Workout of the Day

Stop It With The Juice Already


It’s time we stop it with the juice-craziness delusion.

It’s common knowledge that soda is an unhealthy beverage choice, yet somehow juice (erroneously) gets a pass. Perhaps it’s the tremendously effective marketing tactics that juice-makers have used, perhaps it’s the beverage’s proximity to real fruit that fools us. Regardless, it’s not doing us any favors.

Consider that a 12 ounce glass of apple juice contains as much sugar as a can of Coke. A glass of orange juice contains only about ⅓ less sugar than a can of Coke, and a glass of grape juice actually contains about ⅓ more sugar than Coke. (Scary statistics time: America consumes an average of 6.6 gallons of juice, per capita, per year; that would equal over 2300 grams of sugar per year in juice alone.)

“But isn’t it better because it’s natural?”

While natural sources, on average, are better than their highly-refined alternatives when it comes to diet, it’s a logical fallacy (the “appeal to nature fallacy”) to assume that just because it is natural, it must be healthy. A glass of juice may be a better choice than a can of Coke, but only by a small margin. Add the fact that juice is commonly touted as a healthy food choice, and thus more likely to be consumed regularly and in higher quantities than soda (with its ubiquitous bad reputation), and I’m not so sure juice is a better choice after all. Juice does have the added appeal of vitamins, but I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t choose to take a multivitamin if it meant taking in 35 grams of sugar every time you swallowed that pill. That’s like calling the spray can Easy Cheese a health food because it has a few grams of protein in each serving. There are better ways.

The “natural” argument also forgets that the very nature of juice is to serve a natural thing (fruit) in a very unnatural way (concentrated, liquid, solids and fibers removed, and often pasteurized). It would take two full apples to get the same amount of sugar in one glass of apple juice, and along the way you’d pick up 9 grams of fiber and a larger mass for your stomach to digest. While it would be easy to chug down, say, 24 ounces of apple juice, you would be hard pressed to put away four apples in a matter of minutes and not feel full. Though the sources are the same, the sugar in a complete apple will be digested (and consumed) very differently than the sugar in a glass of apple juice.

When it comes down to it, consuming your food as a liquid, and particularly as a liquid that’s packed with sugar, is not the best way to treat your body if you’re interested in metabolic health, maintaining a healthy body composition, reducing your risk of diabetes, or avoiding sugar for a host of other reasons. While whole fruit consumption is associated with things like lower body weight and lower risk of diabetes, fruit juice consumption is associated with the opposite.

I’ll leave it at this: I love a good glass of fruit juice. And usually, the more sugary the fruit, the better it tastes. But I won’t be fooling myself into thinking I’m not indulging when I do opt for juice. Let’s call it what it is: a dessert with side perks.

- PS


  • 10 rounds, every 90s:

    • 100m sprint

*record slowest


  • 100 single leg banded hamstring curls