According to a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, cider is enriched with approximately two to five times the amount of polyphenols found in apple juice. (Polyphenols are antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer and improve heart health and brain function.) This is because of the filtration process: In juice, the seeds and skin are sifted out, while in cider, the apple matter is mashed into the liquid (which gives the drink its cloudy appearance).
But never fear, juice fans, there’s good news: Cider and juice contain roughly the same amount of calories, sugar, and fiber, and levels of other antioxidants are basically the same. Both drinks are good for you, so long as you limit yourself to eight ounces a day to avoid overloading on liquid calories, says Suzanne Farrell, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.