Fizzy drinks: The best and worst revealed

Do you know which fizy drinks are the best for your diet, and which are the worst? Find out which fizzy drink scored the highest and is the most healthy drink in our 20 best and worst round-up

Fizzy Drinks: best and worst revealed
(Image credit: Tesco)

Do you know which fizzy drinks are the best for your diet, and which are the worst? Find out which fizzy drink scored the highest and is the most healthy drink in our best and worst round-up.

Coke, Fanta, Red Bull, Dr Pepper - whichever your choice of fizzy drink, it's safe to say they go down a treat with the kids and are a great energy-booster for when the 4 o'clock slump hits. But have you ever considered just how much damage that can of pop could be doing to your diet? And do you know which fizzy drinks contain the most calories?

Whether you like to sip on a Diet Coke, love Irn Bru or are a big fan of Lilt, not all fizzy drinks are the same when it comes to calories and sugar - in fact, it's easy to fall into the trap of forgetting they count towards your daily calories at all!

Did you know one glass of a particular fizzy drink contains more than seven teaspoons of sugar? Seven! Or that it would take a 10-minute bike ride to burn off the worst culprit's calories? Some fizzy drinks also contain nasty hidden extras like E-numbers, caffeine and sweeteners, which aren't great for your health or your diet.

A new survey from Robinsons fruit squash, has found that 62% of UK adults say their children copy their drinking habits - for both healthy and unhealthy drinks - and 8% of children drink fizzy drinks every single day.

Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert said, "Soft drinks are one of the leading factors in the rise in obesity in the UK, with the incredibly high levels of sugar being the main culprit. Even when you’re eating something a bit naughty, it will normally contain some vitamins or minerals which are good for you, but there is nothing healthy in a fizzy drink."

Tom continued, "You can also reach your maximum recommended daily intake of sugar within a single can of some fizzy drinks.

"The higher the item is on the glycaemic index, more it will create a rapid increase in blood glucose and will be broken down very quickly, while sugary drinks are one of the worst offenders. This is without even considering the effects on your teeth, as they are highly acidic, which will cause erosions to your enamel.

A high sugar intake, leading to weight gain, is connected to various health issues such as diabetes type 2 and heart disease."

So, what are the best and worst fizzy drinks?

We tried and tested different fizzy drinks from the biggest brands and supermarkets to see just how good a 100ml glass really is for us. From heavy heaps of sugar to hidden sweeteners, the ones we predicted to be the best didn't always serve us kindly on the calorie front, but we were pleasantly surprised by some of the better ones.

Irn Bru

(Image credit: Tesco)

Rating: 1/10

Cals: 42

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 10.3g

Salt: Trace

Verdict: Packed full of E-numbers, including yellow and red food colouring, both of which are believed to increase hyperactivity, Irn Bru isn't the best choice for the kids. With a high calorie count and added caffeine, it's not one to choose if you're on a diet or have problems sleeping either.

Appletiser

Fizzy Drinks: best and worst revealed

(Image credit: Tesco)

Rating: 3/10

Cals: 47

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 10.5g

Salt: 0g

Verdict: Joint highest on the calorie front and a heavy helping of sugar makes Appletiser a drink to avoid if you're watching your weight. However it is worth noting that this fizzy drink doesn't contain any hidden additives.

Red Bull

(Image credit: B&M)

Rating: 3/10

Cals: 46

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 11g - Highest of ALL fizzy drinks

Salt: Trace

Verdict: It's known for being an instant energy-booster, but Red Bull definitely isn't the healthiest drink to buy. The high amount of sugar is made twice as bad by the extra sucrose and glucose, which both act as extra sweeteners and play havoc with our metabolism.

Sprite

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rating: 6/10

Cals: 28

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 6.6g

Salt: Nil

Verdict: Sprite has recently relaunched their drinks, drastically cutting the calorie and sugar content. While the fat content is non-existent, Sprite is still pretty sweet, however they have replaced the sugar with stevia, which is a natural sweetener. Watch out for those E-numbers though!

Orangina

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rating: 5/10

Cals: 42

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 10.2g

Salt: 0g

Verdict: Picture the scene: it's a warm summer's day and you're sitting back basking in the sun with an iced cold glass of Orangina. It's the drink that gives you that holiday feeling and with nothing but orange and carbonated water, Orangina a delicious fizzy drink. However the calorie count is still high, so this should be left for those occasional sunny days.

Coca Cola

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rating: 4/10

Cals: 42

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 10.6g

Salt: 0g

Verdict: When you think of fizzy drinks often Coca Cola is one of the first to pop into your head. Originally invented as a medicine, Coca Cola was enjoyed so much that it was reintroduced (with a heavy dose of sugar) as a fizzy drink. Unfortunately nowadays the high amount of calories, caffeine, sugar and E-numbers, means a glass of coke is no longer the medicine for a healthy lifestyle.

Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper

(Image credit: Ellie Meddle/REX/Shutterstock)

Rating: 4/10

Cals: 29

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 7.2g

Salt: Trace

Verdict: As with Coca Cola before, Dr Pepper is not a fizzy drink to indulge in. Containing more E-numbers and caffeine than most of the other fizzy drinks we tried, it's not one to feed the kids on a regular basis, either.

7 Up

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rating: 7/10

Cals: 41

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 11g

Salt: Trace

Verdict: Admittedly there is a huge amount of sugar, but unlike most of the other fizzy drinks we've tried, 7 Up uses natural flavourings. While we wouldn't overindulge in this lemon and lime flavoured drink for the sake of our teeth, it is a better option compared to some of the other brands.

Fanta

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rating: 3/10

Cals: 29

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 6.9g

Salt: Trace

Verdict: While the amount of sugar and food colouring is high, what's more worrying is the inclusion of sodium saccharin, a seriously sweet artificial sweetener. Not only is it one to avoid if you're on a diet, but too much Fanta won't do your teeth any favours, either.

Barr Cherryade

Fizzy Drinks: best and worst revealed

Rating: 6/10

Cals: 17

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 4g

Salt: Nil

Verdict: It's a kids' party favourite and goes hand in hand with biscuits and birthday cake - luckily Cherryade isn't the worst fizzy drink we tried. While it does contain colouring and sweeteners, the sugar level is low so the kids aren't hit with the same cocktail of sweeteners and sugar, unlike other drinks.

Lilt

Fizzy Drinks: best and worst revealed

Rating: 5/10

Cals: 20

Fat: 0g

Saturated fat: 0g

Sugar: 4.6g

Salt: 0g

Verdict: We're sitting on the fence with Lilt. Admittedly the calorie count isn't great, especially if you are hoping to lose weight, but it does taste good. Therefore we're going to look at the fizzy drink as an occasional treat for summer time when the weather is fine!

Oasis Citrus Punch

Oasis Citrus Punch

(Image credit: Martin Lee/REX/Shutterstock)

Rating: 4.5/10

Cals: 18

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 4.1g

Salt: Nil

Verdict: Not technically a fizzy drink, but often served on the same shelves, Oasis Citrus Punch relatively low in calories and sugar. This is a very tasty punch, so why not add chunks of apple and orange with plenty of ice to up the nutritional value?

Schweppes Lemonade

Schweppes Lemonade

(Image credit: David Lee/REX/Shutterstock)

Rating: 6/10

Cals: 18

Fat: Nil

Saturated fat: Nil

Sugar: 4.2g

Salt: Trace

Verdict: Whether you add it to orange juice, use it as a mixer or simply drink it on its own, as fizzy drinks go, Schweppes Lemonade isn't a bad choice. In small doses this one won't have you piling on the pounds and it's not bad on the bank balance either.

Sainsbury's Dandelion & Burdock

Fizzy Drinks: best and worst revealed

Rating: 6.5/10

Cals: 4

Fat: Trace

Saturated fat: Trace

Sugar: Trace

Salt: Trace

Verdict: Dandelion and Burdock might be a drink you would associate with healthy, natural ingredients. However, while calorie-wise this isn't a bad choice to make, it does contain colourings and additives, so try not to make this an everyday drink.