I’ll admit, I love a good Starbucks run, but sometimes I struggle coming up with a healthy, low-calorie Starbucks drink order on the spot. That’s why I’ve done the leg work and came up with 11 healthy, low-calorie Starbucks drinks you can order without the guilt.
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Looking back, I don’t know how I ever survived consuming those calorie-heavy Frappuccino’s in high school. Frappacinos are made with whole milk by default. So you’re consuming a ton of calories and fat. Add the whip and caramel drizzle and your sugar intake skyrockets. Not the healthiest drink that’s for sure.
I have made healthy choices since my school days. My usual go-to drink orders changed. I usually order a chai tea latte, caramel macchiato, or skinny vanilla latte. But there can definitely be some room for improvements here.
Who looks at the nutrition facts anyways? Well, this girl does now. There is no reason you can’t enjoy a delicious coffee drink without feeling guilty. So I’m going to share how to make Starbucks healthy (er.)
You just have to find a way to make your favorite Starbucks drink order healthier. There really are plenty of options to consider. So if you’re asking yourself, “What are healthy Starbucks drinks?” here are some tips for you to consider.
7 Ways to Make Your Starbucks Drink Order Healthier
- Order the Tall Size – If you want to cut the calories and sugar content, it’s all about portion control. Less drink, fewer calories! I know it can be tempting to pay the extra cents to double your drink to a standard grande size — who doesn’t love a value? — but if you’re looking to consume fewer calories, this is the way to go.
- Know the Milk Options – Plant-based milk alternatives are going to have fewer calories than their dairy counterparts. Almond, soy, coconut, and oat milk are a few great options that you may substitute at Starbucks. Some are also Weight Watchers-friendly! Almondmik is the healthiest milk alternative. Soy milk includes sweetener and flavoring so be mindful of that. Most drinks are made with 2% milk unless you specify. You could always opt for non-fat milk or skim milk if you prefer cow’s milk.
- Flavor Options – Most drinks can be customized with your choice of flavored syrups. The choices are vanilla, cinnamon dolce, hazelnut, toffee nut, caramel, honey blend, pineapple ginger, peppermint, liquid cane sugar, raspberry, chai, mocha, white mocha, brown sugar, Irish cream, dark caramel, and classic syrup. Many drink orders come with a standard 4 pumps. If you ask for 3 pumps instead, you’ll save 20 calories. Or ask for
“half sweet” for two pumps. You won’t sacrifice flavor but you will save in calorie counts. Starbucks also offers two sugar-free syrup options – vanilla and cinnamon dolce which are calorie-free and no added sugars. I usually ask for 2 pumps of the sugar-free vanilla in most of my drinks.
- Get it Skinny – Ask the barista for your usual drink order but make it skinny. This request helps reduces fat, calories, and sugar.
- Nix the Whip Cream – I know, I know — savage! I love whipped cream, but at 80-120 in extra calories, I say you’re better off. You’ll also be reducing the added sugar. If you’re treating yourself, you could ask for half whip.
- …And the toppings – Hopefully you’re still here after reading #5, if so, go ahead and also omit the caramel crunch and java chips. I promise I’m not trying to ruin your life. But if you visit Starbucks as much as I do, those extra calories will add up.
- Be Conscious of the Sweeteners – There are no-calorie sweeteners like Splenda and Stevia that will give you the sweetness you desire. However, if you’re looking for a natural alternative, try honey or agave nectar. While they do contain more calories and sugar, they are natural sweeteners.
Bring Your Own Cup is Back
If you’re a Starbucks regular, be sure to also bring in your own Starbucks cup or tumbler to not only save calories but the planet. According to Starbucks, 80% of drink orders were to-go pre-COVID. Starbucks discontinued BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) during the pandemic. But they have begun filling personal reusable cups again since June 2021.
Starbucks stores will continue to offer customers a $.10 discount on their beverage of choice. Here are a few options that are great on the go:
Starbucks Orders with 100 Calories or Less
1. Cappuccino – 100 calories
Dark, rich espresso under a layer of thick milk foam. Add some sugar-free vanilla syrup to add a smooth, flavorful alternative.
2. Caffe Misto – 80 calories
Fresh-brewed coffee with steamed milk. This is a classic combo and you can also add some sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup for a festive alternative.
3. Cold Brew with Milk – 25 calories
A great alternative to your iced coffee. Handcrafted in small batches daily, slow-steeped in cool water for 20 hours, without touching heat, and finished with a splash of milk (add almond milk for a delicious alternative.) I love that this drink doesn’t have the usually bitter taste of regular iced coffee.
4. Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew – 30 calories
Starbucks® Cold Brew lightly sweetened with honey and topped off with almondmilk. This slightly sweetened drink gives you just the right amount of sweetness without the artificial sweeteners. It’s also hard to believe that you could even get a Grande and still be under 60 calories.
5. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew – 70 calories
This Nitro Cold Brew is topped with a float of house-made vanilla sweet cream. I love it with their cold foam. This gives the drink a velvety coffee taste. This is a variation of my husband’s drink of choice. He prefers without the vanilla, just sweet cream.
6. Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso – 80 calories
Starbucks® Blonde espresso meets cocoa and notes of malt, shaken together and topped with almondmilk and ice. This is one I have yet to try, but it’s definitely on my list.
7. Iced Matcha Lemonade – 90 calories
Teavana® matcha green tea combined with refreshing lemonade, then shaken with ice. This refreshingly sweet, delicious drink is a great coffee alternative during the warmer months. I personally love the matcha flavor and this one is a goodie!
8. Violet Drink -90 calories
Sweet blackberries and tart hibiscus flavor the Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers® beverage swirl together with creamy coconut milk and ice. Another refreshing alternative to coffee, I love the lavender hue; so fun to drink!
9. Dragon Drink – 100 calories
This tropical-inspired drink is made with a refreshing combination of sweet mango and dragonfruit flavors. Handshaken with creamy coconut milk, ice, and a scoop of real diced dragonfruit. This drink is such a fun color and busting with flavor.
10. Strawberry Açaí Starbucks Refresher – 80 calories
Sweet strawberry flavors accented by passion fruit and açaí notes, caffeinated with green coffee extract—a welcoming sweet spot of refreshment. Another great coffee alternative if you still need that added caffeine.
11. Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White – 100 calories
This iced flat white is made with almondmilk and Starbucks Blonde® Espresso Roast poured over ice with a hint of honey. It creates a perfect amount of cool, creamy, nutty sweetness.
If you are ever in doubt and need a fall Starbucks drink, you could also opt for tea or black coffee. Starbucks has an assortment of tea flavors. My favorites are black tea, chai, and green tea.
I hope this post gives you some inspiration for your next Starbucks run. In the meantime, I’d love to hear which is your favorite or what’s your go-to drink order in the comments below.