A cup of black coffee supplies about 5 calories per cup and offers essential vitamins and minerals. Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, too.
Also offering many science-backed health benefits, what is the worry of coffee and nutrition? Much of the concern comes from added sugary syrups and sauces. These are prominent in coffee shops, including at Starbucks.
While baristas are brewing up new and desirable concoctions on a continuum, how do those Starbuck coffee and tea drinks align with health goals?
Starbucks Drinks Calorie Breakdown
From those infamous Frappuccino® Blended Coffees to their non-coffee options, here is how some of Starbucks favorites stack up in regard to their calorie breakdown.
Starbucks Frappuccino Calories
Starbucks Frappuccino® Blended Coffees are “delicious sweet blended drinks made from coffee, milk and ice that have been a favorite since 1995.”
While a fan favorite, the Frappuccino® varieties are some of the most calorically-dense drinks offered. This is just a glimpse of the calorie content supplied in those blended beverages:
• Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino® Blended Coffee: “Cinnamon dolce syrup blended together with coffee, white chocolate mocha sauce and vanilla bean, topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon dolce sprinkle. Sweet and spicy … That’s how we roll.” Containing a whopping 470 calories and 84 grams of sugar per 16-ounces, think twice about the cinnamon spice.
• Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino®: The Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème features premium matcha green tea. Do not be blindsided by the marketing of green tea. The ingredients feature two different sugary syrups and supplies 430 calories in a Grande with whole milk and whipped cream.
• Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème: Adding fruit to coffee does not justify at as healthy. Besides, there are two syrups, which stacks up to 54 grams of sugar and 370 calories.
The Starbucks menu well-exceeds 100 items, and it is much more than its blended drinks. Other coffee drinks include:
• Pumpkin Spice Latte: The PSL is one of the most highly anticipated coffee drinks Starbucks offers. And made with real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and clove, what is not to like? (Besides the upwards of 400 calories and 50 grams of sugar…)
• Cold Brew with Salted Cream Cold Foam: Cooling down with a cold brew may be a better option that doing so with a blended. However, this cold brew topped with a salted, rich cold foam provides 230 calories and 23 grams of sugar.
• White Chocolate Mocha: This Venti espresso beverage packs 530 calories. Even though offering 19 grams of protein, the 69 grams of carb outweighs the amount of protein. The 14 grams of fat also does not include the whipped cream atop…
Starbucks Hot Chocolate Calories
For those chocolate lovers, Starbucks Hot Chocolate is described as “Steamed milk with vanilla- and mocha-flavored syrups. Topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate-flavored drizzle.” And Grande can cost 400 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 43 grams of sugar!
Other non-coffee drink favorites include:
• Chai Latte: A “spiced black tea blended with steamed milk.” Although a chai tea latte is essentially created from chai tea, do not let the word “tea” in the title fool you. Tea can be doctored like coffee, filled with sugar and in this case, composed of 42 grams. It also contains 240 calories.
• Pink Drink: That notorious Pink Drink earns its name thanks to its, well, bright pink color. The Strawberry Acai Refreshers® Beverage features accents of passion fruit, which is combined with creamy coconut milk. However, it is laden with 27 grams of carb and contains added sugar.
How to Healthify Favorite Starbucks Drinks
Those Starbucks favorites may be rich in calories, but they do not necessarily have to be off limits. Use these tips to healthify those Starbucks favorites.
1. Ask for a healthier alternative.
Starbucks does offer healthier alternatives, so ask the baristas which may exist. For instance, ordering tge Lightly Sweet Chai Tea Latte reduces sugar content of the original chai tea by 11 grams!
2. Swap out milks.
Simply swapping out whole or two percent milks with nonfat milk naturally cuts fat and calorie content. Other milk options include almond, soy, and coconut milks.
3. Limit syrup pumps.
Syrups are essentially nothing more than pure sugar, easily piling up unnecessary calories. (Dismissing even one pump of syrup can trim off approximately 20 calories and five grams of sugar!) Also ask for sugar-free flavorings to enjoy the same sweet taste without extra calories and sugar.
3. Flavor with spices.
Skip out on the syrup entirely and flavor with offered spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and cocoa.
4. Add espresso and extra foam.
Adding espresso naturally displaces or reduces milk capacity and room for whipped cream (for only 5 calories). Asking for extra foam to top your beverage also cuts down on calories, as the foam is lighter in volume compared to milk straight from the carton or jug.
5. Downsize favorites.
Nutrition experts encourage to not drink calories, especially on a regular basis. But relishing on those favorites can certainly be enjoyed in their original, untouched form. Instead of ordering the largest size, downsize and truly relish the flavors without full guilt!