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Ginger beer has undergone a major rebrand in the last few years as companies target the middle classes with artisan bottles that boast traditional recipes and botanical ingredients.

But despite its sophisticated image, a shocking new study has revealed that the fiery beverage contains more sugar than any other fizzy drink - even beating Coca-Cola, Daily Mail reports.

A new study has revealed that the average glass of ginger beer contains 38.5g. Photo / 123RF
A new study has revealed that the average glass of ginger beer contains 38.5g. Photo / 123RF

The average glass of ginger beer contains a whopping 38.5g of sugar - the equivalent of just over eight teaspoons - according to the research by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open.

A glass of Coke, on the other hand, contains 35g - that's about seven teaspoons.

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But ginger beer's cousin, ginger ale, was found to be the fizzy drink with the lowest amount of sugar on average. A glass contains around 22.9g, according to the findings - but that's still 4.9 teaspoons.

The findings come after UK supermarket chain Tesco announced it has reduced the amount of sugar in its own-brand soft drinks, including its cola and juice drinks.

Its cola now contains 4.8g of sugar per 100ml, compared to 9.7g previously.

The BMJ's study revealed that supermarket own-brands contained far less sugar than their branded equivalents, even before any sugar reductions.

A glass of Coke, on the other hand, contains 35g - that's about seven teaspoons. Photo / 123RF
A glass of Coke, on the other hand, contains 35g - that's about seven teaspoons. Photo / 123RF

Supermarket cola drinks on average contain 27.9g of sugar per glass, while branded products contained 31.6g, according to the research.

But taking together both branded products and own-brand cola drinks, a glass of cola on average contained 35g of sugar - the same amount as in Coca-Cola.

More than half of all soft drinks exceed the adult's daily recommendation for sugar intake of 30g.

Kawther Hashem, co-author of the BMJ Open study and researcher for Action on Sugar at Queen Mary University of London, said: "It's not possible to state that carbonated sugar-sweetened drinks can be consumed as part of a 'healthy, balanced diet,' even though drinks companies claim it can be."