We’ve long been told to have a cup of orange juice at every breakfast for our daily dose of immune-boosting, skin health-supporting vitamin C, but are the costs of drinking such a high-sugar beverage every day really worth the few benefits?
Orange juice is still widely perceived as a healthier option than other sugary beverages like soda because it’s made from fruit—but the two are not too dissimilar. While the sugar in 100% fruit juices is naturally occurring rather than added as it is in sugar-sweetened beverages, the way your body processes and reacts to this sugar is essentially the same, according to a JAMA Network Open review. Plus, orange juice often contains as much sugar and as many calories.
The sunshine-colored drink is undeniably a good and excellent source of a few essential nutrients—one eight-ounce cup of orange juice contains anywhere between 80-100% of your daily value of vitamin C (depending on which brand you buy), 10% DV of potassium, 15% DV of thiamine, and 15% DV of folate along with polyphenols and other phytochemicals—however, it does have some not-so-redeeming qualities, like 24 grams of sugar.