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Starbucks's Mango Dragonfruit Refresher is Missing a Key Ingredient

After announcing plans to cut down on limited-time-only drinks, the shop debuting this exotic new item.

After recently debuting three new Frappuccinos, Starbucks made another bold move by adding the brand new Mango Dragonfruit Refresher to its permanent menu. And it's the closest you'll get to a vacation all week.

The hot pink drink's base is made with ingredients like sugar, white grape juice, natural green coffee flavor, and features freeze-dried dragon fruit pieces floating in the cup, similar to how the Strawberry Acai Refresher is stirred with chunks of sliced strawberries. However, there's one essential ingredient that seems to be missing from the brew—and that's mango. That's pretty odd considering the name of the drink is Mango Dragonfruit Refresher. Apparently, the "mango" you're tasting is from "natural flavors."

Two things we're elated that Starbucks intentionally left out? Artificial colors and sweeteners. Instead of blending the bev with these questionable fillers, the 'Bux opted for real sugar and reb-A (stevia extract) to sweeten things up.

"[Dragon fruit] is one of those up-and-coming flavors. The red-fleshed fruit is less common and helps make this drink so fun and unique," the drink's creator, Alicia Binion from Starbucks research and development team, said in a press release. "It's bright and vivid—something you would want to take a picture of to share with friends." But are the Instagram likes worth the nutritional damage?

What's the nutritional information for the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher?

A Grande packs in 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar), and 0 grams of protein. Not too shabby, but you can further cut that belly-bloating sugar count down by ordering a Tall, which contains just 70 calories and 15 grams of sugar.

Starbucks also debuted a lemonade-spiked version of this magenta drink. A Grande Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade Refresher clocks in at 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar), and 0 grams of protein. Essentially, you're sipping on a cup full of sweetened water, and if you opt for a Grande, plan to ingest an entire day's worth of added sugar in one Sbux run.

If you must try this tropical bev, implement this skinny Starbucks hack: skip the lemony version and opt for a Tall to save 20 calories and 4 grams of sugar.

April Benshosan, MS
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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