From Coca Cola to Red Bull, these are the UK’s most sugary drinks

How much sugar does your favourite fizzy drink hide? [Photo: Getty]

In a bid to bring an end to childhood obesity and lifestyle-induced disease, the UK government announced its plans for a sugar cutback in March 2016.

The government will tax the soft drinks industry for total sugar content over 5 grams per 100ml and the revolutionary law will hike the prices of the nation’s go-to beverages in the process.

After reducing the sugar content in its drinks, Fanta is now exempt from the impending sugar tax [Photo: Getty]

All UK shoppers will have to pay 18p or 24p more per litre of soft drinks or drinks with added sugar. For instance, you will be required to pay an extra 18p per litre if the drink has 5 grams of sugar or more per 100ml. For beverages with 8 grams of sugar or more per 100 ml, you will need to pay 24p extra. But if your drink contains at least 75 percent milk then the price will not change.

However, since the sugar tax was announced some fizzy drinks companies have made an effort to cut down on the sugar content in their beverages. For instance, Britvic has claimed that 94 percent of its drinks, including Robinson’s Refresh’d and Tango, are now exempt from the levy after cutting down on sugar. Meanwhile, Ribena and Lucozade are also lower in sugar content.

In terms of own-brand drinks, Tesco has reformulated all of its soft beverages and claims to have cut more than nine billion calories from customers’ diets every year in the process. Asda, Morrison’s and The Co-Op have also worked hard to avoid the levy.

But how much sugar do your favourite drinks contain?

From Coca Cola to holiday-worthy San Pellegrino Lemonade, here’s how much sugar is in your go-to beverages.

Old Jamaica Ginger Beer Extra Fiery

In first place, you may be surprised to learn that Old Jamaica Ginger Beer Extra Fiery is one of the most sugary drinks on supermarket shelves. With a whopping 15.7g of sugar per 100ml (that’s four whole teaspoons worth), a 330ml tin weighs in at 7.5 teaspoons of sugar in total.

With more than your daily intake of sugar gone in one sup, the drink is one of the most unhealthy options on the market right now.

Mountain Dew

American import and beloved brand, Mountain Dew, may promise citrus flavours but it contains a whole load more than shoppers bargain for. According to its label, there’s currently 13 grams of sugar per 100ml in the carbonated drink.

Red Bull

Back in March, Red Bull launched a line of sugar-free flavours, Tropical and Orange, in a bid to beat the impending tax. The decision came after Red Bull’s sugar-free alternative grew popular with sales increasing by 73.7 percent last year.

How much sugar is in one of the most popular energy drinks on the market? [Photo: Getty]

Currently, there are 11 grams of sugar in every 100ml of the regular fizzy drink.

Coca Cola Classic

Since 2005, Coca Cola has worked hard to reduce the sugar in its line of drinks. Famed for looking after Sprite, Oasis, Dr Pepper and Fanta, the soft drink giant has felt the pressure of the impending sugar tax.

The government claims that the sugar tax will raise more than £240 million in the years 2018-19 [Photo: Getty]

Back in 2013, the fizzy drinks brand reduced the sugar and calories in its leading beverages by 30 percent and introduced smaller cans of Coca Cola, Diet Coke and Coca Cola Zero.

According its recent label, there is currently 10.6 grams of sugar per 100ml in a can of regular Coca Cola but the brand is not going to reduce the sugar in its regular option anytime soon.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Coca Cola Great Britain said: “Coca-Cola Classic is one of the few brands that will be subject to the new tax as we have decided not to change the recipe. Consumers tell us not to change it and we believe they should be able to choose a Coca-Cola Classic if that’s the drink they want.”

“If they want a Coca-Cola without sugar, we have Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which will not be subject to the tax. There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that shows taxing soft drinks reduces obesity rates.”


Vimto has cut down on its sugar content, as the label now states that there is 6.6g of sugar per 100ml of the regular brand.

San Pellegrino Lemonade

A strong shout when it comes to a holiday pick-me-up, a cold can of San Pellegrino Lemonade is the way to go. But weighing in at 10 grams of sugar per 100ml, it may not be the healthiest option for those looking to cut down on sugar.

Dr Pepper

In a bid to beat the sugar tax, Dr Pepper drinks now contain a total of 4.9 grams of sugar.

Irn Bru

In January 2018, Irn Bru announced that it would reduce the sugar content in its drinks from 10.3g to 4.7g per 100ml, as a consequence to the sugar tax.

Scottish drinks giant Irn Bru has cut back on its sugar content in recent months due [Photo: Getty]

In order to achieve the same sweet taste, the company has introduced a mix of low calorie sweeteners including aspartame. However, fans quickly stock-piled the original Scottish drink as they preferred the sugar-heavy version.


One of the original fizzy drinks of choice, a can of Fanta is a safe bet for most. And with 4.6 grams of sugar per 100ml, it’s one of the better options when looking to satisfy those pesky sugar cravings.

And due to its reduced sugar content, the brand is now exempt from the sugar tax meaning no pesky price hike for customers. Hoorah!


Surprisingly, a bottle of Lucozade is also one of the least sugary options when craving a sweet treat. Per 100ml, there’s currently 4.5 grams of sugar.

Lucozade’s parent company has cut sugar across all its drinks which means the drink will no longer be hit by the levy [Photo: Getty]

Due to recent cuts, Lucozade will no longer be hit by tax.

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