Some Starbucks drinks can exceed 500 calories per serving (which can take a toll when trying to maintain a healthy weight), but a variety of healthy Starbucks beverages are available. Why are certain drinks more nutritious than others? It's because they're lower in calories, sugar, or both and are often rich in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, or antioxidants. Switch to the Starbucks drinks below as a way to cut calories, maintain a healthy weight, and keep chronic disease risks low.
1. Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea
Switching from a higher-calorie sugar-sweetened Starbucks drinks to jade citrus mint green tea will significantly lower your daily calorie intake and aid in healthy weight management. This 16-ounce drink provides you with the antioxidant benefits of green tea and energy-boosting perks of caffeine (it contains about 40 milligrams), but it is a calorie-free beverage. Potential health benefits of drinking green tea are endless. The University of Maryland Medical Center says green tea may aid in cavity prevention, weight loss, and fat loss and reduce your risk for heart disease, bowel diseases, liver disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, certain cancers, and overall risk of death.
A similar healthy Starbucks green tea drink to try is called Emperor's Cloud and Mist green tea, which is also a calorie-free source of antioxidant-rich green tea.
2. Strawberry Smoothie
Loaded with fruit, fiber, milk, and added whey protein, Starbuck's strawberry smoothie is the perfect blend of essential nutrients. This drink is healthy because it provides you with real fruit, fruit juices, added fiber, milk, and extra protein. A 16-ounce portion of the strawberry smoothie made using non-fat milk contains just 290 calories, 1 gram of fat, 60 grams of carbs from fruit for energy, 7 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of high quality protein. This drink can be used as a between-meal snack or energizing breakfast.
Espresso gives you a quick boost of energizing caffeine but without the added calories. A 3-ounce shot of espresso provides you with 300 milligrams of caffeine but just 20 calories, 4 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein. This Starbucks drink is a low-calorie way to help wake you up when you're feeling sluggish. Plus, coffee drinkers may have lower risks for heart disease, diabetes, cirrhosis, gout, certain types of cancer, and Parkinson's disease, suggests Harvard Health Publishing.
4. Unsweetened Iced Coffee
With the same great taste of regular coffee, unsweetened iced coffee gives you the caffeinated energy boost you're craving -- but cold! A 16-ounce serving of unsweetened iced coffee provides you with 190 milligrams of caffeine, but contains just 5 calories. You can reap all the health benefits coffee has to offer and achieve or maintain a healthy weight when choosing this refreshing Starbucks beverage.
5. Nariño 70 Cold Brew Coffee With Nonfat Milk
What better way to add essential nutrients found in nonfat milk (protein, calcium and vitamin D, for example) to the energizing and health benefits of coffee? Simply combine cold brew coffee with nonfat milk to create one refreshing Starbucks drink (called the Nariño 70 cold brew with milk). A 16-ounce portion contains coffee, ice, and milk as ingredients and provides just 25 calories, 0 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein and 200 milligrams of energy-boosting caffeine.
6. Skinny Mocha
Another lower-calorie Starbucks drink option that will energize you like no other is a 16-ounce skinny mocha. This drink contains brewed espresso, nonfat milk, and skinny mocha sauce (made using cocoa, water, flavorings, and calorie-free sucralose), and it is an excellent source of protein and fiber, which is beneficial for healthy weight management. Each 16-ounce serving contains 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 24 grams of total carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein, and 150 milligrams of caffeine.
7. Herbal Teas
You won't reap the energizing benefits of caffeine when you choose herbal teas. However, you can still enjoy the exotic flavors of Starbucks herbal teas (such as mint majesty herbal tea, passion tango herbal tea, and peach tranquility herbal tea) without having to worry about calories and added sugar, as these drinks are all calorie free!
8. Iced Café Latte With Nonfat Milk
When you're in the mood for a latte without the extra calories and sugar, try Starbucks Iced Café Latte. This 16-ounce drink made with brewed espresso and nonfat milk contains just 90 calories, provides you with 150 milligrams of caffeine, and contains 13 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. No added sugar is present in this cold refreshing beverage!
Starbuck Healthy Drinking Tips
You can transform many drinks on the Starbucks menu into healthy beverages. As a general rule, avoid drinks that have been sweetened, that is, they contain added sugar (like sweet tea and lemonade) or flavored syrups. Stick to the basics by choosing unsweetened coffees and teas, and add nonfat milk or protein powder (or fruit) if you need an extra boost of flavor, protein, fiber, or energy.