A: In short, you can drink almost anything without added sugar, and sugar includes both added sucrose (table sugar) and more commonly refined fructose (fruit/corn sugar), both of which show up in many products we drink.
Always check labels, since these will give you tell-tale signs like “high fructose corn syrup” or “sucrose”. If these show up on the labels of sweetened drinks, then “just say NO.”. Fruit juice manufacturers capitalize on the idea that their products are somehow more natural and healthy, but don’t get fooled: most typical grocery store-bought fruit juices have been sweetened with added fructose (fruit/corn sugar), or have been concentrated in a way that makes them taste sweeter while dispensing with any healthful benefits they otherwise might have provided.
Beverages you should avoid include fruit juices, non-diet soda/pop products, sweet tea, and sweetened coffee, tea, or chai beverages from Starbucks or similar baristas. Water and even tea or coffee are always better than artificially sweetened beverages. However, it is generally recommended to limit yourself to no more than 200 mg per day of caffeine.
An average cup of coffee has about 90 mg caffeine, an espresso shot 60 g caffeine and a cup of tea 50 mg. Simple math can tell you what you can drink that will add-up to 200 mg/day. If you need to use a sweetener, we recommend going with more “natural” sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. Sucralose (e.g., Splenda(tm)) and erythritol are also considered relatively safe sweeteners but are more “chemically derived” than stevia and monk fruit, which are more closely related to their natural vegetable products.
We recommend avoiding drinks sweetened with aspartame, acesulfame, Neotame, Advanteme, cyclamate, or saccharine, as these highly chemically engineered artificial sweeteners are known to have some unwanted biological effects; whereas stevia, monk fruit, and perhaps sucralose and erythritol seem to be the least likely to cause short term or long term health problems for your or your baby.