Sugar Detectives!

Drinking water helps us avoid the large amounts of added sugar in common beverages. Almost half of the added sugar in our diets is from beverages. Help athletes learn about sugar-sweetened drinks and why water is the best choice!

  • Collect a variety of popular drinks, such as a sports drink, juice pouch, and soda.
  • Find the total grams of sugar in each drink using the Nutrition Facts label. Convert the grams to teaspoons (tsp.) – 4 grams is equal to about 1 tsp.
    Example: A 20 oz soda contains 64 grams, or 16 tsp. of sugar (64/4=16)
  • The nutrition label lists the grams of sugar per serving. Check how many servings are in the drink, then multiply the amount of sugar by the number of servings.
  • For each drink, measure the number of teaspoons of sugar into a small bowl, or clear plastic bag. You can also tape together sugar packets, using one packet for each teaspoon of sugar. Label each bowl, bag or string of sugar packets with the number of tsp. it contains.
  • Ask kids to guess how much sugar is in each drink by matching sugar containers with drinks. Then, reveal the correct pairs.

Round Two!

You can expand this activity by using different popular drinks to use in the display. Try including a sweetened iced tea, energy drink, or a drink with added vitamins, to show that even these drinks contain a lot of sugar.

Older players could create a poster to display at a game or tournament, using poster board, empty bottles of drinks, and bags of sugar or sugar packets.

Discussion Ideas

Why is water the best choice for staying hydrated and healthy? Water doesn’t contain
any sugar! It also carries nutrients throughout our bodies and energizes our muscles.
Think about the drinks you had today. How much sugar did you drink?

For a printable infographic of this activity, visit:


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