You've seen the commercials--a colossal 30-ounce cup of sweet tea is only a dollar at McDonald's. And you get a lot of bang for that buck--there are 220 calories and 54 g 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.
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 g 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. (More: The Worst Shakes in America)
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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 g of sugar--that's more sweetener than three frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts.
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You're going to need a brisk walk after finishing off a bottle of this bad-to-the-bone beverage. Though the Lipton has reduced the amount of sugar in its Brisk Lemon Iced Tea, it still contains an eye-popping 33 g per 20 ounce serving.
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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." What they mean by lightly sweetened: A 16-ounce grande made with nonfat milk contains 250 calories and 50 g of sugar. That's the same amount of sugar you'll find in a grande Coffee Frappuccino made with whole milk.
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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 g of sugar a pop. But it's safe to say most would gulp down the whole can and take in 270 calories and 69 g of sugar. Another convenience store pick with similar sugar content: two Snickers candy bars.
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Nestea may be a household name, but its beverages are just as bad as the rest. A 20-ounce bottle of lemon iced tea has 225 calories and 55 g of sugar. You could eat three Twinkies and still take in less sugar.
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Pick up a pint-size bottle of Turkey Hill's Cherry Pomegranate Black Tea and you'll gulp down 240 calories and 52 g of sugar. That's more sweetener than what's in three scoops of the brand's Rocky Road premium ice cream.
It's not as sugary as some sweetened teas, but the word "organic" on the bottle may make you think that Sweet Leaf's peach or raspberry flavored teas are a smart way to quench your thirst. Truth is, each 16-ounce serving packs 36 g of sugar--15 Starburst candies' worth--for 140 calories.
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Thanks to the fact that it doesn't come in a bottle that you'll be tempted to gulp down in a single sitting, a drink mix may seem like a good way to get your sweetened tea fix. Still, a tablespoon and a half of Lipton's mango flavored iced tea powder (80 calories) contains 19 g of sugar--that's more than three Oreo cookies' worth.
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