OK, Here’s the Truth About Whether or Not Apple Juice Is Actually Good for You

Whole apples are lauded for their nutritional value and even have the distinction of keeping the doctor away.

"Whole apples are rich in dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health, helps control appetite and slows the absorption of sugar," says Trista Best, RD, MPH.

However, apple juice typically gets a bad rap. There are several reasons for this: For one, Best explains, "Apple juice lacks this fiber, which can result in less satiety and less effective blood sugar control."

Is the bad reputation entirely deserved? Registered dietitians gave their takes—and you may be surprised by them. And maybe even heading to the grocery store for a jug of apple juice.

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Is Apple Juice Good for You?

Surprisingly, it can be.

"Apple juice can provide some nutritional value to the person consuming it in the right quantities," says Kearson Petruzzi, MS, RD, LD, a registered dietitian from Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition. "Apple juice has great antioxidant properties due to the polyphenols found in the juice."

Best agrees.

"Apple juice can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and with awareness of its characteristics," Best says. "It offers certain benefits, such as being a source of vitamin C and providing hydration. Vitamin C is essential for the immune system and skin health, while hydration is vital for overall well-being."

Another registered dietician is also on board with apple juice, even with the lower fiber content than the whole-fruit version.

"Although the process of juicing apples and making a product safe for storage, transport, and consumption may degrade certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, and remove others—namely, fiber—it’s not harmful or dangerous for one’s health," says Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD of Street Smart Nutrition.

One way to enhance the nutritional value of apple juice? Opt for "cloudy" over super-clear apple juice. Cloudy apple juice includes "the presence of apple solids, not actual chunks of apple, of course, but small particles that are strained out in clear juice."

Why is it better? "Less fiber, polyphenols, and other beneficial components are filtered out," Petruzzi says.

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Apple Juice Nutrition Facts 

(1 Cup Serving, Unsweetened)

  • Calories: 114

  • Fat: 0.32 g

  • Sugars: 23.9 g

  • Fiber: 0.496

  • Vitamin C: 2.23 mg

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5 Health Benefits of Apple Juice

1. It might help prevent chronic diseases

A 2022 review sparked a conversation about the potential health benefits of apple juice. Researchers reviewed 20 interventional studies on humans and found that consuming cloudy apple juice in moderation was associated with markers indicating positive health.

"This study tells us that consuming apple juice in moderation can provide positive effects on markers related to cardiovascular health, cancer and neurovegetative disease," says Petruzzi. "This study shows that consuming cloudy apple juice is more beneficial because it has higher levels of fiber and antioxidants."

Best cautions that the study has some limitations. Notably, it had a limited scope.

"The study focused on summarizing existing clinical trials on apple juice consumption," Best says. "Therefore, it may not encompass all available research or consider other potential variables that could influence health outcomes."

The design of the trials also varied, including the type of apple juice, dose and duration of consumption.

"This variability can make it challenging to draw consistent conclusions," Best says.

2. It's hydrating

The CDC stresses the importance of consuming enough water daily to prevent dehydration, which can contribute to everything from trouble thinking to constipation. However, plain drinking water can be rather...plain and boring.

"While many people think of plain water as the best or only option for hydration, 100 percent juice can serve a similar function," says Harbstreet.

That's important, particularly for athletes of all ages, including adults working toward running a 26.2-mile race this fall. "It may be especially useful for youth athletes or active adults training in hot, humid environments or for endurance events," says Harbstreet. "The combination of refreshing flavor and carbohydrates may be a tool to support performance and recovery, especially if other options are less appetizing or harder to tolerate."

Parents looking to limit their children's sugar consumption while keeping them hydrated can dilute apple juice. "Diluted apple juice is a great option for dehydrated children, especially if they do not like the taste of other rehydration products," Petruzzi says.

3. Apple juice is packed with vitamin C

One of the most significant benefits of apple juice is its Vitamin C content. A cup contains 2.23 mg of Vitamin C. Here's what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends for Vitamin C intake daily:

  • Men: 90 mg

  • Women: 75 mg

  • People who are pregnant: 85 mg

  • People who are lactating: 120 mg

Best notes that apple juice helps people work up to these recommendations, and the body benefits.

"Vitamin C [is] an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system, promoting healthy skin and aiding wound healing," Best says. "Vitamin C also acts as a potent scavenger of free radicals, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress."

Related: What Happens to Your Body if You Eat Clementines Every Day, According to Registered Dietitians

4. Apple juice has phytonutrients

Like apples, apple juice has phytonutrients like flavonoids and polyphenols, Best explains.

"These compounds may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and support cardiovascular health," Best says.

5. Apple juice can be a digestive aid

Apple juice doesn't contain a ton of fiber, but it does have some, and every bit counts for people with digestive issues.

"Apple juice contains soluble fiber, albeit in lower quantities compared to whole apples," Best says. "This fiber can contribute to digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation."

While apple juice may have more health benefits than you thought, it's not without its drawbacks.

"One-hundred percent juice, including apple juice, is associated with a greater risk of oral health issues," Harbstreet says. In other words: cavities! "If you drink juice, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to reduce the risk of developing issues in the future."

How Much Apple Juice You Can Drink Every Day

In general, you don't have to worry if you're drinking apple juice every day, even if it's 100 percent juice. "The biggest key is the serving size of apple juice rather than the frequency," Petruzzi says. "I would recommend no more than ½ cup per day for children one to six years old and no more than 1 cup per day for children ages 7-18 and adults."

People with diabetes should also consider their condition when making dietary choices. "For someone living with diabetes, it may be more beneficial to have a whole apple rather than apple juice because the fiber content in whole apples does not spike blood sugar as much," Petruzzi says.

Next up: Here's What Your Body's Actually Trying to Tell You When You're Craving Sugar