If you're craving a classic Starbucks drink, ordering a dessert-like beverage will definitely hit the spot — but you'll be getting a lot more than just a hit of caffeine. Many of the coffee chain's most popular drinks pack in lots of calories and sugar, so it's best to treat them like, well, treats.
If you're craving something a little lighter that's still delicious, Starbucks actually has plenty of options on its menu, but not all of them will be prominently displayed in every store.
Looking for a quick way to cut calories from your classic order? “Most of the sugar in the iced tea drinks [comes] from the liquid cane sugar Starbucks uses to sweeten its drinks," Alix Turoff, a New York City-based registered dietitian and nutrition consultant told TODAY. "Many drinks can be ordered unsweetened to save on sugar and calories."
If you still want a little sweetness, many of the chain's flavoring agents come in sugar-free versions.
Black coffee and plain espresso drinks also have a negligible amount of calories — usually between just 2 to 5 per serving.
Another quick way to cut calories from some of your favorite beverages? Change up the type of milk used. Starbucks typically uses 2% milk in many of its standard beverages but most locations offer a variety of different options now, including almond milk, soy milk, nonfat milk, soy and skim. Using Starbucks' nutrition calculator will allow you to quickly get an estimate of how different types of milks (and extras like whipped cream) affect the final macro nutrient count.
Of course, if you don't want to whip out a calculator the next time you go to Starbucks, there's always this handy guide featuring a variety of fruity, mocha-y and creamy drinks — and they're all less than 100 calories.
Though many of these drinks may be low in calories, keep in mind the FDA recommends that the average person consume no more than 25 to 36 grams of sugar daily.
A lightly sweetened blend of hibiscus, lemongrass and apple teas, a venti of this refreshing beverage comes in at 60 calories, 16 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar. The drink is fat free but it doesn't have any protein, either.
If you're craving something caffeinated that's also fruity and sweet, this beverage is a combination of tropical mango and trendy dragonfruit flavors, shaken together with coconut milk, ice and a scoop of diced dragon fruit. This drink is also vegan. A tall comes in at 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, 18 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.
This tropical pick-me-up is crafted with a combination of sweet mango and dragonfruit flavors, without the extra coconut milk added in to make it creamier. A grande of this drink still comes in at 90 calories, 21 grams of carbs and 19 grams of sugar. Without any dairy, this drink doesn't have any protein or fat.
Strawberry flavors get a tangy upgrade with the addition of passionfruit and acai notes. This lightly caffeinated drink contains green coffee extract and clocks in at 90 calories with 23 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar. Ordered with milk, this drink transforms into the wildly popular "Pink Drink."
There's nothing quite like a frozen drink that's basically a caffeinated milkshake. By now, most people know that Starbucks' usual Frappuccinos are packed with a lot of sugar ... and not much else in the way of nutritional value. Not always, though! This classic blended beverage is a mix of mocha sauce, coffee and nonfat milk blended with ice. It clocks in just above 100 calories, with 110 for a tall, but it has less than 1 gram of fat for 23 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
A classic beverage at Starbucks (or any café, really), the cappuccino — made with nonfat milk — is 80 calories, 12 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar and 8 grams of protein. It's creamy, delicious and a quick way to get some energy in the morning, afternoon or, if you don't have trouble sleeping, after dinner.
For those folks who enjoy an equal ratio of freshly brewed coffee to steamed milk, this drink is 70 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein. It has no fat.
A latte is a shot (or two) of espresso balanced with steamed milk and a light layer of foam. This drink comes in at 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, 14 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.
Matcha, the finely ground powder from special green tea leaves, is prized for its antioxidant boosting power and providing those who drink it with a less jittery type of energy. This drink is a blend of smooth matcha that is lightly sweetened mixed, all blended with steamed milk. It clocks in at 70 calories, with 3 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.
If one is in a fog, this classic tea blend may just brighten their day. Flavors of Italian bergamot with lavender, vanilla syrup and steamed milk make this drink cozy and refreshing at the same time. A tall serving of this drink comes in at 100 calories and has 3 grams fat, 18 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and 17 grams of sugar.