Coke and Dr Pepper are known for tasting so good because of their sugar. But, how much sugar is really in these sodas? Here you will find information on their sugar content along with a comparison to other popular beverages. Let’s get into the data.
Sugar In Coke Vs. Dr Pepper
Coke and Dr Pepper have nearly identical sugar content. Be aware that all sugar is added to these sodas. Added sugar should be limited according to health organizations. See below for more details.
|Serving Size||Coca-Cola – Sugar(g)||Dr Pepper – Sugar(g)|
|7.5 fl. oz.||25g||24g|
|12 fl. oz.||39g||39g|
|16.9 fl. oz.||55g||55g|
|20 fl. oz.||65g||65g|
How Are They Sweetened?
Coke and Dr Pepper are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is derived from corn starch. After the corn starch is processed, HFCS is created which has a similar makeup of glucose and fructose as table sugar. There is no significant research found that states HFCS is worse for the body than other sweeteners.
The manufacturers of Coke and Dr Pepper do make these sodas with real sugar if you prefer to avoid HFCS. Coke Made in Mexico and Dr Pepper Made with Real Sugar are examples of these beverages made with real sugar. However, you may pay more for them than regular soda because of their superior ingredients.
The most common versions of regular Coke and Dr Pepper have the following ingredients:
Coke – carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffeine.
Dr Pepper – carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine
Now that we’ve discussed the sugar in Coke versus Dr Pepper, let’s take a look at how their sugar compares to similar beverages. As the below table shows, Coke and Dr Pepper have similar sugar content compared to other popular sodas. This is particularly true for their direct competitors like Pepsi and Pibb Xtra
|Coke||12 fl. oz.||39g|
|Dr Pepper||12 fl. oz.||39g|
|Pepsi||12 fl. oz.||41g|
|Cherry Coke||12 fl. oz.||42g|
|Pibb Xtra||12 fl. oz.||38g|
|Mtn Dew||12 fl. oz.||46g|
|Sprite||12 fl. oz.||38g|
|Gatorade Orange||12 fl. oz.||21g|
Recommended Sugar Per Day
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a maximum of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women of added sugar per day. That is equivalent to 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women. A person who drinks only one 12-ounce Coke or Dr Pepper will exceed the recommendation. That is one of the primary reasons why regular sodas should be consumed in moderation or sparingly.
Villines, Z. (n.d.). High fructose corn syrup foods: Which to avoid and why. Medical News Today. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325315