We tried giving up caffeine for a month once, it lasted two days. If there is one thing we absolutely need to start our day, it’s a cup of coffee. Yeah, we’ve got a Starbucks Gold Card, and we aren’t ashamed to flaunt it. We usually start off with a home-brewed cup, but you’ll often find us ducking into a Starbucks to get a second . . . or third cup around mid-afternoon. We just can’t live without it! The day doesn’t seem to start until you smell that delicious fresh pot of liquid gold.
But we digress. Clearly, we are huge fans of Starbucks. We usually stick to a simple brewed coffee or an iced coffee, but have you seen the calorie counts on some of the more elaborate drinks? Yikes! Sugary drinks often have a deceptively high-calorie count and what’s even worse is that you don’t even feel full after drinking something. If you’re someone who likes to frequent Starbucks and order their more decadent treats, you might want to rethink your options! Luckily, we’ve made a list of 12 of Starbucks healthiest drinks, and 13 that are just not worth the calories!
25 Healthiest - Iced or Brewed Coffee (Only 5 Cals)
It’s fairly obvious why a simple iced or brewed plain coffee is listed as one of the healthiest options at Starbucks. A grande iced or hot coffee with no sugar or milk is only five calories, FIVE. That’s nothing! The motion of bringing the cup to your mouth is enough to burn the calories of your drink. However, if you’re one of those people who have to dump in enough sugar and milk to hide the taste of the coffee, well, clearly it’s not just going to be five calories. Once you sweeten the coffee, it can skyrocket to over 80 calories depending on how much you put in it. So be careful with how much sugar you add!
24 Healthiest - Brewed Teas (Zero Cals)
The brewed teas at Starbucks have the lowest calorie count out of all the drinks! They’re zero calories! Huzzah, if you’re a fan of tea! Starbucks always has a lovely assortment of teas to choose from, too. From classics such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Green Tea, to more exotic flavors such as Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, Passion Tango, and Chai Tea. However, same as with the iced and brewed coffees, you have to be careful with how much sugar and cream you add to them if you want to keep them low calorie. A dash of honey would be the best option in our opinion!
23 Healthiest - Ombré Pink Drink (100 Cals)
Really, Starbucks? You couldn’t come up with any other name other than “Ombré Pink Drink?” Well, at least you know what you’ll be getting. Regardless, this drink started out as an internet sensation and Starbucks has officially added it to their menus. It’s a combination of the Cool Lime Refreshers with coconut milk and the Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea (talk about a mouthful). A grande of this drink is only 100 calories! Even better is that there is a kick of caffeine in this drink from the green coffee beans in the Cool Lime Refresher. Not too bad, Starbucks. Not too bad.
22 Healthiest - Caffè Americano (15 Cals)
If you love the sharp taste of a strong coffee, the Caffè Americano should be your drink of choice. With only 15 calories, this drink is just a simple blend of espresso shots and water. Now that is a stiff drink! Did you know that there is actually an art to making this drink? First, the espresso shots are added to the cup. Then, hot water is poured on top to create a light layer of foam. Who knew that was a thing? Anyways, a grande of this drink will have three espresso shots, delivering a heart-racing 225 mg of caffeine. Surprisingly, a brewed grande of a dark roast has more caffeine!
21 Healthiest - Teavana Shaken Iced Tea (45 Cals)
If the summer’s heat is turning you off from drinking hot teas, you’ll be pleased to know that you can still get your tea fix at Starbucks. They offer several refreshing iced tea flavor blends to choose from. The Peach Citrus White Tea Infusion is one of our favorites and only has 45 calories. You can cut out even more calories if you ask for the drink to be unsweetened. Another classic one is the Iced Passion Tango Tea which also only has 45 calories. A popular option with the Iced Teas is using lemonade to sweeten them. This is fine on occasion, but the extra 50 calories and 22 grams of sugar do add up.
20 Healthiest - Cold Brew (5 Cals)
When we found out about the Cold Brew it was like everything we knew about coffee was thrown out the window. Who else assumed that coffee could only be made with hot water? The secret to cold brew is that the coffee beans are slow-steeped in the fridge for up to 12 hours. The long process allows every aspect of the coffee beans to infuse into the water. A cold brew has more caffeine than a normal cup of coffee and a much different taste! It doesn’t have the sharp, acrid taste of regular coffee. Instead, it is much smoother and is only five calories!
19 Healthiest - Caffè Latte With Almond Milk (70 cals)
One of our favorite classics is a simple Caffè Latte. While a regular latte with 2% milk is a surprising 190 calories, it is a simple adjustment to cut the calories almost in half. Just substitute the 2% milk with almond milk and the latte falls to only 100 calories. Not only do you get a hint of sweetness from the almond milk, but also some added flavor. The iced version of the Caffè Latte has an even lower calorie count with 70 calories (again with almond milk, though). Honestly, we’re not really sure why the same drink with added iced cubes has lower calories, but we’ll still drink it.
18 Healthiest - Iced Skinny Mocha (160 Cals)
You will be happy to know that it is possible to enjoy a mocha without a side of guilt from the amount of sugar you’re consuming. Simply order the skinny version of the mocha, and you will cut the calorie count from 360 to 160! That’s almost half the calories. Instead of 2% milk, you can switch out for non-fat. The sugar-laden mocha syrup can also be switched to a skinny version. The rich, chocolatey, drink can be a guilt free indulgence when you visit Starbucks next time! Keep in mind, the drink does contain about 15 grams of sugar, and the daily recommended amount for a person is 25 grams.
17 Healthiest - Cappuccino (About 120 cals)
If you’ve ever tried to make a cappuccino on your own, then you know that creating the perfect amount of foam is not as easy as a task as you thought it would be. In fact, it can be downright difficult. We’re talking about steamed milk everywhere, foam splatters, and hot milk burns. Plus, espresso machines with steamers are ridiculously expensive, so like many others, we’re going to stick with hitting up our local Starbucks for our caffeine fix. A grande cappuccino at Starbucks would be only 120 calories if you chose 2% milk. If you switch to non-fat, the calorie count drops to 90%.
16 Healthiest - Light Caramel Frappuccino (180 cals)
It doesn’t take a genius to know that Starbucks' worst drinks are going to be their Frappuccinos. There is an obscene amount of sugar in those drinks. However, we still cannot deny that those sugary drinks taste incredibly good, especially on a hot summer day. If you can’t resist the temptation of ordering one of these, your healthiest option is going to be the Light Caramel Frappuccino (tall size). Switch the whole milk with low-fat and avoid the whipped cream and you will only be drinking 180 calories. A much better alternative than the 300 calories it normally is.
15 Healthiest - Refreshers (below 100 cals)
Whew! Those Starbucks Refreshers sure are refreshing (please don’t hate us). Anyways, Starbucks has three delicious refreshers that we just can’t get enough of. There is the Cool Lime, Very Berry Hibiscus, and Strawberry Acai (our favorite is the Cool Lime!) Each of the drinks falls below 100 calories but still deliver a dose of caffeine. Unfortunately, the refreshers do contain a bit of sugar with the Strawberry Acai with the most at 20 grams. The other two only have 15 grams. You can cut down the sugar by asking for the light syrup or a few less pumps of sweetener.
14 Healthiest - Iced Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte (only 80 cals)
We can’t believe this drink is only 80 calories, but you will hear absolutely zero complaints from us! This drink is amazingly delicious, and we’re obsessed. It’s made with non-fat milk, sugar-free cinnamon dolce flavored syrup, and a cinnamon dolce topping. Clearly, the drink is adequately named. The regular version is a whopping 340 calories! Somehow, even though the calorie count is reduced to 80, none of the flavor is missing, and you will have no regrets. We’re going to say that this drink wins the award for best “healthiest drink” at Starbucks. It’s delicious, low calorie, and simply amazing.
13 Not-So-Healthy - Caffè Mocha (takes over an entire daily sugar intake)
Starbucks is not kidding when they say that this drink will satisfy your sweet tooth. That’s because one grande order of this drink completely takes over your entire daily sugar intake. The Caffè Mocha has 35 grams of sugar and 15 grams of fat. An average person should only consume about 25 grams of sugar per day, and this one drink takes up 45% of your daily saturated fat intake. Yes, the rich, chocolatey, goodness is tough to pass up. However, if you really can’t stay away from the mocha, order the skinny version which has only a fraction of the calories.
12 Not-So-Healthy - Hot Chocolate (400 cals)
Holy smokes! We didn’t know a cup of hot chocolate would have so many calories. The hot chocolate at Starbucks has 400 calories! It also contains 43 grams of sugar and 16 grams of fat. As lovely as a cup of hot chocolate sounds during the brisk, chilly days of winter, we’re not sure consuming a drink that has more sugar than twice your daily amount is the best idea. Well…maybe one cup every now and then. But maybe switch to low-fat milk, light mocha syrup, and skip the sweetened whip cream. Your doctor and body will thank you.
11 Not-So-Healthy - Vanilla Latte (250 cals)
A simple Vanilla Latte has a deceptively large amount of calories. 250 to be exact. Actually, we really mean any favored latte. The syrups that are used to flavor the drinks are pure sugar and make up the majority of the calories in the drinks. They’re also the reason why the drinks usually decimate your daily allotted sugar intake. If you want to do a healthier version of the drink. Swap to low-fat or almond milk and ask for the light syrup options. To our knowledge, Starbucks has low-fat vanilla and low-fat caramel options.
10 Not-So-Healthy - White Chocolate Mocha (430 cals)
This drink takes the title for worst espresso drink at Starbucks. The drink is 430 calories. It has 18 grams of fat, 12 grams of it is saturated fat and takes up 60% of your allotted saturated fat intake. It also has 53 grams of sugar which is more than twice the amount of sugar that you’re supposed to consume in a day. All of this, in just one drink. Our teeth are aching just thinking about this drink. We can already feel the cavities forming! If you’re looking for a caffeine fix, we suggest you stay far, far away from this drink.
9 Not-So-Healthy - Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino (500 cals)
There is no way that anything that is called Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino can even be remotely healthy. The drink is made with cinnamon dolce syrup, white chocolate mocha sauce, and coffee. This frosty drink has 500 calories. One drink has the same amount of calories that an average meal should be. The Frappuccino also has 83 grams of sugar. . . that is a lot of sugar. By default, all Frappuccinos at Starbucks are made with whole milk unless otherwise requested. (By the way, why, Starbucks?) Swapping to low-fat milk only drops the calorie count to 470 calories, so that’s not much help.
8 Not-So-Healthy - Ultra Caramel Frappuccino (enough cals to substitute a whole meal)
Don’t be surprised, there are going to be several more Frappuccinos that are going to make this list. This next one is the Ultra Caramel Frappuccino, and it has an excessive and unnecessary amount of caramel syrup in it. The drink has layers of whipped cream, white chocolate, and caramel sauce throughout the drink. While this certainly sounds delicious, we are appalled by the 55 grams of sugar that this drink contains. One drink that has enough calories to substitute for a whole meal, exceed the daily sugar intake twice over, and has 60% of a person’s daily fat intake, is NOT a healthy drink.
7 Not-So-Healthy - Red Velvet Cake Crème Frappuccino (Contains 70 Grams Of Sugar)
Starbucks! What are you doing? The company has created a drink that apparently tastes like Red Velvet Cake. It is a combination of chocolate chips, mocha sauce, and vanilla and raspberry syrup. They describe it as “perfectly sweet and velvety smooth.” The “perfectly sweet” part made us laugh a bit when we saw the amount of sugar in it though. One grande sized cup of this frozen treat contains at least 70 grams of sugar. Let’s just repeat that one more time. 70 GRAMS. Since this is a crème based Frappuccino, there is no coffee in it. However, you will undoubtedly get an intense sugar high when you consume this drink. Just be prepared for the sugar crash that will soon follow.
6 Not-So-Healthy - Cinnamon Dolce Latte (340 cals)
We’ve mentioned earlier the skinny version of this drink which only has about 80 calories. For the same size, a regular version of this drink has a whopping 340 calories! That is a huge difference. The latte has 41 grams of sugar – definitely goes over the daily recommended amount, and 13 grams of fat. The bulk of the calories for this drink seems to come from the cinnamon dolce flavored syrup and topping because we’ve tried to adjust the drink with low-fat milk and sans whipped cream. However, the drink only dropped to 220 calories, a far cry from the 80 calories the skinny version accounts for. So, if you’re in a Starbucks wanting to save on some calories, make sure t0 specifically request for the Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte so that they use the correct syrups.
5 Not-So-Healthy - Caramel Macchiato (250 cals)
One of our favorite features of Starbucks is that they’re an open kitchen café. This means that if we wanted to, we could stare at the busy baristas making each drink. If you’re trying to pick up on some tips for creating the perfect amount of foam, or time how long it takes to steam some milk, you can get free lessons at Starbucks! This also means you can watch what it is that they’re putting into your drinks. Have you ever watched them make a Caramel Macchiato? Oddly enough, the coffee is made with vanilla syrup. The caramel comes from the caramel drizzle that goes on top – and it’s a lot. Watching the baristas squeeze on the caramel sauce is just watching the calories being loaded on. This finished product is 250 calories with 33 grams of sugar.
4 Not-So-Healthy - Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade (Hold The Extra Lemonade)
We love the Starbucks Refresher, but it is very easy to change a guilty free indulgence into a bad decision. The normal Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is delicious and low calorie, but if you decide to sweeten the drink with lemonade you bump the sugar count to 27 grams! Not the best decision if you’re trying to cut back on the calories. In fact, this is an option you avoid in all the Starbucks Refreshers such as the Cool Lime and Strawberry Acai. Stick to drinking the Refresher as is and you won’t have to worry about decimating your sugar intake for the day.
3 Not-So-Healthy - Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino (420 cals)
Double chocolate chips, whole milk, and mocha sauce, all topped off with sweetened whipped cream and more mocha sauce blended into a frosty delight... Why do bad things taste so good? It’s really just not fair. Unfortunately, this chocolatey delight packs 420 calories in one grande cup. It also contains 52 grams of sugar. We would probably need to run 52 miles to work off the calories from the drink (just kidding). Still, as hot as the summer heat is, this is definitely not something you order on the daily. (Although we’re not saying once every now and then is the worst thing…)
2 Not-So-Healthy - Triple Mocha Frappuccino (400 cals)
Okay, Starbucks. You need to calm down. As if a normal Mocha Frappuccino wasn’t bad enough, you’ve decided to triple it!?!? The drink is made with layers of whipped cream that is infused with cold brew, and layers of white chocolate mocha sauce, and dark caramel sauce. Also, with each layer of whipped cream in the drink, an additional dollop of mocha sauce is added. We can see the dentist bill already, and it is not pretty. Talk about diabetes in a cup! This drink is 400 calories and contains 51 grams of sugar. Just no, Starbucks. You can do better.
1 Not-So-Healthy - White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino (520 cals)
We’ve already mentioned that the White Chocolate Mocha is one of the worst drinks to order at Starbucks. Well, maybe the White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino will be a better option? HA, we’re joking. This drink wins the prize for the absolute worst drink to order at Starbucks. It has the highest calorie count of all the drinks at Starbucks. It packs a staggering 520 calories and contains 64 grams of sugar. Why would you ever want to put that into your body? It’s almost enough to bring us to tears. We advise you to stay far, far, faaaar away from this drink if you want to keep your insulin levels stable.