As you might expect, the most unhealthy drinks at Starbucks aren't coffee and tea, but all the fancy drinks with tons of add ins.
We’ve all been there. Whether on your early morning commute or late in the afternoon and you need a little pick-me-up, you know caffeine is the trick. You spot a Starbucks nearby and think that is exactly what you need. It’s just a drink. Just one.
Well, not exactly. You see Starbucks and many other coffee shops have turned black coffee and straightforward espresso into blended frappuccinos and dolce lattes. And two of the easiest ways to mess up your diet without even realizing it are with sauces and drinks.
Espresso-based drinks can be one of the fastest ways to add calories to your day without even realizing it. You may be crushing it, tracking your macros, and weighing out your food, but be completely unaware of your daily habit's impact.
Also, I do want to note that there is a huge difference between splurging on one of these drinks ever so often and drinking one every morning. Diets and meal prep can be hard and occasionally a cheat meal is fine. However, if you consume the amount of sugar that's in some of these drinks on a regular basis, it may not help your weight goals or your overall health.
Starbucks Drinks with The Most Calories
According to Starbucks’ website, the following drinks have the most calories:
- Venti White Hot Choclate - 640 Calories
- Venti Iced White Chocolate Mocha - 630 Calories
- Venti Java Chip Frappuccino - 600 Calories
- Venti Green Tea Crème Frappuccino - 550 Calories
- Venti Hot Choclate - 550 Calories
Each of these caloric numbers represents choosing whole milk and whipped cream. As you can see, those are pretty big numbers. Granted, these are the “worst of the worst,” but the point still stands. If you are eating the standard 2000 calories per day, these drinks represent more than a quarter of your daily intake. You are basically looking at an entire meal, calorically speaking, in liquid form, but without the robust and healthy macros to support them
Let’s look at the drinks with the most sugar.
Starbucks Drinks With The Most Sugar
High sugar is one of the biggest indicators of an unhealthy drink. These drinks were also based primarily on milk and whipped cream on top.
- Venti Java Chip Frappuccino - 89 grams
- Venti Green Tea Crème Frappuccino - 88 grams
- Venti Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino - 88 grams
- Venti Caramel Apple Spice - 88 grams
- Venti Caramel Frappuccino - 84 grams
As you can see, that is quite a lot of sugar. Each of these drinks has more than one-third cup of sugar. Stop and let that sink in. That’s roughly 350 calories from sugar alone, and it's the last thing you want to consume large amounts of when trying to lose weight.
While certain drinks at Starbucks are certainly unhealthy, there are plenty of great options. Coffee by itself is very low in calories; black coffee contains almost zero calories and brewed tea doesn't either. For example, the venti dark roast coffee has only five calories.
Coffee isn't unhealthy (you can Google all the studies about it!). Nor is Starbucks is unhealthy per se. It really all depends on your awareness and choices.
Here are some simple rules to help you as you choose what to order:
- Avoid added sugars (syrups, sugar, etc.)
These are calorie traps. Be especially careful to not order double (or triple) pumps of syrup.
- Add milk
This can be a great way to add flavor if you don’t prefer black coffee. You can even sneak in a few grams of protein here.
- Order smaller sizes
If you do decide to get a higher-calorie drink, try and get a smaller size. It’s not only cheaper, but it will drastically limit your sugar and caloric intake.
All this talk of coffee got your cravings going? If so, check out our Coffee Almond Quinoa breakfast bowl recipe. It will help keep your weight loss goals on track much better than your morning Starbucks run.
As always, we are here for you and want to see you succeed in your health goals. Please reach out with any questions or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!