Is there cranberry juice with no sugar?

Cranberry juice is a popular juice that is known for its tart, tangy flavor and potential health benefits. Many people enjoy cranberry juice for its antioxidant properties and as a nutritional supplement. However, regular cranberry juice can be high in natural sugar. This leads many to wonder: is there a cranberry juice option with no sugar added?

The Sugar Content of Regular Cranberry Juice

Traditional cranberry juice is made from cranberry concentrate and water. On its own, cranberry juice contains natural fruit sugars or fructose. An 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice has about 24 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to about 6 teaspoons of sugar per serving.

The high sugar content comes from cranberry juice being unsweetened. Without added sweeteners, the tart flavor of cranberries would make it unpalatable for most people to drink. Therefore, sugar is added when producing regular cranberry juice.

Cranberry Juice Cocktail vs. 100% Juice

There are two main types of cranberry juice you’ll see in the grocery store: cranberry juice cocktail and 100% cranberry juice. Cranberry juice cocktail has added sweeteners while 100% cranberry juice does not.

Cranberry juice cocktail is what most people think of as regular cranberry juice. It contains about 27% to 33% pure cranberry juice, with added fructose corn syrup or cane sugar to sweeten it. An 8-ounce glass of cranberry cocktail has over 30 grams of sugar.

On the other hand, 100% cranberry juice contains no added sweeteners. It’s made entirely from pressed cranberries mixed with water. The 100% juice has about 24 grams of naturally occurring sugar per 8-ounce serving.

Low Sugar Cranberry Juice Options

There are a few lower sugar options for enjoying cranberry juice without spiking your blood sugar levels:

  • Dilute 100% cranberry juice with water – Mix equal parts 100% cranberry juice and water to cut the sugar content in half.
  • Buy low-calorie cranberry juice – Some brands offer “lite” cranberry juice with around 5 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice – 100% cranberry juice without any added sweeteners contains only natural fruit sugars.
  • Make cranberry juice spritzers – Mix seltzer water and a splash of cranberry juice for a refreshing low-sugar drink.
  • Sweeten with non-nutritive sweeteners – Add your own zero-calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit extract.

The Benefits of Cranberry Juice with Less Sugar

Choosing a lower sugar cranberry juice can allow you to enjoy the many potential health benefits of cranberries without excessive added sugars:

  • Antioxidants – Cranberries contain polyphenol antioxidants that may help combat inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin C – Cranberries are high in immune-supporting vitamin C. An 8-ounce serving contains about 22% of the RDI of vitamin C.
  • Urinary tract health – Compounds in cranberries may help prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.
  • Heart health – The antioxidants in cranberries may improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and other heart disease risk factors.

You can get these beneficial plant compounds and nutrients from cranberry juice without taking in excess added sugar. Be sure to read labels and select 100% juice or low-calorie varieties.

Are There Sugar-Free Cranberry Juice Options?

There are a few products on the market advertised as “sugar-free” cranberry juice. However, these are made by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or acesulfame potassium.

An example is Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice Cocktail. It contains 5 calories and 0 grams of sugar per serving. But it has both aspartame and acesulfame potassium listed on the ingredients label.

If you wish to avoid artificial sweeteners, your best no-sugar options are to dilute regular cranberry juice or opt for unsweetened 100% cranberry juice. Sweetening it yourself with a small amount of honey, maple syrup, or stevia is another alternative.

Making Your Own Low-Sugar Cranberry Juice

Another way to control the sugar content of your cranberry juice is to make it at home. Here is a simple recipe:


  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 cups water
  • Liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cranberries pop and soften.
  3. Strain cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing to extract all liquid.
  4. Discard solids. Add liquid sweetener to taste if desired. Chill before serving.

With this homemade recipe, you can control the exact amount of sugar or natural sweetener that goes into your cranberry juice. It makes a tart, refreshing juice full of cranberry flavor and nutrients with lower sugar than store-bought versions.

Precautions for Drinking Cranberry Juice

Here are some things to keep in mind when incorporating cranberry juice into your diet:

  • Check with your doctor before drinking cranberry juice for a urinary condition, as it can interact with some medications.
  • Cranberry juice is very acidic. Consumption of large amounts can worsen symptoms for those with acid reflux or stomach ulcers.
  • Drink cranberry juice in moderation. Too much vitamin C or oxalates from cranberries may cause problems for some people.
  • Look for unsweetened or low-calorie varieties. Avoid cranberry juice cocktail with added sweeteners.
  • Dilute strong-tasting cranberry juice with water or sparkling water.
  • Consume as part of an overall healthy diet that limits added sugars.

The Bottom Line

Regular cranberry juice can contain a lot of added sugar. But there are options to enjoy the benefits of cranberries without excess sweeteners.

Choosing 100% cranberry juice, diluting it with water, or making your own low-sugar version are ways to decrease the sugar content. Though be aware, completely sugar-free cranberry juice contains artificial sweeteners.

In moderation, cranberry juice with lower sugar can be part of a healthy diet and provide antioxidants, vitamin C, and other beneficial plant compounds.

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