Report

14 Starbucks Holiday Drinks with Tons of Sugar

'Tis the season to be jolly—or jiggly, if you chug these popular drinks.

Report

14 Starbucks Holiday Drinks with Tons of Sugar

'Tis the season to be jolly—or jiggly, if you chug these popular drinks.

Besides the smell of mulled apple cider, the warmth of a freshly-kindled fireplace, or the sight of glittering lights brightening up your front porch, nothing quite says it’s the holiday season like Starbucks’ red cup specialty drinks.

Well, and perhaps that dreaded winter weight gain. While some sources claim the average American gains just a couple pounds during the holiday season, Johns Hopkins researchers found it can tick up to seven pounds. Yikes! And although you may have passed up that second piece of pie at Thanksgiving or waved away those gingerbread cookies, simply trudging along the wintry months by following your usual coffee shop morning routine could actually set yourself up to pack on the pounds.

That’s because, every year, Starbucks comes out with a limited-edition line of seasonal offerings. And while research shows that drinking antioxidant-rich coffee can aid weight loss efforts, they could have the exact opposite effect on your health when you switch to the fancy concoctions. Especially these holiday drinks. That’s because they’re made up of less coffee and more sugar—the ingredient that stimulates the production of your fat-storing hormone, insulin, which promotes weight gain and a host of inflammatory reactions.

There’s so much sugar, in fact, that drinking one of these Franken-coffees can be worse than downing an entire box of candy canes. Don’t believe us? See for yourself below! We gathered up all the nutrition information for Starbucks’ average-sized drink—a “Grande” (aka medium)—ordered as listed on the menu with no modifications. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not jiggly, so why not also read up on these 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat?

1

Eggnog Latte

eggnog latte

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, with nonfat milk: 450 calories, 18 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fats), 240 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (1 g fiber, 52 g sugar), 17 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 16 Mini Candy Canes

This perennial holiday favorite is made with steamed eggnog, nonfat milk, and espresso and then topped off with nutmeg-dusted whipped cream. If you’re looking for an eggnog-based drink, check out our winter cocktail recipe for a Tom & Jerry, which will save you 42 grams of sugar compared to this ‘Bucks order.

2

Peppermint Mocha

peppermint mocha

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, with 2% milk and whipped cream: 440 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (10 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 63 g carbs (4 g fiber, 54 g sugar), 13 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 16 Mini Candy Canes

Although peppermint has been proven to help reduce your appetite after a meal, that will all be undone by the unabashed amount of blood-glucose-spiking sugar in this drink.

3

Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew

spiced sweet cream cold brew

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz: 120 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 1 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: ~5 Mini Candy Canes

If you’re really in need of something off Starbucks’ holiday menu, go with their Spiced Sweet Cream Nariño 70 Cold Brew Coffee. It’s lowest in sugar, and the cold-brew process is perfect for those who enjoy their coffee on the less bitter side. And ringing in at only 120 calories, sipping on this drink is one answer to satisfy your craving but still wonder how to lose belly fat.

4

Holiday Spice Flat White

holiday spice flat white

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, whole milk: 280 calories, 11 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (0 g fiber, 30 g sugar), 12 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 9 Mini Candy Canes

Next in line behind the cold brew coffee is our second suggestion for a holiday treat: the Holiday Spice Flat White. The drink is simply crafted with ristretto shots of Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast and spice-infused micro-foam, resulting in one of the shortest ingredient lists of the bunch.

5

Caramel Brulée Latte

caramel brulée latte

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 440 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 70 g carbs (0 g fiber, 54 g sugar), 13 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 20 Mini Candy Canes

You could down two creme brulees and still have eaten less sugar than what you’d find in this holiday drink. Yikes!

6

Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpkin spice latte

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 380 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (0 g fiber, 50 g sugar), 14 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 15 Mini Candy Canes

Pumpkins might be a high fiber food, but that doesn’t translate very well to this drink. With absolutely no fiber and an entire day’s worth of added sugars, this fall favorite is a definite pass if you’re looking to fit into a slinky New Year’s Eve dress.

7

Chestnut Praline Latte

chestnut praline latte

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 330 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (0 g fiber, 39 g sugar), 12 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 12 Mini Candy Canes

It sure sounds like the holidays in a cup: caramelized chestnut-based latte is topped with a sprinkle of spiced praline crumbs. Sounds great, but there are actually no chestnuts used in the making of this drink. There is, however, enough sugar to fill up the cup with 39 grams of the sweet stuff.

8

Caramel Brulée Frappuccino®

caramel brulée frappuccino®

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, whole milk, whipped cream: 430 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 72 g carbs (0 g fiber, 65 g sugar), 4 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 20 Mini Candy Canes

Frappuccino is the second worst F-word in our vocabulary. Heck, it might even be the worst if you’re looking at this order. The Caramel Brulée Frapp is a blend of espresso, milk, and ice with rich Caramel Brulée Sauce (Translation: sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavors, and trans-fats-in-disguise, mono and diglycerides). Ordering a medium with no modifications means you’ll be sipping on the sugar equivalent of 20 mini candy canes or nearly two cans of soda.

9

Gingerbread Latte

gingerbread latte

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 330 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (0 g fiber, 38 g sugar), 12 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 12 Mini Candy Canes

Starbucks describes this latte as a “gingerbread cookie in your cup,” but it’s more like three! Seriously! Not only could you fit 12 mini candy canes-worth of sugar in this latte, but you’ll also find the equivalent amount in three Pepperidge Farm Gingerman Cookies.

10

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

peppermint hot chocolate

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 470 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 68 g carbs (4 g fiber, 61 g sugar), 13 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 18 Mini Candy Canes

Not all hot chocolates are as sugary as this one. Be sure to check out these 19 Hot Cocoas—Ranked! to find our Eat This!-approved picks.

11

Salted Caramel Mocha

salted caramel mocha

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 470 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 68 g carbs (4 g fiber, 59 g sugar), 13 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 18 Mini Candy Canes

They don’t just get you with the drink—which is made of mocha sauce, toffee nut syrup, sweetened whipped cream, and caramel drizzle; this Salted Caramel Mocha is also sprinkled with a blend of turbinado sugar and sea salt.

12

Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha

peppermint white chocolate mocha

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream: 540 calories, 19 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 82 g carbs (0 g fiber, 79 g sugar), 14 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 24 Mini Candy Canes

White chocolate is just a fancy way of saying milk and sugar. That’s why it made our list of 20 Foods You Can’t Trust—which makes sense, considering this latte has the second highest amount of sugar among its peers.

13

Gingerbread Frappuccino

gingerbread frappuccino

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz, whole milk, whipped cream: 370 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 58 g carbs (0 g fiber, 58 g sugar), 4 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 18 Mini Candy Canes

You could eat nearly four servings of an entire gingerbread house and rack up the same amount of sugar as you’ll find in this iced coffee drink.

14

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

peppermint white hot chocolate

Nutrition per Grande, 16 oz: 570 calories, 20 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 87 g carbs (0 g fiber, 86 g sugar), 15 g protein
Sugar equivalent of: 26 Mini Candy Canes

When Starbucks describes a drink as sweet, you know it’s bad. This “sweet twist on holiday hot chocolate” rings in with the most sugar: a staggering 26 mini candy canes (or nearly 9 full-size candy canes) worth.