How to Order A Lower Calorie Summer Sipper at Starbucks

How to Order A Lower Calorie Summer Sipper at Starbucks

Starbucks cup
By Sheridan Jonas, Guest Blogger

What’s better than an ice cold drink on a hot summer day? Starbucks is one of the most popular places to grab your favorite summer beverage. Shockingly, a vente or grande may add 500 unnecessary calories to you diet. Before giving up your summer pit stop, take a closer look at the possible, low calorie options Starbucks has to offer.

Drink This – For Less Than 100 Calories
There are many delicious and lower calorie choices on the Starbucks menu. Starbucks Refreshers are a great option for less than 100 calories (for a medium sized). Of the three available choices, The Cool Lime Starbucks Refresher is the lowest in sugar with 13 grams. Grab any of the three refreshers to cool off guilt free.

Iced Coffee is another great choice, especially if you’re looking for lower sugar options. A medium iced coffee it is only 5 calories and is sugar free. Add a splash of low fat or nonfat milk for a vitamin D and calcium boost. A quarter cup of low fat milk adds 30 calories, while the same amount of nonfat milk adds only 20. If sweetness is a must for your iced coffee, there are still many healthy options. Adding one pump of your favorite flavored syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth for only 20 extra calories. One teaspoon of honey or regular sugar will also help to sweeten your drink for an additional 20 or 16 calories, respectively.

Not This
When trying to stay healthy, knowing what’s in your drink and which drinks to avoid is important. Starbucks Frappuccino’s is probably one that should be off your regular drink repertoire. A large Vanilla Frappuccino contains 530 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 88 grams of sugar. If a Frappuccino is your go-to drink, it might be time to rethink what you order. An easy improvement to any Starbucks Frappuccino is to leave off the whipped cream. This alone eliminates 120 calories. Swapping nonfat milk in place of whole milk removes another 40 calories and becomes fat free. These easy fixes save a total of 160 calories from slipping in to your Frappuccino.

Ice tea is a summer trademark, but may also be responsible for some unexpected calories. A large Starbucks sweet tea with lemonade has 220 calories and contains a whopping 57 grams of sugar. Starbucks new line of Teavana ice teas are also relatively high in calories and sugar. For these drinks, you can request and unsweetened version, ask for 1 pump of the classic syrup, or order the smallest size.

Bottom Line
Starbucks provides several delicious drinks to cool off from the summer heat. With research and some modifications, you can still enjoy your favorite drink for fewer calories. Starbuck’s website provides the nutrition facts for all their tasty drinks. Make sure to check them out first before grabbing your next summer sipper.


Sheridan Jonas is a junior at Miami University studying nutrition with a focus in dietetics. She plans on working towards becoming and registered dietitian post graduation and furthering her passion in nutrition.

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