When you think of Starbucks and its great range of frappucinos and iced mochas, healthy drinks might not always be the first thing that comes to mind. However, you might be surprised by the range of drinks that you can get at Starbucks that have no more than two hundred calories. And, they’re not all boring, either – lots of creamy, sweet iced coffee drinks from Starbucks are less calorific than you might think, with something for everybody whether you like a classic shot of espresso or something a little bit more indulgent.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, improve your overall health, or just want to enjoy something from Starbucks without feeling like you have overdone it with sugar, here are some of the healthy drinks at Starbucks that you might enjoy.
Brewed Coffee or Americano
Plain coffee is definitely the lowest calorie drink on the Starbucks menu and one of the healthiest coffee drinks overall. Black healthy coffee at Starbucks can either be purchased as an Americano, which is an espresso shot diluted with hot water or as a filter coffee. Coffee itself is very low in calories – a black coffee from Starbucks has 5-10 calories and is a great way to get a burst of energy without adding any additional carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. If you don’t like the bitterness of black coffee and prefer a sweet drink, you could even ask for a low-calorie, sugar-free syrup in your drink to take the edge off without making it too calorific.
Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
When you see ‘brown sugar’ in the name you might immediately shy away from this drink, but surprisingly it is one of the healthy coffee drinks at Starbucks with only ninety calories in the tall size, despite how sweet the drink is. If you want a larger beverage, the venti has less than two hundred calories – but it does pack a punch of caffeine at 340mg, so be careful it doesn’t leave you feeling wired. This drink consists of frothy shaken espresso, oat milk, brown sugar syrup and cinnamon, which tastes like an oatmeal cookie in a cup. It’s also suitable for vegans.
If you love a cappuccino but are trying to cut down on your calories, then a non-fat cappuccino is one of the healthy hot drinks at Starbucks and can be an ideal way to get your favorite drink in a healthy way. This frothy, caffeinated beverage will still feel indulgent with a creamy, cloud of milk foam that is simply made with non-fat milk instead of regular. At just sixty calories, it’s the lowest of the milk-based drinks on the Starbucks menu.
Chai Tea Latte
If you prefer tea to coffee, then you will be glad to hear that the popular chai latte from Starbucks is among some of the healthier drink options that you can find on the menu. This spicy tea drink is made with steamed and frothy milk, making it a cozy and classic warming beverage for the winter months. Whether you order it with 2% milk, soy milk, or non-fat milk, you can enjoy this drink for less than two hundred calories. It does have less caffeine compared to coffee but is one of the healthy caffeine drinks at Starbucks that will give you a boost.
Caramel Frappuccino Light
Frappuccino might have been the last thing on your mind when you think about the healthier drink options from Starbucks, but the good news is that you can get light options. If you want something blended and refreshing from the popular coffee chain, then one of the healthy coffee options at Starbucks for a frozen beverage is the light caramel Frappuccino. It is made with non-fat milk, blended ice, coffee, and caramel syrup. However, if you don’t like caramel, you can ask for almost all of the Frappucinos on the menu to be made into a lighter option with non-fat milk, sugar-free syrup, and skip the whipped cream. The light caramel option only has one hundred calories in a tall size, and it is fat-free too.
Skinny Vanilla Latte
If you love vanilla latte, then you will be glad to hear that you can ask for a healthier option of this at Starbucks. This classic espresso-based drink is one of the healthy espresso drinks at the coffee chain and tops a shot or three of espresso with steamed milk and milk foam on top, flavored with a shot of vanilla syrup for some extra sweetness. To order the light version, just ask for a skinny vanilla latte instead and you’ll get it made with non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup for just as much flavor without all the calories. There is one hundred calories in a tall size.
Iced Coffee With Syrup
On a hot summer day, chilled coffee is the perfect refreshing option when you want a pick-me-up. This is a simple and plain drink that has barely any calories on its own so there is plenty of room to add a little bit of sugar syrup to sweeten it. The smallest sizes comes in with just 15g of sugar and sixty calories, or you can get a grande size with just eighty calories.
If you enjoy a latte but aren’t a huge fan of the foamy milk topping, a misto might be an ideal choice for you. Compared to a latte which is made with espresso that is topped with steamed milk and milk foam on top, a misto is made using a 1:1 ratio of brewed coffee rather than espresso with steamed milk on top. It is also one of the healthier options at Starbucks with just eighty calories in the tall size. You can reduce the calories even further if you like by asking for it to be made with non-fat milk instead.
Iced Skinny Latte
Iced lattes are a classic refreshing coffee drink from Starbucks, made with a combination of espresso, milk, ice, and flavored syrups if you like. An iced skinny latte is one of the healthier options at Starbucks with six grams of protein and just sixty calories in a tall size.
Nitro Cold Brew
If you love cold brew but want more of a boost in your coffee in the morning, you should definitely try ordering the nitro cold brew next time you head to Starbucks. This coffee is cold brew that has been infused with nitrogen, giving it a creamier texture compared to regular cold brew and making it easier to enjoy without any milk. Since cold brew is naturally sweeter compared to coffee brewed with hot water, it’s one of the best drinks to order that you won’t need to add anything to and has just five calories when you drink it plain.
Non-Fat Café Mocha
At first glance, the mocha might seem like one of the least healthy options on the Starbucks menu, made with steamed milk and milk foam, espresso, and mocha chocolate sauce. But you will be glad to hear that there are ways to make this indulgent and chocolatey drink a little bit healthier. Ask for non-fat milk instead and skip the whipped cream. While it’s a little bit more calorific compared to other options on the menu, with one hundred and ninety calories in a tall, it’s still a good option if you want to enjoy a Starbucks while staying within your calorie allowance for the day.
Shaken Tazo Iced Black Tea Lemonade
Starbucks isn’t just for coffee, and the iced tea lemonades on the menu are some of the most popular summer drinks to order on a hot day. It’s super refreshing and is made with a combination of iced tea and lemonade. Most of the calories in this drink come from the sugar. However, it’s still quite low in calories with just seventy in the tall size. It’s also lower in caffeine compared to coffee drinks, which can be a healthier choice if you don’t tolerate caffeine very well or need a pick-me-up later in the day that isn’t going to keep you up at night.
Blonde Flat White
If you like coffee with milk but prefer your coffee to be stronger in comparison to the latte, a flat white might be the perfect drink for you. It’s milky and creamy, but stronger than a latte and less foamy compared to a cappuccino. The tall size has one hundred and seventy calories and nine grams of protein. If you want a version with even fewer calories, you can ask for the milk to be swapped to non-fat instead.
Non-Fat Iced Caramel Macchiato
Creamy and indulgent, you probably thought that the caramel macchiato was off-limits when choosing a healthier drink from Starbucks – but the good news is that you can order a lighter version of this drink. The iced caramel macchiato is a sweet, refreshing drink that is perfect on a hot day, with espresso that is sweetened with a combination of vanilla and caramel syrup, poured into cold milk, and served over ice. Swap the milk for non-fat and the syrups for the sugar-free versions, and a tall size of this drink comes in at just one hundred and forty calories with seven grams of protein.
Shaken Iced Green Tea
Another delicious and refreshing tea drink on the menu, the shaken iced green tea is the perfect choice for green tea lovers with hints of lemon verbena, mint, and lemongrass. What’s even better is that this drink is completely calorie-free, and quite low in caffeine with just 25mg in a tall.
Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
This fruity and refreshing drink is an ideal afternoon pick-me-up, with 35mg of caffeine that is perfect for a little boost without keeping you up all night. It is made with a stunning flavor combination of green coffee extract, fruit juice and blackberries, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. With just fifty calories in a tall size, it’s also one of the healthiest drink options on the menu too.
Peach Tranquillity Tea
Another great option for the tea-lovers is the peach tranquillity tea. Sweet and refreshing, it has hints of lemon verbena, chamomile blossoms, candied pineapple rose hips and peach. You can add sweetener if you like, although the tea is very fruity, so most people don’t need it. When you don’t add sweetener, this is definitely one of the healthiest drink options at Starbucks as it is completely calorie-free.
Cold Brew With Cascara Cold Foam
A cold brew is the perfect coffee choice for those who want a healthier drink as not only is it low in calories, but it’s also naturally sweet so you will not feel as much of a need to add milk or sweeteners to make it more palatable. The cascara foam is made from the dried skin of coffee cherries and is used to top the delicious, smooth cold brew. At just eighty calories in a grande size, you can enjoy this drink time and time again without worrying about exceeding your daily calorie allowance. It’s the perfect alternative for people who love cappuccinos, especially in the summer when you might want something more refreshing.
If you need a quick and easy pick-me-up, then you can’t go wrong with a shot of espresso. It’s the healthiest espresso drink. Small and strong, you can quickly gulp down an espresso shot on your way into work when you don’t have enough time to enjoy a full cup of coffee, and still get that energy boost. Since espresso is simply concentrated black coffee, it is very low in calories and also has many health benefits since it is rich in antioxidants. If you don’t like the taste of plain espresso, an espresso macchiato is another low-calorie choice that includes a small amount of milk foam on the top to make the coffee easier to drink – go for non-fat milk for the lowest possible calorie option.
How to Make Your Starbucks Order Healthier
While you might be surprised to hear about how many drinks from Starbucks are actually quite low in calories, sugar, and fat, it’s probably not a surprise to hear that there are also plenty of really calorific and quite unhealthy drinks on the menu too. The good news is that, as you may already know, Starbucks drinks are all customizable, which allows you to make your own healthier choices no matter what Starbucks drink you would like to order. If your favorite drink from Starbucks is not on the above list, then don’t worry as there may be some healthy swap options that you can make to reduce the calories and improve the nutritional content.
Ask for ‘Skinny’
No matter what you are ordering, simply asking for the ‘skinny’ version of the drink will let your barista know that you want it to be made into a lighter option. Most of the drinks at Starbucks that are typically served with whole or 2% milk with whipped cream on top, and sugar syrups added can be made into a ‘skinny’ option by making some changes. Typically, this will involve using non-fat milk instead, adding sugar-free syrup instead of regular, and skipping the whipped cream on the top.
Get a Smaller Size
A simple and easy way to enjoy your favorite drink without as many calories is to order a smaller size. While it is not always advertised, you can get any hot drink from Starbucks in a ‘short’ 8oz cup size, which means that you can enjoy your favorite drink with all the usual ingredients while regulating your portion size and reducing the calories.
Swap the Milk
Whether you’re getting a hot drink, iced coffee, or a blended drink, swapping the milk is one of the easiest ways to reduce the calories in your favorite Starbucks beverage. Almost all dairy-based drinks at Starbucks will come made with 2% milk as standard, but by asking for non-fat milk instead, you can have your favorite drink with fewer calories.
Enjoy Coffee Toppers
When you head to the milk and cream station with your Starbucks drink, you can also find lots of healthier coffee toppers that you can use to flavor a plain coffee without adding a lot of extra calories or sugar. Next time you order from Starbucks, try adding vanilla powder, ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, or ground nutmeg to your coffee instead of sugar or syrups to add some sweetness without the additional calories.
Ask for Plant-Based Milk
For a small fee, you can ask your barista at Starbucks to use plant-based milk instead of dairy milk for your coffee. Not only can many plant-based milks taste amazing in coffee, but they are also healthier in terms of calorie content and have a better nutritional value. This can make options like oat milk, coconut milk or almond milk an ideal alternative for those who want a milky espresso drink like a latte without the high calorie content, or if you don’t like non-fat milk in your coffee. Starbucks uses barista-style plant-based milks that steam and produce milk foam very well. It’s also a great option for vegans with lots of dairy-free options to consider.
Skip the Sweetener
The fruity teas from Starbucks are already some of the healthiest drinks on the menu, but they often come with added sweeteners as standard, which can rack up the calorie content to higher than it needs to be. The good news is that the Teavana tea options from Starbucks are already seriously fruity, giving them a lot of natural sweetness without adding anything else to them. Ordering an unsweetened tea is an opportunity to cut down on calories and you may not even notice much of a difference.
Making Your Own Healthy Starbucks Drinks
Along with the freshly prepared range of hot and cold coffee and tea beverages in their coffee shops, you can also buy coffee beans, coffee grounds, and K-cups compatible with various capsule machines from Starbucks, which has made it easier than ever for lovers of this coffee brand to make their favorites at home. Making your own Starbucks-style drinks at home has never been easier thanks to their range of products and you can even get branded cups to make them in for that truly authentic feel.
One of the main benefits of making your own Starbucks drinks at home is that not only is it a lot cheaper, especially if you drink a lot of coffee, but you will also be able to customize your drink even further to make it healthier. You can also weigh out any ingredients that you add to get a better idea of the exact number of calories in each drink, which can be useful if you are tracking your calories with an app, for example.
At home, you have more freedom to experiment with different healthier options. For example, you can buy sugar-free coffee syrups online in a wider range of flavors compared to what’s available at Starbucks or make your favorite mocha even lower in calories by using sugar-free chocolate syrups instead. You also have access to a wider range of milk options that may not always be available at Starbucks. Thanks to the fact that they sell whole beans, grounds, and coffee pod machine capsules, making your own Starbucks coffee at home is very versatile and you can use any brewing method you like from a traditional espresso machine to French press or even a Nespresso pod coffee brewer – it’s entirely up to you and what you prefer the most.
Starbucks is known for sweet and sugary coffee drinks – but the good news is that not everything on the menu is going to take up half of your daily calorie allowance. In fact, there are lots of Starbucks drinks that come in at two hundred calories or less, making them a very reasonable option for anybody who is watching their calorie intake or wants to cut down on sugar and fat in their diet.