Starbucks® holiday drinks often get all the attention, but the year-round menu also boasts some hidden gems. With plenty of sizing and substitution options, ordering low-calorie Starbucks® drinks for any lifestyle can be easy.
Ahead, find out how Starbucks® healthy drinks can be made from your classic favorites. Also discover the top 12 healthy Starbucks® drinks to try next time you get “Bucks” fix!
How to Order the Healthiest Starbucks® Drinks
Ordering healthier Starbucks® drinks is as simple as applying these tips, particularly sizing down and limiting the add-ins.
It may go without saying, but ordering a smaller size beverage than usual is an easy way to make your common choice healthier. At Starbucks®, these smaller sizes are called Short (8 fl oz) and Tall (12 fl oz).
For some drinks, kid’s sizes may be available—which are typically either 8 fl oz or 12 fl oz depending on whether the drink is hot or cold. While there are exceptions, Short, Tall, and kid’s sizes often keep the calorie count around 200-300 or below.
Limit the Add-Ins
When keeping ingredients low-calorie, you’ll want to aim for 40 calories or less per serving. Unfortunately, many beverage toppings—like whipped cream—can add up to 100 calories to your drink. Mix-ins, such as syrups, have a similar effect.
Limiting syrups, sprinkles, and whipped cream can instantly make your beverage a health-conscious choice. If you aren’t ready to part with your favorite syrups or toppings, you can ask for “light whipped cream,” “light drizzle,” or sugar-free syrup.
Asking for cold foam in place of your classic topping is also an excellent choice since cold foam is created from dairy or nondairy milk—and can contain as little as 35 calories.
12 Healthy Starbucks® Drinks
If you’re looking for some ordering inspo, we’ve got you covered! Try one or all of these healthier-for-you Starbucks® drinks.
1. Caffè Americano
Stronger and richer than brewed coffee, an Americano is a simple drink. The Short size without anything added is just 5 calories (yes, you read that right). The Caffè Americano has two ingredients, espresso shots and hot water, and the use of high-quality espresso makes all the difference in this popular drink.
2. Blonde Vanilla Latte
Made with delicious blonde espresso, a Blonde Vanilla Latte consists of smooth, steamed milk and syrup. It’s perfect for people who love a lighter roast. Size Tall is exactly 200 calories, and you can reduce calories and grams of sugar by asking for sugar-free vanilla syrup instead.
A popular variation on the Blond Vanilla Latte is called a “skinny vanilla latte.” This drink substitutes non-dairy milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup for the regular ingredients, bringing the calorie count down significantly
3. Flat White
While some people prefer their coffee strong and others prefer their coffee creamy, some people don’t fall in either camp. Flat White is a happy medium, giving those who don’t know exactly what they want a drink that’s just right. The Short size only has 110 calories and makes a great companion to other on-the-go breakfast foods.
4. Mint Majesty
It might be hard to believe, but Starbucks® Mint Majesty drink contains 0 calories, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of fat. It’s a caffeine-free herbal tea that still provides a pleasant blend of mint and lemon verbena. While it’s commonly sipped in the Short size, feel free to order the Grande (16 fl oz) or Venti (20 fl oz) since they’re both 0 calories, too.
5. Nitro Cold Brew
Like the Mint Majesty, the Nitro Cold Brew’s calorie count stays consistent among all sizes. It’s only 5 calories, thanks to the nitrogen (“nitro”) involved in the cold brew process. This creates a sweet flavor and velvety texture without the use of sugar.
6. Caramel Macchiato
Another simple yet sophisticated drink is the Caramel Macchiato. It contains three basic ingredients, milk, espresso, and some sort of caramel flavoring. Since the drizzle adds a significant amount of flavor to this drink, it’s best to opt for a Short size or ask for sugar free vanilla syrup.
7. Chai Tea Latte
If you’re searching for a different flavor profile, Chai Tea Latte has quickly become a customer favorite. With a base of black tea, cinnamon, cloves, and spices, this steamed milk drink strikes a delicious balance between sweet and spicy. A Short is only 120 calories, and you choose to substitute the milk with a substitute (such as almond, coconut, oat, or soy milk).
8. Matcha Tea Latte
Made with matcha tea and exuding a bright green hue, the Matcha Tea Latte has also become a fan favorite. In recent years, studies have shown that matcha green tea has antioxidant properties and may offer other health benefits as well. What better way to start your day? Order a Short size to ensure your drink stays under 150 calories.
9. Iced Green Tea Lemonade
Trying to keep your drink under 60 calories? Order an Iced Green Tea Lemonade in size Tall or Grande. With a base of green tea and lemongrass, this cold beverage is both well-balanced and refreshing.
10. Honey Citrus Mint Tea
The Honey Citrus Mint Tea was actually created first by the customers, then adopted by the Starbucks® menu. It’s a mix of Starbucks® Jade Citrus Mint green tea, Peach Tranquility herbal tea, water, and lemonade.
This drink in size Short contains only 60 calories and 15 grams of sugar, but most of the sugar content comes from an added honey blend. Honey is considered a natural sugar, and some studies report that it may be effective when used as a sweetener for weight management.
For hot coffee lovers, you can’t go wrong with a classic Cappuccino. Size Short is 70 calories, size Tall is 100 calories, and both sizes keep sugars below 10 grams. Like other drink options at Starbucks® you can ask the barista for an alternate type of milk to suit your lifestyle or allergy needs.
12. Espresso Frappuccino
Blended beverages often get a bad rap, but for a good reason. They’re often loaded with mix-ins and toppings, which (as mentioned above) can dramatically increase the calorie count.
If you’re a big fan of blended beverages, you’re in luck. A Tall Espresso Frappuccino is only 140 calories. Although it contains 28 grams of sugar, about half of those come from the whole milk (which also provides nutrients your body needs, like calcium). It’s also a great option for those following a low-fat diet since it only contains 1.5 grams of fat.
In Summary on the Healthiest Starbucks® Drinks
Most Starbucks® drinks can be slightly adjusted to fit into a healthy lifestyle. Looking for drinks with few ingredients, a limited number of toppings and syrups, and downsizing from your regular drink size can be a good start.
Teas generally keep calories low, while coffees and blended beverages can be made “skinny” when you know what to ask the barista.
Related Questions: Healthy Drinks at Starbucks®
What are some of the healthiest drinks at Starbucks®?
The healthiest drinks at Starbucks® have a few, simple ingredients to keep calories and added sugar low. Most green and herbal teas on the menu are great choices. Smaller sizes of coffees and blended drinks can also keep calories low, especially when whipped cream and syrups are limited.
What Starbucks® drink is good for dieting?
When dieting, drinks like Mint Majesty are a popular pick. Some teas on the Starbucks® menu have 0 calories, and those sweetened with honey may offer benefits for weight management. Choosing coffees or blended beverages in a smaller size (kid’s or Short) may also be beneficial when you’re paying attention to portion sizes.