Healthy Starbucks Drinks Everyone Should Try

16 min read FEB 18, 2023

Here, at Lifeboost, we believe health should be a priority in everyone’s daily routine. Three out of every four Americans drink coffee, making coffee the second most popular drink in the entire world (second to only water). With coffee consumption continuing to be an integral part of most individuals' mornings, we continue to make health central to everything about our coffee––from how we grow our coffee beans, to roasting, and even to packaging and shipping. 

With that being said, we know that you might not always have Lifeboost at hand. Whether you are at work and forgot your Lifeboost Go Bags, or you are meeting friends for a quick catch up, sometimes healthy coffee isn’t easily achieved. In these situations, a lot of us find ourselves resigned to accept unhealthy, calorie-packed options. 

We don’t want you to feel you have to sacrifice health, or often flavor, on the rare occasions you find yourselves without your Lifeboost coffee. We took a look at one of the most popular coffee chains, Starbucks, to see what their menu might offer as healthier alternatives than the usual indulgences they are known for. Fom pre-made selections on the menu to customizable beverages, Starbucks has some good options that aren’t packed with sugar or calories.

Tips for Easy and Healthy Starbucks Drinks

Starbucks is known for its indulgent drinks, but it's possible to make them a little healthier by customizing your order. Instead of ordering the full-fat version with all its calories and sugar, you can adjust certain elements in your drink to reduce fat, calories, and sugar content, and that too without sacrificing flavor. Here are our top tips for customizing healthy Starbucks drinks:

Sugar-Free Syrups

Sugar-Free Syrups

At Starbucks, many of their most popular syrups come in a sugar-free option. These include seasonal varieties like hazelnut, cinnamon dolce, and the standard sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Customers can either request this from their barista or sweeten their drinks with Stevia at the milk station. Customers can also top their beverages with sugar-free spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cocoa powder for added no-sugar flavor.

Those looking for a healthier alternative to flavored syrups at Starbucks have the option to choose from several different sugar-free choices. From the ever-popular vanilla option to seasonal favorites like hazelnut and cinnamon dolce.

In addition to these syrups, customers can also opt for Stevia as a sweetener. They can also add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder for additional flavor without all of the added sugar. This gives customers plenty of options for flavoring their beverages without worrying about overloading them with sugars.

Alternative Milks

If you want to make a healthier choice when ordering your favorite drink at Starbucks, several alternative milk options can reduce the calorie count.

Nonfat milk is the most calorically-efficient choice, with only 130 calories for a grande latte.

Other plant-based milk like almond, soy, and coconut have slightly more calories than nonfat but still provide a lower number than traditional choices such as whole and 2% milk. For example, a grande latte made with almond milk contains 100 calories, while one made with oat milk has 190 calories. And those made with soy and coconut milk contain 170 and 140 calories, respectively. Comparatively, drinks made with 2% and whole milk will be higher in calorie content—190 and 220 calories, respectively.

Reduce The Syrup Pumps

If you're trying to cut back on the sugar content in your Starbucks beverage, but there's no sugar-free syrup available, try decreasing the number of pumps of syrup. This can help reduce your overall intake while allowing you to enjoy a sweet treat.

Every drink recipe at Starbucks includes a set amount of pumps of syrup, depending on the size. For instance, tall drinks will usually get three pumps, while grande beverages require four; hot venti drinks typically get five pumps, and cold venti drinks receive six. Nevertheless, this often results in a much sweeter and strongly flavor drink than what some people prefer.

If you're not happy with the taste of your beverage, feel free to customize it by asking your barista to adjust the pumps until you find that perfect flavor.

No Whip

No Whip

For a healthier way to enjoy your Starbucks beverage, try ordering with "no whip." This small change can drastically reduce the calories you consume without sacrificing any of the deliciousness.

Frappuccinos, mochas, and seasonal specialty drinks are some of the most popular beverages that come with whipped cream topping by default. However, it is possible to enjoy these drinks without the heavy cream, and flavored syrup usually used to make Starbucks whipped cream. The taste will still be just as delightful but with fewer calories.

Go Small

If you want to enjoy a rich Starbucks beverage without all the added fat, calories and sugar, go for the smaller tall size instead of the larger grande or venti. The tall size at Starbucks is 12 ounces, while the grande features 16 ounces – an increase in a portion size that can mean additional calories. Some of the more indulgent drinks offered by Starbucks have rich flavors that can still be enjoyed even when opting for the smaller option.

Rather than feel deprived by choosing a smaller size, consider it a way of savoring your favorite beverage more mindfully. Not only will having less of your favorite treat help you to keep track of your calorie intake but drinking less will also enable you to appreciate all the complex flavors and nuances that make a Starbucks drink special. In addition, consuming fewer calories from beverages can help to prevent weight gain over time.

Read The Nutritional Content

When ordering drinks at Starbucks, it is important to consider the nutritional information provided. Most of the popular beverages come with calorie counts printed on the menu board, but you can find even more detailed information about sugar, fat and calories for each grande size drink online. This allows customers to make informed decisions about what they are consuming and allows them to reduce their intake of certain ingredients if desired.

For instance, those looking to cut back on sugar in their beverage can opt for a lower-sugar option or ask for fewer pumps of syrup in their drink. Similarly, those who want to reduce their calorie intake can switch from whole milk to skim milk or order smaller sizes of drinks. Customers can also use this information to decide which drinks have a better nutrition balance by looking at the calorie count and other ingredients, such as sugar and fat.

Best Healthy Starbucks Drinks

Finding a low-calorie treat at Starbucks can be challenging, but we've got the perfect solution. With just fewer calories and sugar than regular options, these drinks will satisfy any sweet craving without compromising your diet goals.

Skinny Vanilla Latte

Skinny Vanilla Latte

One of Starbucks's most beloved healthier beverages, the Skinny Vanilla Latte, is a great alternative to the more calorie-rich classic version. This drink is made with nonfat milk, sugar-free vanilla syrup, and espresso and topped off with a bit of frothy milk foam. Depending on your preference and the season, it can be enjoyed hot or cold.

A grande cup of this delightful latte contains only 120 calories - significantly fewer than its traditional counterpart - while still providing that rich flavor that Starbucks fans know and love.

The vanilla syrup adds just enough sweetness without added sugars, making it an ideal choice for those who are watching their calories or cutting back on refined sweeteners. Plus, you get all the amazing benefits of caffeine from espresso, so you can start your day with this delicious drink.

Light Frappuccino

Starbucks offers a range of light Frappuccinos, including coffee, caramel, java chip, mocha and vanilla. Each light Frappuccino has 33 fewer calories than the standard versions, making it a great option for those looking to watch their calorie intake. Not only are the light Frappuccinos lower in calories, but they are also lower in fat and sugar content.

These drinks are made with skim milk and they also use sugar-free sweeteners in the base to create an indulgent yet healthier frozen coffee drink that contains fewer calories than standard Frappuccinos. For example, a grande Light Coffee Frappuccino contains 110 calories, while the same size Drink of any other variety would contain 143 calories. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy a delicious summery treat without compromising on their health goals.

The light range also features more natural sweeteners than its regular counterpart, which helps to make it even better for you.

Blonde Flat White

Blonde Flat White

The Starbucks Blonde Flat White is an excellent way to enjoy a creamy, delicious coffee beverage without the extra calories associated with a typical latte.

This low-calorie alternative features steamed milk and blonde espresso, which is slightly darker than a latte while still possessing the same great flavor. The calorie count of this drink can be even further reduced by substituting nonfat milk for whole milk - with nonfat milk, a grande size Blonde Flat White has an impressive 120 calories. This drink is also available over ice if you're looking for a cold option.

This fantastic drink is perfect for those who are health conscious or who simply want to reduce their caloric intake while still enjoying a creamy, flavorful coffee. Compared to other similar drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, the Blonde Flat White offers fewer calories without sacrificing any of the flavors.

Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro Cold Brew is one of the healthiest Starbucks drinks available and an ideal choice for those who want to keep their calorie, sugar, and fat intake low.

This unique beverage infuses cold brew coffee with nitrogen, resulting in a naturally sweet yet creamy flavor without any added sugar or milk. Although some may opt to add a dash of skim milk for additional creaminess, many enjoy it on its own. The unique fizziness of nitro cold brew makes it truly unlike any other drink out there.

One of the key benefits of nitro cold brew is its incredibly low calories. In fact, just one grande-sized cup contains only five calories. For those watching their waistlines or looking to keep their diet healthy, nitro cold brew is an excellent choice over sugary options like frappuccinos. Another plus?

Nitro cold brew requires no added sugar, so you can enjoy that sweet flavor while avoiding the unhealthy effects of consuming too much sugar.

Unlike many other Starbucks drinks, which contain significant amounts of fat and sugar, nitro cold brew offers a healthy alternative that doesn't sacrifice delicious taste. It's naturally sweet with a creamy texture, making it a great option for those who are concerned about their health but still want to indulge in a delicious beverage.



The Americano is a great choice for those trying to maintain a healthy and low-calorie diet. This classic iced coffee drink consists of just two ingredients - shots of hot water and espresso.

For those who prefer something sweeter, you can add sugar-free sweeteners such as Stevia or Splenda and nonfat milk, which won't drastically increase the calorie count.

A grand beverage size only has 15 calories, making it an ideal option for those looking to stay on track with their health goals.

Additionally, if you're looking for an even colder version of this drink, you can ask your barista to make it over ice. Either way, the Americano is a delicious and refreshing way to enjoy a classic coffee without sacrificing your nutritional needs.

Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

This Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso from Starbucks is a delightful drink featuring espresso shots, brown sugar syrup, and just a splash of oat milk.

Perfectly blended with ice, this refreshing beverage is surprisingly low in calories at only 120 per grande without any unnecessary added sugars or sweeteners. Combining oat milk and brown sugar syrup adds the perfect flavor without packing on the calories.

The subtle nuttiness of the oat milk pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the brown sugar syrup for a delightful balance in every sip. Whether it's enjoyed as an afternoon pick-me-up or an after-dinner indulgence, this delicious shaken espresso will keep you coming back for more.

Iced Shaken Green Iced Tea

Give yourself an energizing boost with a naturally-caffeine-free drink from Starbucks. Refreshing and delicious, it's the perfect drink for any time of day. Brewed twice with only water and ice, this zero-calorie beverage provides a deliciously hydrating and healthy alternative. You can further customize it to your liking by adding a sugar-free sweetener or light syrup for extra flavor.

The double-brew process creates a tea that has a much stronger flavor than regular green tea and is less bitter than other types of tea. It's incredibly refreshing yet still carries the health benefits of green tea, such as its powerful antioxidants that can help improve overall health, reduce inflammation, boost your metabolism, and even prevent cancer.

Furthermore, due to its low-calorie count, it's a great way to stay hydrated while on the go without worrying about gulping down added sugars or fats.

When you order an Iced Shaken Green Tea from Starbucks, you can enjoy it in three different sizes: tall, grande, or venti. There is no difference in terms of calories; all of these sizes have zero calories.

Berry Hibiscus Refresher

Berry Hibiscus Refresher

Enjoy a healthier version of your favorite Starbucks refresher with the Berry Hibiscus Refresher. Blending hibiscus tea, green coffee extract, and real fruit juice into one delicious beverage provides a refreshing burst of energy without all the calories and sugar. The combination of these ingredients makes this drink refreshing in taste and packed with much fewer calories than other Starbucks items - at 70 calories for a Grande size cup.

This energy-packed drink is perfect for those who are looking for an alternative to sugary sodas or energy drinks. Not only does it have significantly fewer calories than most other beverages, but it also contains beneficial antioxidants from its main ingredients that could help promote overall well-being.

Its subtle sweet flavor comes from the natural fruit juices, so you don't have to worry about consuming any added sugars. Plus, you still get the same caffeine kick as you would with other coffee drinks - without all the extra calories.

Nonfat Café Mocha

The nonfat cafe mocha is a great choice if you're looking for a decadent and delicious coffee beverage that won't add too much to your daily calorie count.

This guilt-free treat combines espresso with mocha sauce, steamed nonfat milk, and a little foam for an indulgent pick-me-up without all the associated sugar. Despite Starbucks having discontinued its sugar-free mocha sauce in the past, it's still possible to enjoy this rich and creamy beverage without any added sweeteners.

The grand size of this delectable drink offers 250 calories per serving — making it a much healthier alternative than the sugary frappuccinos or blended beverages found in many popular coffee shops.

Combining steamed milk with just enough mocha sauce for flavor creates a perfect balance of sweetness and richness that can be enjoyed either hot or cold.

toNonfat Iced Caramel Macchia

A Grandé Nonfat Iced Caramel Macchiato is a creamy, lightly sweet Starbucks drink that has recently become quite popular due to its low-calorie content.

It's made with espresso shots, steamed nonfat milk, and a choice of either regular or sugar-free vanilla syrup. Topping it off is the trademark caramel sauce drizzle pattern that adds just the right hint of sweetness.

This drink contains approximately 190 calories in a grande for the regular vanilla syrup option and about 135 calories with the sugar-free syrup alternative. This way, you can still enjoy your sweet treat without worrying about extra calories.

Nonfat Chai Tea Latte

Nonfat Chai Tea Latte

If you're looking for a delicious and satisfying beverage that is not loaded with calories, sugar, and fat, look no further than the nonfat chai tea latte. Popular amongst Starbucks fans, this drink has been modified to have fewer calories and sugar without compromising on taste.

Request low-fat or skimmed milk when ordering to achieve a lower-calorie version of the original chai tea latte. This will significantly reduce the calorie count without sacrificing flavor. The grand size of this drink comes in at around 210 calories - much better than the traditional recipe.

For an even healthier twist on the classic beverage, opt for a nonfat chai hot tea misto. By using chai tea bags when making this variation, you'll be able to cut your calorie intake to approximately 70 per generous serving size. With just one minor ingredient alteration, you can now enjoy all that iconic flavor without guilt.

In Conclusion

When it comes to health-conscious coffee orders, Lifeboost is as healthy as you can get. However, Starbucks also has you covered if you are meeting friends or at work and find yourself with limited coffee options. From nonfat cappuccinos to low-sugar iced tea lattes and even sugar-free mochas, you can still enjoy your favorite Starbucks drinks without worrying about consuming too much sugar, fat, or calories. So next time you find yourself at a Starbucks, take advantage of one of their guilt-free options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Starbucks beverage is best for dieting?

The Starbucks beverage that is best for dieting is unsweetened iced tea or coffee. Both drinks are low in calories and sugar and can be flavored with a splash of milk or a sugar-free syrup to add a bit of sweetness without any added calories.

What is the most nutritious cold drink at Starbucks?

If you're watching your caloric intake, the perfect drink for you at Starbucks is Cold Brew Coffee. A Grande cup contains only five calories, and it's fat- and carbohydrate-free.

Which drink has no calories in Starbucks?

Enjoy the delicious, zero-calorie, sugar-free earl grey tea and reap its many health benefits. A 2016 study revealed that when part of a nutritious lifestyle plan, black tea can be an invaluable ally in your quest to shed excess pounds and combat obesity.

Is Starbucks really good for health?

Yes. With a wide variety of healthy drinks, including low-calorie coffees and teas, Starbucks is an excellent option for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to check the calorie count before ordering, as many drinks can be quite high in calories if they contain milk and added syrups or flavors. But with careful choices and a little bit of willpower, you can still enjoy Starbucks drinks that are good for your health.

How can I order a sugar-free beverage from Starbucks?

When ordering your beverage, simply request that it be made with a sugar-free syrup option instead of the regular one. Starbucks offers a range of sugar-free syrups, such as vanilla, mocha, caramel, and hazelnut, which can make all kinds of delicious drinks without added sugar. Remember, though, that some of these syrups still contain calories, so be sure to check the nutrition facts before ordering.

Which coffee has the most health benefits?

Cold brew coffee is believed to have the most health benefits due to its high concentration of antioxidants. Its low acidity also makes it easy on the stomach and easier to digest than regular coffee. In contrast, its lower caffeine content means that it can be enjoyed without any jitters or crashes. It's a great option for those looking for a delicious and healthy coffee fix.

How can I reduce calorie intake when ordering from Starbucks?

There are several ways to reduce the calorie content of your Starbucks beverage. One option is to request skim milk instead of whole milk or half-and-half, which will help lower the amount of fat and calories. Another way is to ask for sugar-free syrups and no-sugar-added options when ordering specialty beverages such as Frappuccinos and macchiatos.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Embolden Dark Roast .


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