How healthy are your Starbucks drinks?

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So there is no denying that I am a massive fan of a good coffee. Coffee keeps me focused, wakes me up and tastes pretty damn good on the go. I’m also a complete sucker for going to Starbucks (other chains are available!) and sitting with my laptop, mindlessly sipping on my coffee of choice while typing away. But that being said, I am pretty standard with my drink choices – and don’t really vary or stray away from what I know because of my intolerances. So really you could say my choices are pretty boring and plain; cappunchino or latte made up with coconut milk (yum!).

What I do like is that Starbucks does have a little handy calorie amount next to each drink and each size. However, if you want to know the macros or amount of sugar in your drink – it’s a lot more complex to find (coincidence I think not!). Therefore, if you aren’t really into health and fitness it’s likely that you wouldn’t even think twice about searching for futher nutritional information. 350 calories doesn’t sound too bad right? But do we know exactly what is in our drinks… and is it these ‘little treats’ that are slowing down our progress?

In context, Pumpkin spice and gingerbread lattes are definitely the ‘it’ drink this season but they are SO high in sugar. Drinking a medium (I mean who ACTUALLY drinks a small) gingerbread latte alone sets you back a hefty 13g fat and 43.3g carbohydrates with a whopping 39.1g of that being sugar. And if you are more of a frappuchino kind of drinker you are looking at 13g fat again, but this time an insane 58.1g carbs with 54.2g sugar! Now this amount of sugar, in line with the World Health Organisation recommendations is huge against the guidelines given for the average adult. The WHO recommends ‘free’ sugar intakes should be below 10% of total energy intake, with reductions to less than 5% (roughly 25g) per day thought to provide additional health benefits.

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One thing I always say to my clients is, avoid liquid calories. If you are like me, I want to EAT my calories/macros and not waste them on unnecessary things that aren’t going to fill me up. Think about it, how many times have you had a drink in a shop like Starbucks and half an hour later been craving something more? What we don’t realise is the pure amount of free sugars that we consume from our drinks, that are usually gone within half an hour of mindless sipping. A standard cappuccino here and there in comparison to a Gingerbread Latte isn’t as bad as it could be, with a medium cup with semi-skimmed milk totalling in at 4g fat, 11.7g carbs and 9.7g sugar. However, could all this be slowing your progress towards your goals? Technically yes, unless you are accounting for all these extra calories/sugar you could easily be over consuming – without even realising it.

Now you all know i’m a massive advocate of balance and living your life, so in no way am I saying to cancel that coffee date and only stick to your green juices day in day out (they have sugars and calories too y’know!). BUT I’m recommending that you think twice before ordering a large gingerbread latte everyday on your half asleep commute to work if you are wanting to fit into that little black dress this Christmas. So in conclusion, fill yourself with healthy nutritious food 80-90% of the time, and enjoy your life with that 10-20% for wiggle room. Make smart choices, skip the cream and opt for lower sugar and calorie drinks when you next fancy a caffeine pick me up!