Pedro Pascal's Starbucks Order Has an Alarming Amount of Caffeine, Dietitian Says
From The Last of Us to Saturday Night Live, Pedro Pascal seems to be showing up just about everywhere these days. But the popular actor's latest and most unexpected claim to fame is a highly-caffeinated Starbucks drink that has blown up on TikTok and caught the attention of at least one nutritionist.
In a recent viral TikTok that has received 5.5 million views, user @alexafromspace used a video of a recent encounter with Pascal to reveal the order ticket on his Starbucks cup. The ticket, under the name "Pedro," shows that he ordered six shots of Starbucks espresso with extra ice in a Venti cup. Pascal appeared to have left the drink completely black.
The order has intrigued many of Pascal's fans on TikTok, some of whom recreated his drink and filmed themselves trying it. Others expressed concern for Pascal's well being, due to the amount of caffeine he would be consuming if he drank the entire thing.
"IS HE OKAY???" one user commented on the video from @alexafromspace.
These concerns are not groundless, according to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, a registered dietitian, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, and member of our Medical Expert Board. However, she also notes that it is unclear if Pascal truly consumed the entire drink in one sitting. It's quite possible that he could be sharing this drink with others, or even keeping it in his fridge to consume over the course of a couple days.
"But if we are going with the assumption that he is drinking it by himself in one sitting, as a dietitian, I think this may be overdoing it in the caffeine department," Manaker tells Eat This, Not That!
A standard shot of Starbucks espresso includes 75 milligrams of caffeine, which means that Pascal's drink would add up to about 450 milligrams. According to Manaker, the medical community typically leans toward a maximum of 400 milligrams of daily caffeine consumption as a safe amount—a line this drink exceeds.
"This drink is equivalent to drinking about four Red Bulls in one sitting," says Manaker.
Drinking this amount of caffeine has the potential to trigger side effects like jitteriness, headaches, feelings of anxiety, and even insomnia. When assessing possible long-term repercussions of regularly consuming large amounts of caffeine, Manaker notes that people can develop a dependency on this central nervous system stimulant, "which can create poor habits." Additionally, high caffeine consumption can negatively impact blood pressure, mood, and digestion. However, whether or not someone experiences these effects depends on their caffeine tolerance, according to Manaker.
"My biggest question is whether this is his only source of caffeine during the day, or if he is drinking this on top of a morning cup of Joe and more," says Manaker. "If this is his only source, I would suggest that he cut the quantity down to a maximum of five shots in his drink and let that be his only source of caffeine for the day."
Other ways that Pascal could try to mitigate any potentially harmful effects of the espresso drink include drinking it earlier in the day, so that it will be less likely to impact Pascal's sleep and making sure that water and other hydrating drinks are incorporated in his diet.
But not all the takeaways from Pascal's apparent Starbucks drink of choice were negative. Manaker was pleased that it didn't feature any added sugars and noted that it would contain some natural antioxidants from coffee beans. And while Manaker admits "this wouldn't be my first choice as a drink for people to enjoy for an energy boost," she prefers it over alternatives like a Spike Energy Drink that include 350 mg of caffeine and "some questionable ingredients."
So, while TikTok remains obsessed with Pascal and his highly-caffeinated Starbucks order, fans should proceed with caution and be aware of the potential negative side effects when jumping on the viral trend.