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Sodas with the Most Sugar [Coke or Pepsi]

Last updated on August 11th, 2021

sodas with the most sugar

It can be hard to make good choices when it comes to healthy food and drinks these days when you’re bombarded with so many “unhealthy” choices.

It seems like everyone has something bad to say about everything, especially when it comes to competing brands and products. One of the most famous rivalries in mainstream beverage marketing is Coca Cola and Pepsi.

But which soda has the most sugar?

Pepsi has slightly more sugar than Coke, with 42 grams per serving as opposed to Coke’s 39 grams per serving.

What does this sugar content mean? How much sugar is in other sodas? What about no-sugar sodas? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.

Which has more sugar: Coke or Pepsi?

There is added sugar in almost everything we consume in modern America.

From granola bars to pasta sauce and the really obvious ones, like candy and soda, it’s very difficult to get through the day without being tempted by a food with added sugar.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar each day, while the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is more lenient with its recommendation of no more than 50 grams per day.

However, 50 grams is still not very much when examining the amount of sugar added to the foods we know and love.

Classic Coca Cola has 39 grams of sugar in every can, and Classic Pepsi has 41 grams of sugar in every can. These numbers change when you look at off-shoots and varying flavors of each type of soda.

For example, Vanilla Pepsi stays consistent at 41 grams of sugar per serving, whereas Vanilla Coke clocks in at 42 grams of sugar per serving.

And if comparing the new green labels of Coke Life and Pepsi True, both sweetened with sugar and stevia instead of high-fructose corn syrup, Pepsi True has only slightly more sugar per milliliter than Coke Life does.

But sugar content is not the only signifier of how healthy a given soda is.

Which has more calories: Coke or Pepsi?

Which has more sugar Coke or Pepsi

Pepsi has slightly more calories than Coke when comparing the true original flavors.

  • Pepsi has 150 calories per serving and
  • Coke has 140 calories per serving.
  • Vanilla Coke has 150 calories per serving, coming in even with Vanilla Pepsi, also at 150 calories per serving.
  • Coke Life and Pepsi True are also tied for their calorie count, which is 60 calories in their 7.5-ounce cans.

So, it seems that whether you’re comparing sugar or calories, it matters which flavor or off-shoot of each soda you use.

There is an abundance of Coke and Pepsi variations out there, so be mindful when comparing to choose two flavors that are relatively equal in content.

It’s important to pay attention to serving size as well. Serving size will affect the nutrition facts.

For example, if one brand sells its product in a smaller sized can, it will appear to have significantly fewer calories and grams of sugar than the one you compare it to. 

Which popular soda has the most sugar?

Which popular soda has the most sugar

Because every serving size of a soda can be different, it’s easier to compare the amount of sugar per fluid ounce in each drink.

That way, the comparison is fair and square.

Mountain Dew tops the charts of any sugary beverage with a whopping 3.83 grams of sugar per serving.

That means you can exceed the WHO’s recommendation for daily sugar intake with about half a can of Mountain Dew. But just because it has the most sugar doesn’t mean all other sodas are off the hook.

  • Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi both have 3.5 grams of sugar per fluid ounce.
  • Classic Pepsi Cola, Dr Pepper, and Dr Pepper Cherry all tie with 3.42 grams per fluid ounce.
  • Classic Coca Cola has 3.25 grams of sugar per fluid ounce, and Sprite has 3.17 grams per fluid ounce.
  • 7-Up has one of the lowest sugar contents at 3.08 grams of sugar per fluid ounce
    • However one 12-ounce can of 7-Up still contains over 150% of the WHO daily added sugar guidelines.

Diet and Zero-Calorie Sodas

Diet and Zero-Calorie Sodas

Diet sodas have no calories, no sugar, and practically nothing else. They can seem like a miracle.

But diet sodas are artificially sweetened, often with an ingredient called aspartame, which has been questioned for a while now on its true nutritional value—and whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

However, when looking strictly at the nutrition facts on a soda label, the only nutritional value you get from a diet soda is its sodium levels.

What is better for your – Diet or Regular Soda?

Here’s our four of the most popular sodas—Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Dr Pepper, and Sprite—measure up when looking at their diet counterparts.

Diet Dr Pepper has 55 mg of sodium per serving. Diet Coke comes in second with 40 mg per serving. Zero-sugar Sprite and Diet Pepsi are tied with 35 mg of sodium per serving.

Still, these levels of sodium are nowhere near levels for unhealthy daily intake. If you’re looking for a sugar- and calorie-free alternative, diet sodas may be the way to go.


When comparing classic Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, Pepsi has slightly more sugar and calories than Coke.

However, the comparison shifts when looking at alternative variations of each soda, such as their Vanilla flavors and versions sweetened with real sugar and stevia, rather than with high-fructose corn syrup.

Neither Coke nor Pepsi is at the top of the list when looking at sodas with the highest sugar content, but they both contain enough sugar per serving size to easily exceed the WHO’s recommendation for daily added sugar consumption.

For no-calorie, sugar-free options, artificially sweetened diet sodas may be a worthy alternative to your favorite sugary drink