7 Up has “100% natural flavors,” and it only has six ingredients total. Now, that sounds good… But it only really takes 1 bad ingredient to make a drink unhealthy—and what does “natural” really mean, anyway? Today, let’s see whether 7 Up is truly healthy or not.
7 Up is not very healthy because it has 38g of sugar per can (12 fl oz). Just one can of 7 Up puts you above the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit for sugar. However, it still may be a slightly healthier choice than other sodas like Sprite and Coca-Cola.
Below, I’ll discuss 7 Up’s sugar content, whether it is fattening, how it compares to other popular sodas, and whether it’s bad to drink it every day.
Is 7 Up Good for You?
Here are the 10 specific questions I’ll be answering about 7 Up nutrition. Click any of them to skip ahead to that section—or just keep scrolling to read them all:
7 Up has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Specifically, 7 Up has 38g of sugar per can, in the form of HFCS. That’s not great. Even one can of 7 Up puts you over the American Heart Association’s daily sugar limit. (Below, we’ll explore whether HFCS is worse than normal sugar or not.)
7 Up is free of artificial colors. 7 Up is clear, so there is no need for dyes like Red 40 or Yellow 5. Artificial dyes seem to cause behavioral issues for some children. So it’s a good thing that 7 Up doesn’t have them.
7 Up has only six ingredients. Generally, I appreciate when my foods only have a few simple ingredients—not a ton of crazy chemical ingredient names. That said, despite 7 Up’s low number of total ingredients, the sugar content is still unfortunately high.
The biggest nutritional concern with 7 Up for most people will be the sugar. So let’s look at the sugar content in the next two sections below.
Does 7 Up Have Alcohol in It? 7 Up is a non-alcoholic soda. It does not have alcohol. However, some people may use 7 Up as a mixer along with vodka, tequila, rum, or other alcoholic drinks.
Does 7 Up have aspartame? Normal 7 Up does not have aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. However, 7 Up Zero Sugar is sweetened with aspartame and another artificial sweetener called acesulfame potassium.
7 Up has 38 grams of sugar per can (12 fl oz). That is about the same amount as in Sprite, Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, or Monster Energy. Drinking just one can of 7 Up puts you above the daily sugar limit recommended by the American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 25g of sugar per day for women and 36g per day for men. Even just one can of 7 Up already puts you above that.
Keep in mind: No added sugar is needed for human health. Really, the healthiest diet would likely just have natural sugar from fruit and whole foods. So in a sense, any “added sugar” is already a negative.
Here’s a table showing how the sugar content of 7 Up compares to other sugary drinks:
Sugar (per 12 fl oz)
V8 Tomato Juice
Simply Orange Juice
Barq’s Root Beer
Welch’s Grape Juice
Sugar Content Comparison Table.
As you can see, sodas like 7 Up are among the most sugary drinks available. 7 Up doesn’t have quite as much sugar as Mountain Dew or Barq’s—but it’s not far behind, either.
3. How Bad Is the High Fructose Corn Syrup in 7 Up?
7 Up is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). And HFCS has a bad reputation… Many people think it is worse than normal table sugar. But is it really?
Some research suggests HFCS may increase appetite and contribute to obesity more than regular sugar. However, other research contradicts this. Overall, it’s unclear whether high fructose corn syrup is worse than normal sugar. (source)
But the real bottom line is this: Any high-sugar diet, whether it’s HFCS or normal sugar, can increase heart disease and obesity risk while raising blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure. (source)
So with 7 Up, the real problem isn’t specifically the high fructose corn syrup… It’s just the amount of added sugar overall. Thirty-eight grams per can is a lot of sugar. It doesn’t bode well for long-term health. It could also cause acute issues like acne (discussed below).
4. Does 7 Up Have Caffeine?
7 Up does not have caffeine. It is not an energy drink. It is not advertised as providing caffeine, and none of the ingredients have caffeine naturally. 7 Up should not keep you awake.
Caffeine is an interesting ingredient because it has documented health benefits, but it can also be bad in many cases. Studies show it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But it’s habit forming, and too much can disrupt sleep.
Therefore, caffeine is generally not considered simply “healthy” or “unhealthy.” It’s more complicated than that. It can be good or bad depending how it’s affecting your life specifically.
5. Is 7 Up High in Sodium?
7 Up has about 45mg of sodium per 12 oz can. This is only about 2% of the daily recommended limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Therefore, 7 Up is not very high in sodium.
Of course, if you drink 7 Up all day, you could end up consuming at least several hundred milligrams of sodium from it. So, you should still be mindful if you’re trying to keep your sodium intake low.
Fun Fact: 7 Up has about 30% less sodium than Sprite.
6. Does 7 Up Make You Gain Weight?
7 Up is high in calories—140 calories per 12 oz can—so it could contribute to weight gain. However, changes in bodyweight depend on overall calorie balance. So drinking 7 Up in moderation will not automatically cause weight gain.
Many people misunderstand what actually causes fat gain. It isn’t generally caused by eating a specific unhealthy food. It’s a result of consuming more calories than you burn overall. The overallquantity of calories is what’s important.
For example, it’s possible to gain fat from healthy foods—if you eat large portions and don’t exercise. In the same way, it’s been shown that you can lose weight by eating McDonald’s, if you eat a small amount.
So, there’s a sense in which no specific food is “fattening.” Only overall diets can be fattening. However, there’s still a sense in which 7 Up may lead to weight gain: It has a lot of empty calories that don’t fill you up much.
That is, when you drink 7 Up, you’re getting a lot of calories, but not much satiation. And that can lead you to consuming more calories than you need for the day. And in turn, that can cause weight gain.
So, yes, there is a sense in which 7 Up can cause weight gain, just like other sugary drinks. But the actual key is your overall diet and calorie balance. One specific food generally won’t make or break your diet.
The relationship between diet and acne is still evolving. But increasingly, there is significant evidence that diet does play a major role in acne. And there are a few specific types of foods that are widely acknowledged as problematic.
One of the foods most strongly associated with acne is sugar. And as covered above, 7 Up has a lot of sugar in each can (38 grams). This means 7 Up will likely cause acne for many acne-prone people.
For many acne sufferers, reducing acne is about stabilizing your blood-sugar and insulin levels. And often, that means minimizing or eliminating high-GI carbs like the sugar found in 7 Up.
If you want to learn more, I wrote more about acne science and how to clear your acne in this blog post. But suffice it to say—there’s a decent chance 7 Up will be a negative for your skin.
8. Is 7 Up Healthier Than Other Sodas?
Despite its high sugar content, 7 Up may actually be slightly healthier than most other popular sodas. Let’s make a few comparisons:
7 Up vs Coca-Cola: 7 Up is likely a bit healthier than Coke. They have nearly the same sugar content (38g vs 39g) and the same sodium content (45mg) per can. But 7 Up doesn’t have caramel color or phosphoric acid like Coke, making 7 Up potentially healthier in comparison.
7 Up vs Dr Pepper: 7 Up may actually be slightly healthier than Dr Pepper, for the same reasons as with Coke: 7 Up avoids the caramel color and phosphoric acid, while not being dramatically worse in any other way.
7 Up vs Pepsi: Pepsi has 3g more sugar per serving compared to 7 Up. And again, like Coke and Dr Pepper, Pepsi has caramel color and phosphoric acid—yikes. So again, 7 Up is likely a bit healthier.
7 Up vs Mountain Dew: 7 Up has about 8g less sugar per serving than Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew also has the artificial color Yellow 5, which may cause behavioral issues for some children. So again, 7 Up seems a little bit healthier.
7 Up vs Root Beer: 7 Up has about 7g less sugar per serving than Barq’s Root Bear. So, 7 Up is probably healthier—but again, neither drink is very healthy.
7 Up vs Sprite: 7 Up and Sprite have the same amount of sugar. However, 7 Up has about 30% less sodium, and it avoids the sodium benzoate of Sprite. So 7 Up may be slightly healthier.
But really, any of these sugar-loaded sodas are not very healthy. For a healthier soda option, you can look at Zevia. It’s sweetened with stevia rather than sugar. Read my Zevia review here.
9. Is It Bad to Drink 7 Up Every Day?
Generally speaking, yes, it is bad to drink 7 Up every day. Even drinking just one can of 7 Up already puts you above the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sugar limit.
High-sugar diets lead to increased risk of obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and more health problems. And if you drink even a can or two of 7 Up per day, you’ve already entered into the realm of “high sugar.”
Now, technically, you could drink one sip of 7 Up a day, and you could still be consuming a low-sugar diet. So, that would probably be fine. But who is really stopping after one sip? Let’s be realistic here.
The most sensible guideline would probably be to only drink 7 Up and similar sodas on occasion. Don’t make it a daily habit.
Is it OK to drink 7 Up once in a while? Sure. For most people, your body can tolerate occasional spikes in sugar and empty calories like those in 7 Up. What really causes most diet problems is the repeated consumption of unhealthy foods as a habit.
10. Is 7 Up Vegan?
7 Up is considered vegan. It has only six ingredients, none of which are derived from animals. In addition, 7 Up Zero Sugar, Cherry 7 Up, Simple 7 Up, and all 7 Up flavors I could find are vegan.
7 Up may even be “more vegan” than other sugar-sweetened drinks. That’s because 7 Up is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup—not cane sugar that may have been filtered with bone char. (The exception is Simple 7 Up, which does have normal “sugar” that may have been filtered with bone char.)
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