You Should Never Order The Sweet Tea From McDonald's. Here's Why

Sweet tea might just be one of the most well-known icy summer beverages. Enjoyed by both young and old, and everyone in between, this simple brew has both regional and national fans. It only makes sense that large-scale chain McDonald's would add this to their menu as a complement for a hot and fast burger and fries. "McDonalds Sweet Tea. Yes or no? Personally I could drink gallons of it," writes one happy drinker on Instagram

Fans are truly in love with the concept of sweet tea. As one Instagrammer describes it: "#sweettea needs no explanation. The house wine of the South. #icedtealover for life!" 

Yet, while the flavor of the tea is by no means in question, there is a pretty good reason you should never order this drink at McDonald's, or at least order it only on occasion. Hey, don't blame the messenger! But have you ever considered exactly what is in your McDonald's sweet tea?

The 's' stands for sugar

McDonald's sweet tea is full of sugar. Shares one Redditor on the process of making a batch of tea, "McDonalds sweet tea. Pound. Of. Sugar. Per gallon." As listed on their website, a small beverage has 90 calories and a large has 160 (via McDonald's). The ingredients are simple: Orange Pekoe and Pekoe cut black tea, water, and medium invert sugar. If you're wondering what invert sugar is, it's a sugar syrup that can be a bit like honey. Invert sugar is commonly used in cold beverages where regular sugar struggles to dissolve, and reacts nutritionally like regular sugar (via Verywell Fit).

While the calories in a sweet tea are not as hefty as a soda of a similar size — a large Coca-Cola has 290 calories for example — the sugar content can still quickly add up. That large McDonald's sweet tea will load up not just calories, but also 38 grams of sugar. Experts recommend that men eat no more than 37.5 grams of sugar, and women no more than 25 grams per day (via Healthline). Exceeding daily sugar guidelines can lead you on a path towards health complications, including obesity and even type 2 diabetes, so it's best to be careful.

In the end, it's okay to enjoy this beverage once in a while, but you might not want to make it a habit.