How many calories in a glass of lemonade with sugar?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a glass of lemonade with sugar can vary depending on the recipe, but on average a 12 ounce glass of basic lemonade made with lemon juice, water and sugar contains around 120 to 150 calories. The main source of calories comes from added sugar. A standard lemonade recipe calls for around 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar per 12 ounce glass, which provides around 100 calories. The lemon juice adds a small amount as well. For comparison, the same size glass of plain water contains zero calories.

Calories in Homemade Lemonade

The exact calorie count for homemade lemonade depends on the specific ingredients and portions used. Here is an estimate for a typical 12 ounce glass:


Most lemonade recipes call for around 1/4 cup of white sugar per 12 ounce glass. Table sugar contains around 16 calories per teaspoon, so 1/4 cup provides about 100 calories.

This is the main source of calories in lemonade. Using less sugar can greatly reduce the calorie count. For example, cutting it in half to 2 tablespoons would save about 50 calories.

Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice contains around 6 calories per tablespoon, based on data from the USDA. A typical lemonade recipe uses around 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice per glass. So the lemon juice adds roughly 12 to 18 calories.


Plain water contains zero calories, so the water used to make lemonade does not contribute anything.

Total Calories

Based on standard portions, a 12 ounce glass of homemade lemonade would contain:

– Sugar: 100 calories
– Lemon juice: 15 calories
– Water: 0 calories

Total: Around 115 calories per glass

So a good estimate for basic homemade lemonade with 1/4 cup sugar and 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice would be between 110 and 120 calories per 12 oz serving.

Calories in Powdered Lemonade Mix

Many people make lemonade from powdered mix instead of squeezing fresh lemons. The calorie content varies by brand, but on average a packet of powdered lemonade mix contains around 130 calories.

When mixed with water as directed, the final calorie count for a 12 ounce glass is generally between 100-130 calories.

For example:

– Country Time Lemonade Mix: 130 calories per packet. A 12 oz glass made with one packet provides 120 calories.

– Wyler’s Light Lemonade Mix: 60 calories per packet. A 12 oz glass made with one packet provides 50 calories.

– Crystal Light Pure Lemonade: 20 calories per packet. A 12 oz glass made with one packet provides 15 calories.

So powdered lemonade can range from 15 to 120 calories per glass depending on the type of mix used. Low calorie options with artificial sweeteners are on the lower end while standard mixes with sugar are higher.

Calories in Bottled Lemonade

Commercially made bottled lemonade generally contains between 90 to 180 calories per 12 ounce serving depending on the brand.

Here is the nutrition information for some popular brands:

Beverage Calories (12 oz)
Simply Lemonade 120
Minute Maid Lemonade 150
Snapple Lemonade 180
Honest Organic Lemonade 90

As you can see, most store-bought lemonades provide between 120-180 calories per standard 12 oz serving. Some organic or “light” options are around 90 calories.

Bottled lemonades get their calories from added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The amount of sweetener varies, causing the range in calories.

How to Reduce the Calories in Lemonade

If you want to lighten up your lemonade, here are some easy ways to reduce the calorie count:

– Use less sugar. Cutting back just 1-2 tbsp can make a significant impact.

– Try a zero calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit instead of sugar.

– Add freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than juice from concentrate, which often has added sugars.

– Dilute with extra water or ice to decrease the sugar concentration.

– Opt for “light” or diet lemonade mixes and bottled varieties made with artificial sweeteners.

– Squeeze in extra lemon juice to add flavor with minimal calories.

– Add mint, sliced fruit or cucumber for flavor so less sweetener is needed.

– Make “half and half” lemonade by mixing equal parts water and lemonade to cut calories in half.

– Shake in a dash of cinnamon or vanilla extract to enhance sweetness instead of more sugar.

With some simple tweaks, you can easily reduce the calories in lemonade while still enjoying its refreshing sweet and sour flavor.

Nutrition Facts for Lemonade

Here is the full nutrition breakdown for a typical 12 ounce glass of regular lemonade made with 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 120
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 10 mg
Potassium 74 mg
Total Carbs 30 g
Sugar 28 g
Protein 0 g

As you can see, the calories in lemonade come entirely from carbohydrates in the form of added sugars. There is minimal fat, protein or micronutrients.

By choosing low calorie ingredients and reducing added sugars, you can make a healthier lower calorie version that still provides the bright citrus flavor of classic lemonade.

Health Impact of Drinking Lemonade

Here is a look at some of the health effects – both good and bad – of regularly drinking lemonade:


Vitamin C: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is high in vitamin C, an essential antioxidant. A 12 oz glass can provide around 20% of the RDI for vitamin C.

Hydration: The water in lemonade can help with hydration, especially when exercising on hot days.

Phytonutrients: Lemons contain plant compounds like hesperidin that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


High in sugar: The main concern with lemonade is its high sugar content, typically from around 20-30 grams per glass. Consuming this much added sugar regularly can increase risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other problems.

Tooth erosion: The citric acid in lemon juice can erode tooth enamel over time, increasing dental sensitivity and decay. Drinking lemonade with a straw can help minimize contact with teeth.

May trigger reflux: The acidic lemon juice may provoke heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux in some people prone to these conditions.

Overall, fresh squeezed lemonade provides some benefits from the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the lemon juice. But store-bought and homemade varieties with substantial added sugar should be consumed only in moderation to limit negative health effects. Making your own lemonade with less sugar is one healthy way to enjoy it.

Lemonade Variations

There are endless ways to change up lemonade by adding different ingredients:

Fruit Lemonades

Blend in fruit like strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, peach, mango or raspberries. The extra fruit provides flavor, nutrients and natural sweetness to balance the tart lemon.

Herbal Lemonades

For a natural flavor boost, try muddling fresh herbs like mint, basil, lavender or rosemary into your lemonade. You can also add slices of cucumber or ginger.

Spiced Lemonades

Shake in spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom to give your lemonade extra warmth and complexity. A dash of cayenne can also provide a subtle kick.

Green Lemonades

For a nutrition boost, blend in leafy greens like spinach, kale or parsley which turn the lemonade green. The veggies provide antioxidants without affecting the flavor.

Fizzy Lemonades

Make your lemonade sparkling by mixing in seltzer water or club soda. You can also use flavored carbonated waters like lemon-lime LaCroix.

Boozy Lemonades

For adults, add a shot of vodka, gin, rum or tequila to turn lemonade into a cocktail. Whiskey, bourbon and prosecco also pair well with citrusy lemon.

With endless possible combinations, it’s easy to create unique flavorful lemonades to enjoy all year round.

Storing and Freezing Leftover Lemonade

To save leftover lemonade rather than letting it go to waste, here are some storage and freezing tips:

– Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

– For longer storage, freeze lemonade in ice cube trays, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag once solid. This makes it easy to pull out a few cubes at a time.

– Freeze lemonade concentrate in ice cube trays or popsicle molds for DIY pops.

– Freeze in freezer safe plastic bottles, leaving headspace at the top for expansion. Thaw in the fridge before drinking.

– Boil any lemonade with raw egg or dairy before freezing, as these ingredients can separate or curdle when thawed.

– Most lemonades without dairy or eggs can be frozen for 2-3 months before quality declines. Discard if you see any freezer burn.

– To serve frozen lemonade cubes, simply drop them into a glass and pour a bit of water, juice or soda over top to help melt.

Storing lemonade properly helps retain the flavor and texture so you can enjoy a cool glass on a hot day even when fresh lemons are out of season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about the calories in lemonade:

Does lemonade have sugar?

Most lemonade recipes call for adding white granulated sugar or simple syrup. On average, a 12 oz glass of lemonade contains around 20-30 grams of added sugars. However, you can also make sugar-free versions using zero calorie sweeteners.

Is powdered lemonade mix high in calories?

It varies by brand, but on average a packet of powdered lemonade contains around 130 calories. When mixed with water this provides 100-130 calories per glass. Low calorie powdered “lite” lemonades are lower, around 50 calories per glass.

What has more calories, lemonade or iced tea?

This depends on the recipe, but on average lemonade tends to be higher in calories than unsweetened iced tea. With added sugar, lemonade provides around 100-150 calories per glass compared to under 5 calories for plain iced tea. Sweet tea is closer to lemonade in calories.

Is lemonade healthier than soda?

Both lemonade and soda are high in added sugars. But lemonade provides some vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients from the lemon juice, while soda has no redeeming nutritional value. Overall, neither should be consumed in excess. For the healthiest option, make your own lemonade with minimal sugar.

Does dehydrating lemons remove calories?

No, dehydrating or drying lemons does not remove any calories or nutrients. Dried lemons still provide the same calorie count by weight or volume as fresh lemons when reconstituted – around 6 calories per tablespoon of juice. The calorie concentration is increased due to the loss of water during dehydration.


In summary, the exact calorie count in lemonade can vary based on specific ingredients used, but on average a 12 ounce glass contains around 100-150 calories. The main source is added sugar, providing 16 calories per teaspoon or 4 grams. When making your own lemonade, you can reduce the calorie content by using less sugar and more natural ingredients like fresh lemon juice and fruit. While lemonade is high in sugars, the vitamin C and antioxidants from the lemons provide some nutrition. Overall, lemonade should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. With some simple tweaks, you can make a refreshing low calorie lemonade to sip on any time.

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