9 Starbucks Drinks That Won’t Get You Off Track

Today’s blog comes from a good friend and client of mine.  She’s a barista at Starbucks and is very committed to attaining her goals.  She wants to help you guys make good choices while enjoying your favorite caffeinated drinks too!

As a healthy eating girl who works at Starbucks, I learned pretty quickly that there are tons of healthy, non-splurge drinks available. What I think sets Starbucks apart from other restaurants is that we encourage our customers to customize their drinks to their liking and we are willing to accommodate all of your requests. Starbucks provides many healthy on the go options that make it easy to stick to a healthy diet. Working as a barista, I have learned that there are so many healthy items available that are off of the menu that people do not know about that have become staples in my diet. Rather than list all of the unhealthy drinks, I am going to ask everyone to use common sense. If your drink comes with whipped cream, or if it resembles a sundae, it is a treat and not a clean or low calorie drink.

Consider this article your Starbucks cheat sheet. Below is my list of my 9 favorite Starbucks drinks that I hope you will enjoy.

 1. Hot coffee and tea

Tea and coffee are without a doubt the healthiest thing available, as well as the most budget friendly and figure friendly of the lot. That said, be aware of all the calories of the add-ins such as cream, milk, and sugar. There is always a bold coffee pick, a mild pick, and at peak hours decaf and blonde roast are brewed. My blood type is coffee, so most of the time I drink a grande pick coffee with no room for dairy.

 2. Iced tea

Repeat after me, “I will have a ___sized, unsweetened, light ice, ___tea. Not the tea lemonade.” This drink is zero calories, is super refreshing, and is healthy. If you want it to be a lightly sweetened you can add your own truvia or ask for 1 pump of sugar-free vanilla.

 3. Iced coffee

This is only available during the summer at most Starbucks locations. The base iced coffee is sweetened and comes with milk, but I would recommend you ask for it unsweetened without milk and add in your own add-ins.  “I would like a ___sized, unsweetened, no milk, iced coffee.”

 4. Espresso or Americano

An Americano is espresso with hot water added to it. There are a few more calories in an Americano than there is in a cup of coffee (20 vs. 5), but it is worth the calories if you like strong coffee. This drink is available over ice if you are in the mood for an iced coffee when it is not available during the winter months.

 5. Americano misto or café misto

A misto is half coffee or half americano and half steamed milk. I tell all of my friends and family to order a misto instead of a latte because it is less expensive, it has less calories, and because they taste better.  A grande, non-fat, café misto (made with coffee) is 60 calories and I would estimate that an Americano misto with non-fat milk is 80 calories. If this is too boring for you, order your misto with one of the sugar-free syrups (sugar-free caramel, sugar-free vanilla, sugar-free hazelnut, sugar-free cinnamon dolce, and skinny mocha). My favorite misto is a grande, non-fat, sugar-free caramel, bold coffee misto. This drink is usually about a dollar less than a latte.

 6. A chai tea bag latte 

If I was a betting women, I would wager than most of the ladies reading this drink chai tea lattes and consider it a necessary vice. There is a healthy way to get your chai fix that is not on the menu. Order it like this,“can I please have a grande, sugar-free vanilla, non-fat, chai tea tea bag, custom tea latte”. This little trick will make your drink be about 60 calories and it will taste amazing.

 7. Order a skinny syrup latte or a non-fat latte

On the latte spectrum, this is the healthiest option. A latte is espresso and non-fat milk and a skinny syrup latte is a latte with sugar-free flavored syrup. The only lattes flavors that are available skinny (non-fat milk, sugar-free): sugar-free caramel, sugar -free vanilla, sugar-free hazelnut, sugar-free cinnamon dolce, and skinny mocha. All of these drinks are good options if you need to quell your sweet tooth.

 8. Bone dry cappuccino

A cappuccino has the same ingredients as a latte, but is less milk and more foam. A dry cappuccino is made with only foam and espresso, no milk. It feels like a cup of air and I would only recommend you try if you are a fan of coffee. I must warn you, it is one of the least economical drinks because most of it is air.

 9. Chocolate smoothie

Chocolate smoothies are made with 2% milk, a banana, mocha sauce, and 2 scoops protein powder. This smoothie is delicious but I recommend you modify it to make it healthier. Firstly, substitute skinny mocha sauce for mocha, get non-fat milk, and get an extra scoop or 2 of protein, and ordering half or omitting the banana. I usually get my smoothie in a venti cup because the extra protein fills up the cup.

I hope you find a healthier drink you enjoy. If you ever have any questions about your drink or if it tastes funny (or if you hate it), do not hesitate to ask your barista if they can remake it to your liking. Most Starbucks baristas want the customer to leave satisfied and will do anything that you ask to accommodate your requests.

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  1. Sarah
    637 days ago

    Thank you for these tips! I always come to it when I need help figuring out what I want :) I love the bold misto and chai tea bag latte so much!! I’ve lost 45lbs since 1/1/12 and these tips help me stay on the right path so it’s very much appreciated!

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