Healthy Beverages at Starbucks
Oh, Starbucks, how I love you! You provide the perfect pick-me up between classes and the afternoon crash. Judging by the usual line outside the door at the UNF Starbucks, I am not alone. However, I choose the Tapingo pre-order option to speed up my wait! (Download it in your app store, it's so easy!)
With a multitude of options to eat and drink, it is no wonder why this spot is a go-to for both students and faculty alike. Although the selection of delectable snacks is a wonderful addition, the main reason that many people stop by Starbucks is to get their caffeine fix. And if you’re trying to avoid extra calories and keep your drink of choice as healthy as possible, I have a few tips to help you out! Whether you are craving a traditional cup of Joe, espresso, or something sweet, you can create a more nutritious version with some smart swaps.
Milk and Cream Choices
Many people know that Starbucks provides a wide-variety of milk and cream options. Starbucks provides you with the choice of almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, whole milk, 2% milk, nonfat milk, half-and-half, and heavy cream. When selecting your beverage, I recommend sticking with either almond milk, coconut milk, or nonfat milk. These choices have the least amount of added sugar and calories among the other options. Also, they provide an extra delicious smoothness and flavor to your coffee! If you want one of the other options, you can ask your barista for “a dash” of the milk or cream of your choice. This will allow you satisfy your taste buds without overindulging.
If you have a hankering for something sweeter or with more flavor than traditional black coffee, Starbucks has no shortage of options for you. However, the extra flavors and add-ons can also add additional calories. Instead, opt for the sugar-free versions of classic syrup flavors, such as sugar-free vanilla and hazelnut. In addition, Starbucks offers a “light-base” option for frappuccinos if you wish to have an extra-sweet coffee treat without additional calories and sugars. Trust me when I say, you can’t taste the difference! It is worth mentioning that the drink size should be kept to a grande or tall when ordering drinks with added sugar.
Besides the milk and flavor choices at Starbucks, you also have the option to add extra sugar, whipped cream, and flavor. When ordering your drink, keep in mind that the extra add-ons also come with more calories, sugars, and fats. If you want to keep your coffee as healthy as possible, practice a bit of portion control. For instance, forego the whipped cream or asked for a “dash” as mentioned earlier. If you are wanting an extra sweetness or flavor, you can choose the yummy (and free!) seasonings by the drink assembly station near the Starbucks exit. These seasonings include cinnamon, chocolate powder, vanilla powder, and calorie-free sweetener or less-processed sugar. You can have these low-calorie options without sacrificing any flavor in return.
Our store on campus offers a handful of choices when it comes to tea, and they can either be served hot or iced. Teas are a great alternative when you're looking for a small pick-me-up since they have a fraction of the caffeine content than a regular cup of coffee. Of all of the types of teas Starbucks offers, the black teas have the most caffeine content. (40 mg compared to coffee which can range from 120-260 mg for a Tall.) Starbucks green teas are the second most caffeinated teas on the menu (15 mg) and white tea has very minimal amounts of caffeine (<15 mg).
The 'Refreshers' are a tasty and truly refreshing way to get a small fix of energy on a warm and sunny day. The Strawberry Acai is my favorite! Just make sure it's made with water instead of lemonade to avoid any added sugars.
If you're looking for decaf options, try the herbal teas which have a invigorating flavor and soothes any sore throat on a cold rainy day.
Same tips apply to teas when adding cream, milk or added sugars!
I hope these tips help you make your coffee and tea drinks extra healthy!
Stay Healthy, Ospreys!