How Much Sugar Starbucks Actually Pours Into Your Drink

February 10, 2015 Updated: February 10, 2015

When we think of fattening foods most of us think of fast foods, decadent desserts, fried foods, or TV dinners. We’re far less likely to consider our Starbucks habit as the reason for our spare tire, muffin top, or those extra pounds we’re carrying around. Yet, many Starbucks’ beverages contain far more fattening sugar than a comparable soda. (A can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, which is already an extremely high amount of sugar even for a full day’s meals.) The World Health Organization recommends that people limit sugar to 5 percent of their daily caloric intake. For a normal adult, that works out to about 25 grams of sugar a day.

So just how much sugar are you getting in your favorite Starbucks beverage? I hit the nutrition information on the company’s site to find out. All of the grams of sugar listed below are for a typical “grande”-sized drink, which is the Starbucks lingo for a “medium.” Here’s the amount of sugar in some of your favorite Starbucks drinks — from the worst offenders to the still-pretty-bad ones:How

  • A Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee is the worst Starbucks beverage I found. It contains 65 grams of sugar or more than 16 teaspoons of sugar!
  • A Caramel Brulee Latte contains an appalling 52 grams of sugar. By comparison, that’s about 30% more sugar than a can of Coke with 39 grams.
  • Bottled Coffee Frappuccino Coffee Drinks contain 46 grams of sugar. The bottled beverages are only 13.7 ounces so this beverage actually contains more sugar than a Coke.
  • Chai Tea Latte contains 42 grams of sugar in a single beverage. That is more than 10 teaspoons of sugar!
(calvin w,CC BY 2.0)
A Caramel Brulee Latte (calvin w,CC BY 2.0)
  • Strawberry Smoothie contains an insane 41 grams of sugar in a single beverage! Many people might choose this option thinking it is healthier than other Starbucks selections yet it is loaded with sugar. It contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • A Café Mocha contains 35 grams of sugar, which only seems small in comparison to a Caramel Brulee Latte, but is actually a huge amount of sugar for a beverage.
  • Chocolate Smoothie contains 34 grams of sugar. By comparison to many of the other beverages this one seems low in sugar, but 34 grams is almost as much as a can of Coke.
  • The newer Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte contains less sugar than the Classic Chai Tea Latte but is still an excessive 31 grams of sugar. Come on Oprah, you can do better than that!

Obviously, cutting out your high-sugar Starbucks beverage in favor of a low-sugar option like a regular coffee or tea sweetened with a few drops or a small amount of stevia (a natural herb) powder is a simple way to cut your sugar intake and lose weight. For more healthy ways to lose weight check out my book 60 Seconds to Slim.


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