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Is it good to drink apple juice everyday?

Apple juice is a popular beverage enjoyed by many. It’s made by extracting the liquid from apples and is often touted as a nutritious drink. Some people enjoy drinking apple juice on a daily basis for its sweet taste and potential health benefits. But is this habit actually good for you?

Nutritional Content of Apple Juice

To understand the effects of drinking apple juice every day, it’s important to first review the nutritional content of this beverage.

A 1 cup (248 gram) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 117
Carbs 28 grams
Sugar 24 grams
Fiber 0.5 grams
Vitamin C 5% of the DV
Potassium 4% of the DV

As you can see, apple juice is high in natural sugar. A 248-gram serving packs 24 grams of sugar, with almost no fiber or protein (1).

It also provides a decent amount of vitamin C but is low in other vitamins and minerals. The sugar and calories add up quickly if you drink apple juice throughout the day.

Potential Benefits

Despite its high sugar content, some research indicates that drinking apple juice may provide certain benefits:

  • Antioxidants. Apples are rich in antioxidants like quercetin and vitamin C, which help fight cell damage by reactive molecules called free radicals. These antioxidants are retained in apple juice (2).
  • Blood sugar control. Compounds in apples may help slow the uptake of sugar into your bloodstream, preventing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels (3).
  • Heart health. An animal study found that compounds in apple juice, such as polyphenols, decreased blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol (4).
  • Gut health. Apple juice contains pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This nourishes the friendly bacteria in your gut (5).

That said, some of these benefits are dose-dependent. More is not necessarily better when it comes to apple juice.

Downsides of Drinking Too Much

Despite the potential upsides, regularly drinking apple juice may have some downsides as well:

  • Blood sugar spikes. The natural sugar in apple juice can cause rapid rises and falls in your blood sugar when consumed in excess (6).
  • Weight gain. Fruit juice is low in nutrients but high in calories and sugar. Drinking too much may lead to unwanted weight gain over time (7).
  • Tooth decay. The sugars in apple juice cling to your teeth, feeding bacteria that can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities (8).
  • Lack of protein and fiber. Unlike whole apples, apple juice contains no filling protein or belly-filling fiber (1).

Overall, drinking apple juice in moderation seems okay, but large amounts may lead to excess sugar, calories, and dental issues.

Daily Apple Juice intake Recommendations

There are no official recommendations for how much apple juice you should drink per day.

However, health authorities advise limiting fruit juice intake and focusing on whole fruits instead:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice intake to 4–6 ounces (118–177 ml) per day for children 1–6 years old. For children 7–18 years, juice intake should be limited to 8–12 ounces (237–355 ml) per day (9).

  • The American Heart Association recommends no more than 4 ounces (118 ml) of juice per day for toddlers and 6 ounces (177 ml) for older children (10).

  • For adults, the US Dietary Guidelines don’t set a specific cap but do state that at least half your fruit intake should come from whole fruits (11).

Based on these guidelines, drinking more than one 8-ounce (237-ml) glass of apple juice per day is not recommended, especially for adults.

Best Practices

To enjoy apple juice as part of a healthy diet, consider the following tips:

  • Stick to 1 small glass (6–8 ounces or 177–237 ml) per day.
  • Drink apple juice alongside meals, not on its own.
  • Avoid “juice drinks” with added sugar.
  • Always choose 100% juice over juice cocktails.
  • Drink water as your primary beverage.
  • Eat whole apples often for more filling fiber.
  • Brush teeth after drinking apple juice to prevent decay.
  • Avoid giving toddlers juice in sippy cups throughout the day.

Alternatives to Apple Juice

For those looking to cut back on apple juice, there are many healthy alternatives to try instead:

  • Water. Plain or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice can quench your thirst.
  • Tea. Unsweetened hot or iced tea provides flavor without excess sugar.
  • Vegetable juice. Low-sodium tomato or carrot juice have fewer natural sugars.
  • Smoothies. Blend apple juice with Greek yogurt and frozen fruit for a nutrient-rich smoothie.
  • Seltzer. Try flavored seltzer water for a fizzy, refreshing drink.
  • Infused water. Add sliced fruit to your water for a hint of flavor.

The Bottom Line

Enjoying a small glass of apple juice occasionally can be healthy as part of a well-rounded diet. Apple juice provides antioxidants, vitamin C, and potential benefits for blood sugar control and gut health.

However, drinking too much apple juice on a regular basis is not recommended, as it’s high in sugar and calories yet low in protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

For adults, keep apple juice intake to 8 ounces (237 ml) per day or less. Children and toddlers have an even lower recommended limit of 4–6 ounces (118–177 ml) per day.

Alternate apple juice with water and other healthy drinks while emphasizing whole fruits and vegetables in your diet.