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Sugary drink consumption is associated with weight gain, and young adults are the highest consumers. To inform a university healthy beverage intervention, we studied the settings and the types and amounts of sugary drinks consumed by a sample drawn from the student population.Fifty university students (24 male) were recruited to keep records of all beverages consumed over four consecutive days. The records were analysed by gender, drink category and consumption setting.Males drank marginally more sugary drinks than females (median daily intake of 526 mL compared with 300 mL, P = 0.06). Median energy intake from sugary drinks was 928 kJ for males and 481 kJ for females. Carbonated soft drinks and fruit-based drinks accounted for 64% of energy from sugary drinks for males; and fruit and sweetened milk-based drinks accounted for 68% of energy for females. Half of all sugary drink consumption occurred at home followed by social settings.Health promotion programmes aiming to reduce sugary drink consumption in this group would benefit from gender-differentiated strategies with respect to types of drinks consumed with a focus on the home and social settings.