Eat Smart · Feel Great

Starbucks: How to be Healthy Cheat Sheet

Speaking from the perspective of a bona fide caffeine addict, coffee is something us college students thrive on (unless you manage to get through the day without it and if that’s the case, God bless you).  Whatever the brand, whatever the beverage, we all have our trademark drink that helps us get through those 8 A.M. classes or through the 3 P.M. slump. On this campus, Starbucks is a beloved place for sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed college kids, with the line almost out the door whenever you visit. While the coffee may be strong, it’s important that you know which drinks will boost your brain and which will have you packing on the pounds and hitting a wall. Here are some of the things to look out for when sipping on your next Starbucks.

Say No to…Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème
Green Tea is known to boost your metabolism and be good for your overall health, but this drink is anything but healthy. This creamy and thick frap is heavy on the calories and lacking on the nutrients, with a size tall containing a whopping 290 calories. If anything, simply go for green tea, but if that doesn’t peak your interest, try something healthier.

Say Yes to…Shaken Iced Tazo Passion Fruit Tea
A fruity sweet treat that is perfect for the impending spring weather (hopefully!), the passion fruit tea drink is a great alternative in place of the green tea frap. It’s light enough, with a size tall only containing 60 calories, that it won’t weigh you down, but is great as a pick-me-up during a dull day when your energy levels are low.

Say No to…Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Whipped Cream
As delicious and sinfully good as this sounds, the only thing this drink will have you feeling is a sugar crash. Packed with sugary syrups and whipped cream, this drink is a definite no-no, especially with a calorie count that tops off at 290 for only a size tall! Skip the quick sweet fix and opt for something low-cal.

Say Yes to…Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte
A personal favorite, the iced skinny vanilla latte is one of the lowest calorie drinks Starbucks serves, and only contains 110 calories even at the biggest size! With more of an emphasis on coffee, you are sure to get the caffeinated pick me up you are searching for without the fast crash from sugary syrups and sauces.

Say No to…Chai Tea Latte
Another seemingly healthy choice, this drink is a calorie bandit in disguise. Though the drink itself isn’t so sweet, it still contains more sugar than two entire Snickers bar, and evens out at a whopping 340 calories. Save the extra trouble of trying to squeeze in extra gym time just to burn this off, and opt for a lower calorie option that will give you the energy surge you need.

Say Yes to…Teavana® Shaken Iced Passion Tango™ Tea
If you are still looking for a tea-based treat, opt for this iced passion tango tea, with 0 calories (two of our favorite words!) and 0 grams of fat. This drink is caffeine free (so beware if you need the energy), but it is a yummy and sweet treat that will help perk you up and finish your day strong.

Say No to…Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
This deliciously creamy, chocolaty, and minty concoction sounds great to our ears, but is bad for both our brains and our stomachs. While we all deserve a nice treat, this drink is chock full of sugar syrups, milk, heavy cream, and of course, chocolate. It is certainly more of a dessert than an early morning grab and go. A grande alone has 410 calories and 20 grams of fat! Even worse, this sky-high “sundae” will pick you up in five minutes only to have you crash mid-morning in your anthropology lecture.

Say Yes to… Skinny Peppermint Mocha
While it may not have the same white chocolate appeal as the peppermint white chocolate mocha, this drink is a yummy treat that is still awesome to drink, but lower in calories (and side effects!). Made with sugar-free sauce and syrups, and light amounts of espresso, you’ll soon enough be sipping this and feeling the great affects of our favorite morning friend: caffeine.

Whether you are into the over-the-top sweet and savory concoctions Starbucks is known for, or are a laid-back and simple coffee and cream kind of person, it’s important to know what’s going into your body, especially at a time when school, sports, or even your social life is picking up. Whatever the case, always try to go low-cal, low-sugar, and pick something high in energy. If you can, always go for a simple coffee, but if you can’t resist a little bit of your sweet tooth, try to opt for some of the healthier drinks we offered up!


By Annie O’Sullivan

Image from dailygenius


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