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Which Beverages Do People Drink the Most of in the US?

In the US, carbonated soft drinks are the most popular type of beverage. On average, each US person drinks about 45 gallons (about 170 liters) of soda each year. Since one can of soda is 12 fluid ounces (about 355 ml), that's about 1.25 cans of soda every day. The second most commonly consumed beverage in the US is bottled water, followed by beer, milk and coffee. Despite the popularity of these other beverages, soft drink consumption in the US is about twice that of coffee and beer combined.

More on beverages:

  • Tea is the consumed more than any other beverage in the world except water. In the United Kingdom, 165 million cups of tea are consumed each day. Americans like tea as well and consumed about 3 billion gallons (11.3 billion L) of it in 2010 — 80% of it black tea.

  • People in the United Kingdom consumed about 30.1 gallons (105.9 L) of carbonated soft drinks, also called "fizzy drinks," per person in 2011.

  • According to the American Beverage Association, the number of aluminum cans recycled in the US each year could provide enough aluminum to rebuild the country's entire commercial airline fleet — twice.

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Discuss this Article

anon994214
Post 8

It's soda because people love sugar.

indigomoth
Post 7
It's a real shame that bottled water is one of the top drinks consumed by Americans. Bottled water is a complete scam in a country where tap water is completely safe.

A lot of the time bottled water is actually tap water that's just been filtered (or not even that). They can claim it's natural water, because often the tap water comes from springs or from a lake (where else would it come from, after all?).

So people are wasting money buying something they can get for free and, more importantly to my mind, they are also wasting huge amounts of plastic. Most of it doesn't get recycled, it's just tossed away to go in the landfills.

It's good that people are drinking water, of course. I just wish they'd do it in a less wasteful way.

umbra21
Post 6
@anon307526 - I've definitely met people who think nothing of drinking bucket sized cups of soda every day. I think even if there are plenty of people who don't drink soda, there are even more who make up for this in the average.

This disregard or ignorance of calories is one of the reasons there's such an health problem in the US. But when you look at how many soda advertising kids are subjected to, particularly in schools, it's hardly surprising.

anon307526
Post 5

@sunnyhasone - I (an American) avoid sodas, alcohol, and tea too though I'm not always successful. I do try to only order water when I'm out -- saves money in addition to being healthier!

@whitewater - Most people at my work drink soda with lunch and dinner regularly. At a restaurant, a soda is more than a can's worth too -- bottomless drinks usually get refilled at least once in a meal. Plus, isn't this why New York recently banned Big Gulps? Because many people _are_ drinking lots of soda?

anon307405
Post 2

I totally agree with Whitewater. I don't drink soda, beer, or tea (unless I'm ill). You go Whitewater! -sunnyhasone

whitewater
Post 1

I would like to see wiseGEEK provide some evidence to substantiate some of its odd claims. Since the longtime format changed several months ago it seems that "facts" are just spouted, and at times they seem outlandish. (I've thought to comment on that before.) 51.5 gallons of soft drinks per year per US resident is an example. That is almost (2) 12 oz soft drinks each and every day by each and every person. Clearly a large percentage of people don't drink them at all. *None* of the friends I have ever use them. I don't have any facts to substantiate my views either but common sense says something is weird here. Is a third of the population drinking a six pack a day - every day?? Maybe, but I really doubt it.

Moderator's reply: Thanks for your comment. We strive to provide accurate and useful information and reader responses like yours helps us do just that. In this case, the figure provided in a 2012 report from Beverage Digest was 45 gallons, not 51.5. We have revised this figure in the article above. You can find more information for each of our "Did You Know?" articles at the website provided below the article.

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