Following revelations that New Zealand is home to some of the most sugar-laden drinks in the world, we've taken a look at some healthier alternatives that will still give you a thirst quenching, energy boosting fix.

Sometimes a tall glass of water just doesn't cut it: when you're hungover, when you need a pick me up but it's too hot for a flat white, or when you just feel like a swig of fizz.

But a recent study from Waikato University has found on average fizzy drinks and juice sold here in New Zealand have 1.5 times more sugar than those sold in Australia, Canada and the US.

According to Dr Gerhard Sundborn, founder of FIZZ, a group advocating to end the sale of sugary drinks in New Zealand, the findings shouldn't come as a surprise given New Zealand has the third highest obesity rate for adults in the OECD.


So if Kiwis were really made aware of just how much sugar is in bottled drinks - beyond the arguably miniscule stickers that detail their nutritional information - would we still drink them, or would we pick a healthier alternative?

From energy fixes to sports drinks or just something to quench your thirst, we've taken a look at some popular choices, their sugar content, and taste tested some alternative options with far less or none of the sweet stuff.

L&P is a Kiwi classic. But after learning it has 2.5 teaspoons of sugar per 100ml, our taste testers Chris and Rach deemed it too sweet. They preffered the lemonade from Soda Brewery which has less sugar and a more mellow flavour.

While they reckon there's still a time and a place for L&P, its high sugar content makes it much less desirable as a regularly consumed beverage.

Comparing the cost:
L&P 1.5L: $3.39
Soda Brewery 330ml: $10 for a four pack

A bottle of E2 mango flavour packs a whopping 75g of sugar into a single serve, something both taste testers noticed instantly. They were also put off by its "unnatural" bright green colour.

Our taste testers decided the alternative sample, an SOS stir-in sachet, proved a better fit as a multi-purpose recovery and sports drink with a significantly lower sugar content.

Comparing the cost:
E2, 800ml: $3.79
SOS: $16.50 for a pack of 10 sachets


Both taste testers enjoyed the flavour of Harpoon Cold Brew, which has less than one gram of sugar per 100ml. Chris decided it was the perfect drink to serve over ice with a wedge of lime.

However, despite its much higher sugar content, Rach preferred the creamy flavour of V Iced Coffee, deciding it would make for a tasty treat or dessert.

Comparing the cost:
V Iced Coffee, 500ml : $4
Harpoon Cold Brew, 330ml: $5

Chris was surprised to learn one of his old favourites, Chi, contained more sugar than he'd always thought. Though the company also offer a sugar-free version of the classic herbal drink.

It was sampled alongside the lower sugar option "Sparkling Oh!". While our taste testers agreed both drinks had nice flavours, in the end they were divided as Rach went for Chi and Chris decided he couldn't go past a drink named "Sparkling Oh!".

Comparing the cost:
Chi, 1L: $3.59
Sparkling OH! 1.25L : $3