Calories in orange juice

The calories in orange juice may be of little interest to you if you do hard physical work, or are a professional sportsman; you will burn them off in no time.

But if you like me spend a good few hours every day at a computer, or behind the wheel of a motor-car, then we need to be mindful of the energy content of our drinks.

This page was updated on 29th October, 2021.

Orange juice in my favourite beer glass.

It is never a bad thing to test whether your beer is the master, or the nave; periodically a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice is every bit as much evidence that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

It is easier to keep the pounds off than to struggle to remove them after the fact. Mind you, considering the proliferation of colas and energy drinks on the market, you probably really do not need to be anxious about your orange juice; citrus is a gem.

A glass of water at your side is one way to make sure you get plenty of fluid without too many calories from your tea, orange juice or beer.

Also be conscious of the fact that refined OJ out of a carton has substantially more calories, and less nutrients, than freshly-squeezed orange juice.

For example, it has one-third of the vitamin C. That is very significant if you are having any sort of cartilage issues, like a slipped disc, or knee pain.

All orange-juice and particularly that with a reddish hue, has significant amounts of the betaines which have an important function in the methylation of toxic homocysteine in the body; it is a breakdown product of protein metabolism.

There are also significant amounts of choline, a betaine-precursor, particularly again in the reddish orange-juice and especially the mandarins.

Calories in Orange Juice

Whilst the nutrients in a glass of orange juice, freshly squeezed, are of the highest calibre, the calories are reasonably high.

There are 10g of carbohydrate in a glass, about 80 percent of which are simple sugars. That makes for 45 calories or 191 kilojoules of energy, which you could burn off in about 12 minutes of walking; in short, not a lot.

A can of Fanta contains 160 calories; nearly four times as much.

As a rule of thumb, multiply the calories by 4 to get the kilojoule equivalent.

An average can of beer contains about 150 cals, by the way, just for comparison; roughly 600 kilojoules. That is a lot and where I have to be careful.

Obviously this needs to be considered in the context of your whole menu-plan if you are diabetic, or are seriously overweight. You can always dilute it by half with drinking water.

It is the great taste that I love in orange juice; the vitamin C, bioflavonoids and folate, for example, and all the other ingredients are just a side-benefit.

Or, as I often do, add half an orange, freshly squeezed to large mug of weak iced tea.

Read more about drinking water by using the Site Search function in the main menu above.

There are numerous food plans doing the rounds that severely limit carbohydrate, and that would include an orange in any form. Whilst I think modified banting, for example, has much merit, recognise that you are not only cutting down on calories; vital nutrients are being excluded too.

It makes no sense to lose weight, but make yourself sick in the process. The average Western diet has less than fifty percent of the recommended choline, for example; orange juice is a moderately good source.

It is the balance of the whole meal that counts; and the refined carbs like donuts, white rice and cookies are what really do the damage. In short, starches with a high glycemic index that induce an insulin surge; that is the fat-storage hormone.

Are you convinced? Then think about planting a mandarin orange tree or a lemon in your garden; better still, both.

They are loaded with bioflavonoids, those so called functional foods that prevent disease and promote wellness.

Glycemic index

Quite apart from the calories in orange juice, how does the glycemic index of the whole fruit shape up?

  • Glycemic index of an orange, the whole fruit, is 40, which is very low.
  • Freshly squeezed, and unstrained, it is around 45.
  • Unsweetened commercial orange juice in a carton is 50 to 55.
  • Fanta is 68; very high.

All the natural juices in fact are 55 or less and so can be called low GI.

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly carbohydrates release their sugars into the blood stream. High GI foods are fattening and stress the pancreas, leading to type II diabetes; and make us obese.

All forms of unsweetened orange juice have a low GI; we need not be concerned.

Read the label; is there added sugar, corn syrup or fructose?


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, the family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!

Here are the back issues.

  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

However, greater consumption of orange juice has also been criticized because of its high intrinsic sugar level, being associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

- Oranges vs. Orange Juice: Which Is Better for you?

I personally may be on the verge of being pre-diabetic, hence my interest. Today I pricked my finger four times after a glass of one whole orange juice plus a half grapefruit, both with all the pulp, followed by egg Florentine on a slice of toast made from 100 percent wholemeal bread.

There was no significant exercise after the meal. The results are of interest:

Time min



4.7 (85)


6.9 (125)


5.2 (95)


5.4 (98)

This is an entirely normal result.

However and this is important, the following day, I ate exactly the same breakfast, but with an hour's break after the orange juice; my glucose shot up to 9.2 (165) at 60 minutes. That is high.

In short this is a highly complex subject, and if you are obese or even pre-diabetic as I am, it behooves you to get a glucometer and start testing yourself; what foods, and combinations provoke the high blood sugar that is unquestionably harming our bodies?

It causes inflammation of the cholesterol that may be lining your blood vessels.

That is assuming you want to reach a vital and strong eighty-years old; I am aiming for ninety, so the calories in orange juice are important to me. I will only enjoy it with a meal; as a snack it produces a highly glycemic reaction and could knock decades off my life if I drank it regularly.

Test yourself before accepting that freshly squeezed, unfiltered orange juice is fattening and will contribute to a higher risk of diabetes. I now have half the amount, diluted with water, and always with a meal, and take some form of exercise, usually a short walk after breakfast.

OJ from a carton remains highly questionable; I am not inclined to test myself, but you may.

Stunting and fruit juice

Researchers reporting in the journal Pediatrics report that excessive fruit juice consumption is associated with failure to thrive in young children. 53% of those drinking more than 12 fl oz/ day (355 ml) were obese, and 42% had low stature[1].

“Many people today do not want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turns away anxiety.” 

Louis Kronenberger


Bioflavonoids and vitamin C are what make citrus so special, apart from the taste, of course; this is indifferent to the calories in orange juice.

Have you any idea why British sailors were called limeys? The lime nutrition, of course; those sailors were not concerned about the calories in orange juice. It was the vitamin C that supposedly saved their lives.

But more likely, orange juice bioflavonoids played a huge part too; one of them called beta-cryptoxanthin has proven anti-dementia properties. If you don't want to loose your marbles long before your time, drink more citrus.

Okay, lime juice bioflavonoids. They are in all citrus. 

Whether it is a mandarin orange tree that you want, or growing lemon trees all citrus is rich in vitamin C, and bioflavonoids. Each has its unique benefits.

Choice foods

Choice foods must surely include all forms of freshly pressed citrus to include the pulp; that's where much of the goodness is to be found. OJ in my humble opinion is a fattening junk food, though the researchers seem to agree that even processed calories in orange juice are not excessively fattening owing to the moderate glycemic index.

The "Modified Banting diet" does have some merits; find it using Site Search above.

Useful links

  1. Excess fruit juice consumption by preschool-aged children is associated with short stature and obesity

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa