Food Fight! Lemonade vs. Iced Tea

lemonade and iced tea

Looking to quench your thirst with one of these summertime classics? First, check out which drink came out on top in this battle of the beverages.


There's more to store-bought lemonades than you might think. Grab a bottle out of the mini-mart cooler and you'll slurp down a hefty dose of sweeteners including sugar, high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice concentrates. Popular brands contain 120 calories and 6 to 7 teaspoons of sugar per cup! The powdered mixes aren't really any better. Most contain plenty of sugar (and even the ones that don't use artificial sweeteners in their place). Powdered mixes are also filled with preservatives, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners.

A pitcher of homespun lemonade will at least ensure a dose of vitamin C from fresh lemon juice. And when you make your own, you can control the amount of sweetener used.

Iced Tea

Much like lemonade, many bottled versions are highly sweetened; the worst being somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 calories and 6 teaspoons of sugar per cup, still less than your average lemonade. Powdered teas are similarly fortified with additives and artificial sweeteners.

Homemade iced tea can be sweetened to taste – or not sweetened at all! Alternative sweeteners and flavor boosters like fresh fruit and herbs may also be appealing.

Hopefully, your iced tea of choice actually contains some real tea. If so, whether it's black, white or green, there's the added benefit of its natural flavor plus antioxidants. Real tea also has caffeine, which may be a turnoff for some. A typical cup of brewed black tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, or a little less than half of what you'll find in a cup of coffee.

Healthy Eats WinnerIced Tea. Either way, homemade versions of these popular drinks are surely the way to go. But iced tea comes out on top, thanks to its antioxidant content, plus you can sip the summer drink with minimal amounts of added sugar.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

Food Fight!: Broccoli vs. Kale

A popular ad agency is pitting broccoli against kale. But is one of these cruciferous veggies healthier than the other?

Food Fight!: Smoothie vs. Juice

Should you gulp down a glass of refreshing juice or opt for the blended deliciousness of a smoothie? We pit these two foods against each other in this latest food fight.

Food Fight: Agave vs. Honey

Food fight! Agave versus honey: which is the healthier choice?

Food Fight!: Pasta vs. Pizza

These two Italian delights are going head-to-head! See which mouthwatering favorite will come out on top.

Food Fight: Cappuccino vs. Latte!

Cappuccino and latte! Both have their merits. but which one is the healthier pick? There's only one way to find out: Get these beverages in the boxing ring!

Food Fight: Beer vs. Liquor

Labor Day is around the corner—should you grab an ice cold beer or choose a spirits-filled cocktail? This battle is a tricky one…

Food Fight: Greek vs. Regular Yogurt

Both Greek yogurt and regular yogurt have healthy components, but which is the better choice?

Carolina vs. Colorado: Regional Food Fight

Super Bowl 50 pits a Southeastern barbecue powerhouse against a Colorado city known for stellar Mexican food and microbrews, promising a fierce battle on the food front.

Food Fight!: Pancakes vs. French Toast

Which one of these breakfast staples is the healthiest choice? The answer might surprise you.

Food Fight: Eggnog vs. Hot Cocoa

'Tis the season for eggnog and hot chocolate. Find out which is the most sensible choice – it all comes down to how you make it.