Search IconSearch

Is 100% Fruit Juice Good for You?

Juice contains vitamins and nutrients, but high levels of sugar call for moderation

Three glasses of fruit juice surrounded by pieces of fruit

Drinking 100% fruit juice certainly sounds like a perfect choice for your health, but that’s not necessarily a 100% accurate assessment.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Sure, there are positives to drinking fruit juice — starting with an impressive list of vitamins and nutrients that fill every glass. But 100% fruit juice is also loaded with enough sugar to draw unflattering comparisons to soda.

Kind of surprising, right? Well, to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of juice, let’s squeeze some information out of registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD.

What is 100% fruit juice?

If what you’re drinking is 100% fruit juice, it’s basically liquid that has been pressed, squeezed or otherwise extracted from fruit. Glance at the nutrition labels on these bottles and you should see familiar fruit names.

Drinks with a lower percentage of fruit juice — 10%, for example — carry different labeling. You’ll find these on the shelf under names like:

  • Fruit cocktail.
  • Fruit drink.
  • Fruit punch.
  • Fruit nectar.

Check the ingredient list on these bottles and you’ll probably see added sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup.

Benefits of 100% fruit juice

Fruit juice contains many of the vitamins and nutrients that make fruit a recommended part of a healthy diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating about 2 cups of fruit per day.

What is a “cup” of fruit? Glad you asked! If fruit is in its natural form, that’s roughly equal to a large orange or banana, a small apple or eight strawberries.

When juiced, a cup of fruit is … well, an 8-ounce cup of juice. (We’ll come back to that number.)

Is drinking fruit juice the same as eating whole fruit?

The short answer is no. Some of the fabulous benefits of fruit disappear during the juicing process. The biggest loss is in fiber content, a perk of whole fruit that is great for your digestive system.

Whole fruit also gives you more of a full-belly feeling than juice given the “fruit meat” you consume. That means you’ll be less apt to get hungry 30 minutes later and start foraging for snacks.

“You get so much more than just juice when eating whole fruit,” notes Czerwony. “It’s not the same thing.”

Sugar in 100% fruit juice

Many types of fruit are packed with natural sugars — one of the reasons fruit is often dubbed “nature’s candy.” When you juice fruit, you concentrate that sugar into one extremely sippable drink.

Think of it this way, says Czerwony: It might take the juice of five or six oranges to fill a cup. That’s a lot of sugary fluid, which can cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels.

Let’s put some numbers to it. A glass of orange juice contains about 23 grams of sugar — which isn’t far off the daily limit of sugar recommended by the American Heart Association. (The AHA recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar for men and 25 grams for women.)


“So, a single cup of orange juice basically has all the sugar you should have in a day,” says Czerwony. “And how many of us only have an 8-ounce glass of juice? It’s usually more.”

100% fruit juice vs. soda

The high-sugar content in juice nearly matches what’s found in sugary sodas, which are not exactly known for being healthy. (The vitamins in juice make the drink better for you than soda, of course.)

“But if you’re looking at it from a sugar perspective, they’re basically one and the same,” notes Czerwony.

Should you drink 100% juice?

Is sugar in juice a bit of a concern? You bet. But there’s also the reality that many people simply don’t fill their diet with much fruit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only about 12% of adults in the United States consume the recommended amount of fruit per day. Juice consumption is included in the tally.

So, in many ways, consuming too little fruit stands as a bigger issue than people drinking too much 100% fruit juice.

“Juice is an easy way to add servings of fruit to your diet, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass,” says Czerwony. “The key is moderation. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it.”


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Person standing in front of oversized nutrition label, reading it
June 19, 2024/Nutrition
What Can You Learn From a Nutrition Label?

Information on serving size, calories and nutrients can help you make healthy choices

Piles of sugar alcohol
June 17, 2024/Nutrition
What You Should Know About Sugar Alcohols

Often labeled as ‘diabetes-friendly’ or ‘calorie-free,’ these sugar substitutes warrant caution

Person prepping mason jars with meals
June 14, 2024/Nutrition
Should You Eat the Same Thing Every Day? Learn the Pros and Cons

Repeating your meals can help simplify meal planning and counting calories, but it could also lead to boredom and nutritional deficiencies

Person looking in fridge, filled with salad, milk, berries, veggies, juice
June 12, 2024/Wellness
Power Up: 10 Ways To Boost Your Energy Naturally

Making certain food and lifestyle choices can help keep your battery full

Shirataki Miracle noodles on chopsticks and in red bowl
May 20, 2024/Nutrition
4 Reasons To Give Shirataki (Miracle) Noodles a Try

Fiber-rich shirataki noodles may improve blood sugar, aid in digestion and help with weight loss

Assorted healthy foods spread out over a table and cutting boards
May 20, 2024/Digestive
What To Eat When You Have Diverticular Disease

Reducing inflammation is key when you’re in a flare-up, but so is having a preventive nutritional plan in place when you’re not

Healthcare provider talking with patient with overweight in office
May 17, 2024/Weight Loss
The HCG Diet Is Ineffective and Unsafe

The U.S. FDA prohibits HCG use without a prescription — and the hormone isn’t approved for weight loss at all

Glass of celery juice with stalk garnish
May 16, 2024/Weight Loss
Celery Juice Is a Trendy Detox Drink, but Does It Actually Have Benefits?

While it isn’t bad for you, celery juice isn’t the detox phenom it’s claimed to be

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims