The Healthiest Ways to Get Your Starbucks Fix

Starbucks barista here! As someone who drinks Starbucks on the daily thanks to my job, I have learned a lot about what’s in my drinks and small ways to make my drink of the day feel less like a guilty pleasure. Here are my recommendations for a healthier Starbucks experience next time you need your coffee!

  1. Calling All PSL fans: This is your time! Fall is approaching and with the crunching leaves come the Pumpkin Spice Latte!! For those of you in love with this pumpkin flavor, but not in love with the 50 grams of sugar that come in a grande size, I present to you: the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew! With 31 grams of sugar and only 250 calories (compared to 380 in the latte) this is a delicious alternative to the PSL. The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is a great way to get that pumpkin taste you love without being overpowered by the sweetness and sugar in a Pumpkin Spice Latte. This is a popular drink and I highly recommend giving it a try next time you are looking for that taste of fall!
  2. Breakfast? Some mornings when I roll out of bed for class, I know I am going to need a pick me up to get me through the day.  Starting my day with a breakfast sandwich keeps me full until I get a break from my classes to eat. While my sandwich of choice used to be the Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich, the 520 calories that come with it make it a heavy choice for the mornings.  If you love Starbucks’ breakfast but don’t want the high calories and fat, say hello to the Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon and Cage Free Egg White Sandwich.  This sandwich comes in at 230 calories and can be a positive way to start the day without sacrificing taste. The bacon and egg you love simply comes in a healthier form, with reduced-fat cheddar cheese on top to make sure you aren’t missing that Double-Smoked Bacon sandwich.  Give this a try the next time your stomach is growling in line for coffee.
  3. Sweet Tooth Suggestion: If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you know the classic frappuccinos can sound delicious on a hot summer day.  But with my favorite coming in at 470 calories ( I see you Chocolate Cookie Crumble) for a daily choice that will drastically cut down the calories I have what is perhaps my favorite drink at Starbucks: The Refresher. My drink of choice on a hot summer day, The Strawberry Acai Refresher with lemonade, comes in at 140 calories and even has green coffee extract in it to give me that kick I need to get me through the rest of the day.  I love this drink because it tastes like strawberry lemonade and gives me that sweetness I am looking for without overloading on calories.  The Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher and Dragon Fruit Refresher are also great options to try when you are looking for something sweet and refreshing. And as a bonus, if you are missing the smooth creamy texture of a frappuccino, you can ask to have your refresher blended!
  4. Quick tips: Looking to order your drink with some simple modifications? Here are a few quick tweaks to make your drink a little better. Ask for skim/non-fat milk instead of 2% in your drink, ask for no whip cream when it comes to mochas or PSL’s, and if you are willing to have the taste be a little more subtle, ask for half the pumps of whatever syrup is in your drink (2 pumps of vanilla in your latte instead of 4, etc.) These small changes can add up in the long run!

These are just a few simple suggestions to help make your Starbucks habit a choice you can feel good about! Taking a look at all the nutrition information offered on the Starbucks app is how I found these simple swaps, and a great way for you to explore and see what other changes you can make to your own drinks! Now it’s time for me to decide what I’m going to drink today. Cheers!