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Sugar, calories may modify the benefits of tea


Published:   |   Updated: July 27, 2013 at 04:40 PM

If water has worn out its welcome as your main source of summertime hydration, it may be tempting to switch to tea, which is often touted for its health benefits. But beware: Sweetened teas may contain as much sugar and as many calories as soda. Check the label before guzzling.

McDonald's Sweet Tea: You've seen the commercials - a colossal 32-ounce cup of sweet tea is only a dollar at McDonald's. And you get a lot of bang for that buck - there are 280 calories and 69 grams of sugar in a large. That's as much of the sweet stuff as you'll find in three vanilla cones or a 12-ounce Oreo McFlurry.

Snapple Half 'N Half: At Snapple, "the best stuff on earth" must mean sugar - and lots of it. A 16-ounce bottle of the brand's Half 'N Half lemonade-tea blend packs 50 grams of it along with 210 calories. You'd have to snack your way through five Krispy Kreme glazed donuts to get an equivalent sugar buzz.

Sobe Energize Green Tea: This elixir boasts an energizing blend of guarana, rose hip, and ginseng extracts, but we're pretty sure your boost is going to come straight from sugar. A 20-ounce bottle of SoBe Energize Green Tea packs 200 calories and 51 grams of sugar - that's more sweetener than three frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts.

Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea: You're going to need a brisk walk after finishing off a bottle of this bad-to-the-bone beverage. A 20-ounce serving of Lipton's Brisk Lemon Iced Tea contains 210 calories and 55 grams of sugar - the same amount of sweet stuff in 25 Pixy Stix straws.

Starbucks Iced Green Tea Latte: Starbucks describes its Iced Green Tea Latte as "a unique and stimulating blend of matcha green tea and milk, lightly sweetened and served over ice." A 16-ounce grande made with nonfat milk contains 250 calories and 50 grams of sugar. That's the same amount of sugar you'll find in a grande Coffee Frappuccino made with whole milk.

AriZona Extra Sweet Green Tea: The words "extra sweet" are a dead giveaway. One 23.5-ounce can of AriZona Extra Sweet Green Tea contains three servings at 90 calories and 23 grams of sugar a pop. But it's safe to say most people would gulp down the whole can. Another convenience store pick with similar sugar content: two Snickers candy bars.

Nestea Iced Black or Green Tea:

Nestea may be a household name, but its beverages are just as bad as the rest. A 20-ounce bottle of regular or green iced tea has 210 calories and 55 grams of sugar. You could eat three Twinkies and still take in less sugar.

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