Apple Juice vs Orange Juice

Fruit Juice Nutrition & Health Benefits Compared

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: August 9, 2023

As we all know, starting the day with a refreshing glass of juice is a great way to kick-start the morning. While orange juice has been the go-to choice for many, apple juice has also gained popularity recently.

Both are delicious and nutritious, but which one is better? In this blog post, we will explore the differences between apple juice and orange juice to help you decide which is best for you.

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice

Introduction to Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are beverages made by extracting natural juices from whole fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, cranberries, and pineapples. They can be enjoyed either by themselves or mixed into shakes and smoothies.

One of the biggest benefits of drinking fruit juice is that it provides a convenient and tasty way to get essential vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they can satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming unhealthy added sugar.

Fresh Juice vs Concentrate

In the juice aisle at the grocery store, you could be confronted with a wall of choices from fresh squeezed to concentrates and cocktails. Here’s what you need to know about the differences.

Raw juice comes straight from fresh fruits, while juice from concentrate has water removed and added back later. Fresh juice has more natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, while juice from concentrate may contain added sugars and preservatives.

Fresh juice costs more but often has a better taste and higher nutritional value. In the following section, we will directly compare the nutritional value of fresh apple juice and orange juice.

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Health

Orange Juice vs Apple Juice Comparison

The phrase “apples and oranges” is often used when comparing two dissimilar things. And there are some pretty apparent differences between apple juice vs orange juice as well.

For starters, apple juice has a darker amber color compared to the distinct orange coloration of its counterpart. And apple juice is also more transparent than the opaque orange beverage.

In addition, apple juice generally tastes lighter and sweeter, while orange juice has a heavier acidic flavor. Orange juice also typically has a higher price due to the production costs of growing and processing these fruits.

Nevertheless, distinguishing between apple juice and orange juice can be more challenging when we drill down to the nutrition and health benefits. So let’s look closer at that next.

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Nutrition

At first glance, the nutrition labels for apple and orange juice look pretty similar. But closer examination reveals some differences that may be important to you.

Table 1 below shows an overview of the calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients in apple juice and orange juice. Next, I’ll compare each nutrient in more detail.

Table 1. Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Nutrition Facts per 8 oz (248 ml)
  Apple Juice Orange Juice
Calories 114 112
Total Carbs 28.0g 25.8g
Sugar 23.9g 20.8g
Fiber 0.5g 0.5g
Vitamin C 3% 67%
Potassium 8% 7%

Calories

In terms of energy, apple juice and orange juice are nearly identical, with each providing 110-115 calories per 8 oz serving. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend one over the other based on calorie content alone.

However, it’s important to check the label on juices from concentrate because they can be higher in calories depending on how they are reconstituted.

Carbohydrates & Sugar

Not all calories are created equal in terms of their effect on our bodies. That’s why we need to dig deeper into the macronutrient composition.

Fruits generally contain very little fat and protein, so nearly all of the calories come from carbohydrates. And the total amount of carbs can come from sugars and fiber.

Apple juice typically contains slightly more sugar and total carbs than orange juice. And neither one is a significant source of dietary fiber since that is mostly removed when the juice is extracted from the fruit.

Vitamins & Minerals

Orange juice is naturally higher in vitamin C than apple juice, although many juices are fortified with added ascorbic acid to increase the vitamin C content. Both juices are also a good source of potassium, which is another valuable mineral.

Intra Workout Fruit Juices

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice for Health

Now that you’ve seen the nutrition comparison of apple juice and orange juice, you may wonder how they compare regarding health benefits. So this section will review each juice in more practical terms.

Effect on Blood Sugar

When we consume sugar, it is absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose. And unfortunately, chronically elevated blood sugar can negatively impact health, leading to insulin resistance and even type II diabetes.

Despite having less total sugar, the sucrose in orange juice is more readily absorbed, causing a larger spike in glucose and insulin levels. To be quantitative, the glycemic index of orange juice is 48, while apple juice is 41.

A lower number is generally better for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. However, both juices will raise insulin levels after drinking them.

Table 2. Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Sugar & Glycemic Index
  Apple Juice Orange Juice
Total Sugar 28.0g 25.8g
Sucrose 3.1g 10.3g
Glucose 6.5g 4.5g
Fructose 14.2g 5.3g
Glycemic Index 41 48

Digestion

Apple juice is high in fructose, which can cause stomach discomfort in some people. And a 2019 study showed that high-fructose drinks like fruit juice and soda may increase the risk of metabolic diseases when overconsumed1.

On the other hand, orange juice is significantly higher in citric acid, which may cause heartburn or upset stomach for some individuals.

Weight Loss

Both apple and orange juice can be part of a weight loss plan due to their vitamins and minerals. However, they are calorie-dense, making it easy to tilt your energy balance towards a surplus and weight gain if you’re not careful.

Therefore, sugary drinks should be consumed in moderation during active times of the day to burn the high glycemic carbs and avoid storing body fat.

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Nutrition Facts

Apple Juice vs Orange Juice: Which Is Better?

When it comes to nutrition, both apple and orange juice can be healthy choices. However, orange juice tends to be higher in vitamin C, while apple juice is slightly lower on the glycemic index.

As a nutrition coach, I’ve used both apple juice and orange juice in my client’s nutrition plans. Most often, I recommend these fruit juices as intra-workout or post-workout shakes when the antioxidants and high-glycemic carbs are most advantageous.

In addition, I suggest opting for fresh juice instead of concentrate to avoid extra processing and unwanted additives. Usually, not from concentrate orange juice is easier to find at the store, but fresh apple cider is another readily available option.

Regarding weight loss, both juices can be high in sugar and calories, so it’s best to consume them in moderation. Overall, the best choice for you depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences.

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More Healthy Food Guides

Now that you know the differences between apple juice and orange juice, I hope it has helped you decide which one is best for you and your family. If you found this useful, you might also find value in some of my other detailed food guides below:

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If you’re ready to switch things up, I offer informative and entertaining content on all aspects of fitness, including exercises, workouts, supplements, and bodybuilding news.

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By |August 9, 2023|Nutrition|Comments Off on Apple Juice vs Orange Juice Nutrition & Health Comparison
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