People who have diets where at least 25 per cent of the calories came from added sugar are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who have diets where added sugars make up less than 10 per cent of the food they eat.

2. ...As well as your Bad Cholesterol

People who consume a lot of added sugar are more likely to have lower levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, higher levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and higher levels of triglycerides, or blood fats.

Bad cholesterol and blood fats clog up arteries and blood vessels, leading to heart disease.

3. It can help prevent Fatty Liver Disease

Research suggests a diet high in added sugar can exacerbate fatty liver disease. Never heard of fatty liver disease? You're not alone, but it's actually one of the most common diseases in America, says Mark Hyman, MD, founder of the Ultra Wellness Centre and chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine.

Basically, that spike in insulin caused by sugar also drives fat into the liver cells, causing inflammation and scarring. This disease is a major risk factor for diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer.

4. It keeps your Brain Sharp

You may have been warned that sweets can eat away at teeth enamel, but what's even scarier is sugar can eat away at your brain power, too. Research shows that eating too much sugar can impair cognitive function and reduce proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness.

In one particular study, rats who were fed sugar were slower and showed less synaptic activity in their brains than those in the control group.

"A high intake of sugar is associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions associated not just with decreased cognitive function, but possibly even with changes to brain structure," Long Gillespie says.

5. You'll be less likely to have Alzheimer's and Dementia

A diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps the brain form new memories and remember the past.

Levels of BDNF are particularly low in people with an impaired glucose metabolism (diabetics and pre-diabetics) and low BDNF has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

6. .You'll be less likely to have Depression

In one study, older adults who drank more than four servings of soda per day were 30 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than people who drank unsweetened water, coffee or tea.

In order to function properly, the brain depends on a steady supply of chemicals like glucose and insulin. When glucose (another name for sugar) enters the body, insulin opens cell doors to allow it into the cells.

However, when your brain experiences continuous sugar spikes (from your breakfast cereal through to your post-dinner ice cream sandwich), insulin becomes more immune to its effects and therefore less effective. This in turn leads to depression and anxiety.

7. You'll break your Addiction to the Sweet Stuff

Research shows animals that "binge" on excessive amounts of sugar develop symptoms of physical addiction and signs of withdrawal. What's happening: Dopamine, the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, is released during sugar absorption (we've all experienced that post-birthday-cake euphoria). The problem is that eating too much sugar shuts down healthy dopamine signalling, meaning it takes more and more sugar to fire off those pleasure signals.

In one study, the sight of a milkshake activated the same neurological reward centers as cocaine among people with addictive eating habits. Turns out, drugs aren't the only substance you need to say "no" to.

8. It will keep your skin looking Young

And now for the appeal to your vanity: A lifetime of eating too much added sugar can make skin dull and wrinkled. This is due to a process called glycation, where the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs – an appropriate name for what they do!).

AGEs damage collagen and elastin, the protein fibres that keep skin firm and elastic, and that damage leads to skin wrinkles and sagging. They also deactivate your body's natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage.

"In this case, you truly are what you eat – it shows on your skin," Long Gillespie says.

9. It will keep your skin looking Cclear

Sugary foods with a high glycemic index have been found to have an effect on the severity of acne because of the hormonal fluctuations they trigger.

"Inflammation caused by excess sugar intake has been linked to other skin conditions as well, like psoriasis," says Marisa Moore, RD, an adjunct professor at Georgia State University.

10. It will lower your risk of diabetes

Research shows that drinking one to two (or more) sugary drinks a day increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 per cent. Because of the high insulin resistance caused by excess sugar intake, fructose, glucose and other forms of sugar can't get into the cells and become "stuck" in the bloodstream.

This high blood sugar leads to pre-diabetes and eventually the threat of actual diabetes.

11. It decreases your heart attack risk

People with higher added sugar intakes had a notable increase in risk of heart attacks compared to those with lower intakes, one recent study found.

One simple swap to cut your risk: Ditch the soda. One study found that sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease.

"For every extra soda or sugary drink you consume, you may raise your risk of heart disease by up to 25 per cent," says Darria Long Gillespie, MD, a US-based emergency physician at Emory University Hospital.

12. It can help reduce your risk of certain cancers

Though studies are not completely conclusive, some research suggests excessive added dietary sugar is correlated with higher levels of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.

13. Your breath will be Sweeter

We've heard again and again about the connection between sweet treats and dental decay and cavities. Why this happens: Sugar provides a quick food source for bacteria so they can reproduce quickly, causing plaque buildup and that awful morning breath.

14. You'll Breathe Easier

Studies suggest that certain dietary patterns, including a high-sugar diet, can make you more likely to suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

15. You'll have more Energy

Studies show that added dietary sugars can decrease the activity of orexin cells. These cells are basically the Energizer Bunnies of our bodies and induce wakefulness, stoke the metabolism and keep our system movin' and groovin'. When orexin cells are turned off or absent, we're sleepy and sluggish, which explains why you want to nap after a carb- and sugar-laden lunch.

16. You'll have Fewer Cravings

Since over-consumption of sugar triggers the production of ghrelin – the hormone that signals to your body that it's hungry – cutting down on sweets means you won't feel like a bottomless pit of hunger. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, sans sweetener, to minimise that annoying "hangry" feeling and feel full for longer.

17. You'll make fewer trips to the Dentist

As we mentioned above, consuming too much sugar is a surefire way to develop cavities and gum disease, so you'll be seeing your dentist less frequently if you cut the sweet stuff out.

18. You'll make fewer trips to the Doctor

Eating or drinking too much sugar also lowers your immune system. Excess sugar can inhibit phagocytosis, the process by which viruses and bacteria are destroyed by your protective white blood cells. Simple sugars like glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey all cause a drop in the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria.

Less illness means fewer trips to the doctor and less time spent in waiting rooms reading germy copies of old magazines.

19. You'll Save Money

And not only on junk food – those trips to the dentist and doctor will add up. Plus, your health insurance premium could rise if chronic diseases caused by excess sugar start to appear.

20. You'll help the Planet

The process of growing sugarcane requires a ton of water and it's often very destructive to the habitat it grows in – not to mention a history of issues with chemicals and pollution in the sugarcane industry. Plus some of the regions sugarcane grows in (like the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and the Atlantic Forest in Brazil) are already fragile habitats.

Original Article By Holly Beilin on -

SPOONFULS OF SUGAR makes Health Risks Go Up

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:55 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:55 PM ]

In the last few years, evidence has mounted that too much sugar — often invisibly insinuated into beverages, processed foods, and restaurant fare—harms health.

In our Childrens Schools, a prime target should be the sugar in sodas, fruit juices and other sugar-filled drinks. The fight against Childhood Obesity has factual data supporting the risk of too much sugar in our kids diets. Here’s why:

  • Downing just one 12-ounce can of a typical sweetened beverage daily can add 15 pounds in a year.
  • In children, one sweetened beverage a day fuels a 60 percent increase in the risk of obesity—and American teenaged boys drink almost three times that much.
  • This April, an HSPH study linked sugary drinks to increased risk of heart disease in adults. Scientists have long known that sugar reduces the “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. Consistent with this effect, the April study showed that it wasn’t just weight gain that raised heart disease risk, but sugar itself—eating an otherwise healthy diet or being at a healthy weight only slightly diminished the risk.
  • In 2004, the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who had one or more servings a day of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch were nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who rarely imbibed these beverages.

As a dietary enemy, sugar is cleverly camouflaged, because it is dissolved in liquid. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 17 teaspoons of sugar. “If people thought about eating 17 teaspoons of sugar, they’d become nauseated,” says Walter Willett, Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
. “But they are able to drink it right down and go for another.” While we normally balance a big meal by taking in fewer calories later, that compensation doesn’t seem to occur after guzzling soft drinks—possibly because fluids are not as satiating as solid foods, or because sweet-tasting soft drinks whet the appetite for high-carbohydrate foods.

Willett and Lilian Cheung, lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and editorial director of The Nutrition Source, urge people to choose drinks far lower in sugar and calories: options such as water, tea, seltzer with a splash of juice, coffee with one lump of sugar.

“If we can shift the present American norm back to a lower expectation of sweetness, people will adjust their palates, particularly the younger population,” says Cheung.

The Benefits of Kids Playing with Toy Blocks

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:55 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Mar 2, 2017, 10:15 AM ]

With all of the technology children have access to today like iPads, iPhones, Androids, Leapsters and video games, sometimes blocks can seem, well, 
boring. However, don’t underestimate this age-old toy.  Blocks remain one of the most important toys for children to use in order to develop critical skills for school and for life. 

Through block play, children can learn the following skills:

Science Concepts:

Children learn science when they experience gravity as their constructions fall. They also learn the use of simple machines as they build ramps to their buildings.

Spatial Reasoning: 

Young designers learn to manipulate space and objects through block play.  Will this fit here?  Will this fall down?  Will this make the shape I want?  Block play allows children to explore navigation of space and direction.

Math Concepts: 

Some of the math skills encountered through block play include counting, comparison of length and width, names of shapes and how to combine certain geometric shapes to make other shapes.  Children are even learning the basics of addition when they discover that two short blocks will be the same size as another block.

Reading and Writing Skills: 

Through block play, children understand the importance of sequence, an important early reading skill, as they retell their experiences with the blocks.  Both parents and teachers can help children write stories about what they are building.

Language Skills: 

Little builders learn language skills and vocabulary as they discuss what they are building.

Cooperation and Responsibility: 

Children learn cooperation and sharing as they work together with family members or other children during their play. In addition, they learn how to be responsible when they clean up after they are done with the blocks.

Original Source by North Shore Pediatric Therapy writer Anne Marie Margaritondo  -

What Parents can Teach Kids about Sugar

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:51 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:51 PM ]

So many kids out there 'learn' and think the orange juice they drink at breakfast, the cookies they eat as a snack after lunch, the goodies they trade at school and the Gatorade they chug after practice are no big deal. They get this believe because their parents often believe the same thing: that daily intake of sugar is harmless and just a function of childhood.

This is for all the parents out there, who I'm sure have all preached about the dangers of too much sugar to their kids, but may not fully appreciate why too much sugar can be dangerous and lead to childhood obesity.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a sweet substance that comes from plants, mostly sugar cane and sugar beets. It is one big carbohydrate called sucrose made up of two smaller carbohydrates called fructose and glucose. Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value – no protein, vitamins, minerals or fiber.

Why do I like Sugar so much?

Sugar has been shown to have an effect similar to an addictive drug, triggering you to want and need more, and making it hard to give up.

Sugar was brought to Europe in the 1100s as a precious drug, known for its “tremendous addictive potential,” and was called “crack” during that time in France, says psychotherapist Julia Ross in her book “Mood Cure.” Quickly removing refined sugar from a diet can cause withdrawal symptoms like those with a drug: fatigue, depression, headaches and achy limbs.

What actually happens to my body when I eat Sugar?

When you consume sugar, it enters your blood rapidly because there aren’t any nutrients or fiber to slow it down. This causes the sugar or glucose levels in your blood rise. Your body then hustles to process this sugar because it knows you could be in grave danger from too much blood sugar.

To process the sugar, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin allows the glucose to leave your blood and enter your cells, providing a rush of energy. As the cells absorb the glucose from your blood, your blood sugar levels drop.

If you eat a lot of sugar, the insulin works overtime to force the glucose out and your blood sugar down, dropping it too low, which makes the brain react. This reaction causes you to feel tired and grumpy or agitated and anxious, and leaves you craving more sugar.

What short-term health effects does Sugar have?

Sugar provides a burst of energy that might be fun for a minute but usually doesn’t last too long. This burst of energy can make you feel hyper and unable to focus.

When the insulin does its job and lowers the blood sugar levels, you might be left feeling cranky, irritable and moody, and less able to concentrate and learn. Sugar can even give you a headache or make you feel sick.

Sugar has also been shown to suppress our immune system by lowering the ability of our white blood cells to engulf bacteria, which can lead to more colds, flus and other sicknesses.

You will feel far better and have more consistent energy without an overload of sugar in your diet.

What long-term effects does Sugar have?

Eating too much sugar can make you feel full so you don’t eat enough healthful foods. Then your body ends up missing important nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals.  Childhood Obesity is on the rise as is Pre-Teen Type 2 Diabetes.

How does Sugar make me fat?

If you eat more sugar than your body can use in a day, it stores the sugar it doesn’t need in the liver or converts it to fat. When you do this regularly, you damage your liver and build up fat.

Will a little Sugar hurt me?

No. Make it a sometimes food. (Unless you have diabetes or an issue with your blood sugar in which case see a doctor.)

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 3 teaspoons (12 grams) of added sugar per day for kids, yet get according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average consumption is 23 teaspoons for boys and 18 for girls. The recommended daily allowance can be easily exceeded with just one bowl of cereal! A child who drinks a 20-ounce original Gatorade will have consumed three times his or her sugar allowance for the day.

“Added sugar” refers to the sugar and high-fructose corn syrup added to foods during processing. The sugar in fruits, vegetables and other whole foods are not added sugars; they are natural sugars.

What foods have Sugar?

Added sugar is in 74% of packaged foods, according to a study published in 2012 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those include foods that many of us think of as healthful: yogurt, energy bars, pasta sauce, breads, salad dressing and ketchup.

The FDA maintains a list of more than 3,000 food additives that are put into our processed foods. Sugar is the second most common behind salt, which means it is in a lot of the things we eat. Low-fat foods often have extra sugar to help bolster the taste. Brightly colored foods with dyes usually have added sugar. Read your labels.

Doesn’t fruit have Sugar?

Unless you have diabetes, it is difficult to absorb too much sugar from eating whole fruit because whole fruit has fiber. Fiber slows down the digestive process by releasing sugar into the bloodstream at a slow and steady rate. Unlike whole fruit, fruit juice lacks fiber, quickly releasing sugar into the bloodstream causing a burst of energy followed by a sugar crash. One cup of apple juice has 24 grams of sugar. Some juice has almost as much sugar as soda.

How does Sugar cause cavities?

Yes. Tooth decay begins with bacteria that naturally live in the mouth. These bacteria burn sugar in order to thrive, and during this process convert sugar into acid. The acid then eats away at a tooth’s enamel, which causes cavities. Sticky foods like Skittles and Starburst and long-lasting candies such as lollipops and Jolly Ranchers are the worst for teeth because they allow the sugar to dawdle in the mouth for a prolonged period.

Now that I know this, what can I do?

I recommend that parents and their kids (age 10 and older) watch the film “Fed Up” together and join the filmmakers’ challenge to give up sugar for 10 days and see how they feel. My 10- and 12-year-olds found it fascinating. And if you want to have a sizable impact on your lifelong health, reduce your sugar consumption all year long!

Original Article via Washington Post writer, Casey Seidenberg:

How Sweet Is It?

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:50 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:50 PM ]

How Much Sugar is in Soda, Juice, Sports Drinks, and Energy Drinks

The Nutrition Source has prepared a handy guide to the amount of sugar and calories in soda, juice, sports drinks, and other popular beverages, How Sweet is it? The front of the guide graphically depicts the number of teaspoons of sugar found in various drinks. The back of the guide has a more comprehensive list of common beverages and their sugar and calorie content. The guide includes beverages that are sweetened with added sugars, as well as beverages that are naturally high in sugar, such as juice. It does not include “diet” drinks that are partly or entirely sweetened with artificial sweeteners or stevia (a natural calorie-free sweetener). As you review the guide, keep the following in mind:

The Nutrition Source and the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health do not endorse specific brands, and the inclusion of brand-name beverages on this list does not constitute an endorsement.

Drinks that fall in the red category should be drunk infrequently and sparingly, if at all. These beverages have much more than 12 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce serving, and some have upwards of 40 grams of sugar—equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar—and 200 or more calories in a 12-ounce serving.

Drinks that fall in the yellow category have up to one gram of sugar per ounce, or 12 grams of sugar in 12 ounces. That’s about 70 percent less sugar than a typical soft drink. If drunk in moderation, these slightly sweet drinks are much better choices than high-sugar drinks, but don’t overdo it. Think of them as an occasional treat, not a daily source of hydration. 

There are relatively few drinks on the market that fall into the yellow category—and we believe there’s a need for beverage manufacturers to offer more low-sugar options.

The best-choice beverages are those that fall in the green category—drinks that have little or no sugar added to them, such as water, sparkling water, coffee, or tea.

Beverage manufacturers may have reformulated their products since we prepared this list in April 2009, or may have come out with new products. So use the beverage manufacturer’s websites as the best source of information on drink nutrient content and new beverages.

Original article:


posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:49 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:49 PM ]


Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese and the nation spends and estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions.  Rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the child obesity epidemic.  A typical 12-ounce soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 150 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories.  People who drink this “liquid candy” do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less.  It is highly suggest that sugar-free drinks be used to replace sugary drinks.

Beverage companies in the US spent roughly $3.2 billion marketing sugar-filled carbonated beverages in 2006, with nearly a half billion dollars of that marketing aimed directly at youth ages 2–17.  And each year, youth see hundreds of television ads for sugar-containing drinks.  In 2010, for example, preschoolers viewed an average of 213 ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks, while children and teens watched an average of 277 and 406 ads, respectively. 

Yet, the beverage industry aggressively rebuffs suggestions that its products and marketing tactics play any role in the obesity epidemic.  Adding to the confusion, beverage industry-funded studies are four to eight times more likely to show a finding favorable to industry than independently-funded studies.


Sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past 40 years, and children and adults are drinking more soft drinks than ever. 

  • Before the 1950s, standard soft-drink bottles were 6.5 ounces. In the 1950s, soft-drink makers introduced larger sizes, including the 12-ounce can, which became widely available in 1960. By the early 1990s, 20-ounce plastic bottles became the norm. Today, contour-shaped plastic bottles are available in even larger sizes, such as the 1.25-liter (42- ounce) bottle introduced in 2011.

  • In the 1970s, sugary drinks made up about 4% of US daily calorie intake; by 2001, that had risen to about 9%.

  • Children and youth in the US averaged 224 calories per day from sugary beverages in 1999 to 2004—nearly 11% of their daily calorie intake.  From 1989 to 2008, calories from sugary beverages increased by 60% in children ages 6 to 11, from 130 to 209 calories per day, and the percentage of children consuming them rose from 79% to 91%.

  • On any given day, half the people in the United States consume sugary drinks; 1 in 4 get at least 200 calories from such drinks; and 5% get at least 567 calories—equivalent to four cans of soda.  Sugary drinks (soda, energy, sports drinks) are the top calorie source in teens’ diets (226 calories per day), beating out pizza (213 calories per day).  Sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout.

  •  A 20-year study on 120,000 men and women found that people who increased their sugary drink consumption by one 12-ounce serving per day gained more weight over time—on average, an extra pound every four years—than people who did not change their intake.  Other studies have found a significant link between sugary drink consumption and weight gain in children.20 One study found that for each additional 12-ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60% during 1½ years of follow-up.

  • People who consume sugary drinks regularly—one to two cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.  Risks are even greater in young adults and Asians.

  • A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks.  A related study in women found a similar sugary beverage–heart disease link.

  • A 22-year study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks.  Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men.  Cutting back on sugary drinks can help people control their weight.

  • Studies in children and adults have found that reducing sugary drink consumption can lead to better weight control among those who are initially overweight.

Original Source:

Healthier Kids Drink (water) - For Their Hydration

posted Jun 26, 2015, 5:48 PM by Drink Blocks   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 5:49 PM ]

A study recently published in the 'Nutrition Journal' stated that children between the ages of 4 and 13 should be consuming 4 to 6 cups of water per every 1,000 calories they eat. Around 75% of dietary water comes from beverages and the remaining 25 percent comes from moisture in foods.

Yet only one in four U.S. children are getting the amount they need. Even mild dehydration can lead to health problems and trouble concentrating. For many parents, however, which drinks to offer their kids — and how to get their kids to drink them — can sometimes be a dilemma.

Here are a some ways to keep kids happily hydrated:

 Best Served Cold — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to make more appealing serve your kids drinks that are chilled or cold. When they are feeling warm or hot from playing, there is nothing more satisfying than a cold beverage.

• Avoid the Caffeine — Soda may be a liquid, but it’s actually dehydrating (not to mention Soda is sugar-filled). A common ingredient in soft drinks is caffeine, which is a diuretic, causing a loss of fluids. Let's not forget to mention that Soda is filled with sugar and also contain ingredients that offer no nutritional value. 

• Eat more Fruit — Fruit is a great way to help meet hydration needs, especially water-dense strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple and, naturally, watermelon. Please remember that beverages advertised as 'Fruit Juice Drinks' can be just as sugar-filled as their Soda counterparts.

• Keep Water handy and within reach - Carry water or another healthy drink wherever you go so it's available when they are thirsty.  Leave water bottles in the car.  Keep a bottle in your bag or backpack.  Chances are they’ll drink water more often when it's right in front of them.

To further encourage kids to be sufficiently hydrated, don't make it into a chore. If you can make it fun and make it be naturally part of their routine, your kids will stay hydrated naturally.

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