Almost everyone loves orange juice. It’s by far the most popular way to consume oranges. It’s a fast and delicious way to get some vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But since it’s fruit juice, it’s also loaded with sugar. So, how much orange juice is too much?
The amount of orange juice you consume in a day should be no more than 6 oz, which is the equivalent of a small glass. Drinking too much of any beverage can have negative consequences, and OJ is no exception. Too much orange juice can contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, and cavities. While drinking a small glass of orange juice for breakfast is fine, downing multiple glasses in a day will impact your health in the long run.
Side Effects of Too Much Orange Juice
➀ Increases Blood Sugar Levels
Orange juice has relatively low Glycemic Index (GI) of 50, which means that its carbs are more slowly digested and cause a slower rise in blood sugar.
The problem is that it’s easy to overdo orange juice. A large serving can cause your blood sugar to rise to high levels very quickly.
You would not eat five oranges in a row, but you could easily consume that amount in a glass of OJ. When we drink a glass of orange juice, we are getting the full amount of sugar from the fruit, with no fiber standing in the way to slow down absorption. The sugar goes right into your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar to soar.
A good indicator to determine the impact of certain foods on your blood sugar is the Glycemic Load (GL). The GL is an extension of the GI; it takes the number of carbohydrates into account as well.
For example, a 20-oz serving of orange juice has a GL of 30, while a 6-oz serving has a GL of 9. A GL below 10 is considered to be low, and a GL above 20 is high.
Your blood sugar levels determine how you feel on any given day. If you can keep it stable, it helps you control hunger, lose weight, prevents mood swings and give you more energy.
Can you see now why I wouldn’t drink more than 6 oz of orange juice in a day?
➁ Leads to Weight Gain
For people trying to lose weight, large amounts of fruit juice are not your friend. OJ is pretty calorie-dense, and it’s easy to drink too much of it.
A 6-ounce serving of orange juice contains 80 calories, most of the calories come from fructose. Research suggests that this kind of sugar may promote overeating.
There is also no fiber present in orange juice; it won’t keep you full for a long time. You can have a glass of orange juice, which contains a lot of sugar, and yet be hungry in no time. Ultimately leading you to take in more calories than your body can burn.
If you are on a weight-loss diet, you might want to avoid fruit juices altogether. Healthy, fresh vegetable juices are the better choice. Learn more: Benefits of Juicing Vegetables.
➂ Energy Levels
If you drink too much orange juice during your day, it will mess with your energy levels. Drinking too much regularly will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. You will feel energized after drinking a large glass of orange juice, but your energy levels quickly drop as your blood sugar crashes.
➃ The Silent Tooth Killer
Your teeth are protected by enamel and are the strongest organs of your body, but they are not indestructible.
Its overall acidity primarily determines the effect that beverages have on your teeth. Anything that is below 5.5 on the pH scale is considered to be acidic.
Orange juice has a pH level of 3.5, and this acidity can eat away the outer layer of your teeth. If you drink too much OJ you will notice that your teeth get sensitive as the acids dissolve the enamel.
Soda is the worst when it comes to dental erosion, but orange juice is not that far behind.
➄ Iron Toxicity
Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, one glass of juice can provide your entire daily recommended value. Vitamin C helps our bodies to absorb other micronutrients, including iron.
This can be harmful to people with hemochromatosis. It’s a disease in which too much iron builds up in the body. It has no way to get rid of it and stores the excess iron in joints and organs, which can ultimately cause organ failure.
It would be wise for people with hemochromatosis to avoid orange juice and other citrus fruit juice altogether.
The Truth About Store-Bought Orange Juice
Have you ever wondered why the orange juice of your favorite brand always tastes the same? If we make orange juice at home, every batch tastes different. So what’s the cause?
Big box companies squeeze the oranges and then store them in gigantic vats for up to a year. The juice is stripped of oxygen to extend the shelf life. It makes the orange juice pretty much flavorless.
Flavorless OJ doesn’t sell very well, does it? That’s why they re-flavor the juice with flavor packs.
To have their orange juice actually taste like oranges, they hire fragrance companies to create these flavor packs. The same companies that make high-end perfumes reassemble chemicals in configurations that resemble nothing found in nature.
It doesn’t matter if your juice is from concentrate or not from concentrate, they all use flavor packs. You won’t find them mentioned in the ingredients list. You can check out if your brand uses flavor packs on this website.
Which Juice Is Better Concentrate or Not from Concentrate?
From concentrate means the orange juice was dehydrated into a thick liquid by using heat and pressure. Later, the water gets added back. The concentrate stores for longer and ships more easily.
Not from concentrate has been in its juice form the entire time, but it’s not the same thing as fresh, raw juice. It’s merely juice that has been pasteurized without being dehydrated into a thick liquid.
No matter if the juice is from concentrate or not, both types of juices are pasteurized. They have been heated to high temperatures to kill bacteria that may be present.
Pasteurization increases shelf life, but it also kills some nutrients in the juice, as vitamins are vulnerable to heat. Vitamin C is the most vulnerable of the vitamins, and a significant amount is destroyed by pasteurization.
You may think that unconcentrated juice is better for you, but that’s not true. Unconcentrated juice is the same nutritionally than juice from concentrate, as long as they don’t add any additional sugar to it.
However, if additional ingredients are added, the nutritional profile will be different. No matter if you buy juice from concentrate or not from concentrate, always make sure that it doesn’t contain any added sweeteners. Added sugars are usually labeled as dextrose or high fructose corn syrup.
The Healthy & Delicious Alternative
Freshly made orange juice is a much different beverage than the orange juice that you can find in your local grocery store. It not only tastes much better, but it’s also healthier. It contains enzymes and antioxidant polyphenols -- all of which are destroyed when the juice is pasteurized.
No nasty “flavor packs”, no dehydration, no pasteurization, and no added sugars and chemicals. The closest thing to eating an orange is drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. You control what’s going in there.
The Easy Way to Make Delicious Orange Juice
The fastest and most convenient way to make fresh orange juice is using an electric citrus juicer. They are designed to help you get the most juice out of your citrus fruits. They are inexpensive and compact, they fit perfectly in any kitchen.
The Cuisinart CCJ-500 Citrus Juicer is a modern looking juicer with a stainless steel body. It only measures 6.8 x 7.9 x 12.2 inches; this makes it a great choice for small spaced kitchens.
You can control exactly how much pulp you want in your juices with its three pulp control settings.
What makes the juicer stand out is its Final-Spin feature. The juicer squeezes the pulp left on the reamer, and you get every drop out of your oranges.
See the Final-Spin feature in action:
Orange juice is a healthy addition to a balanced diet, as long as you consume it in moderation. Freshly squeezed orange juice is always the healthier and tastier option. Fresh juice isn’t pasteurized, dehydrated and artificially flavored. You will taste and feel the difference. How much orange juice do you drink in a day and do you prefer fresh or store-bought juice? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.