The Worst Fast-Food Beverages in America
Sometimes, the hardest part about deciding what you want to get at the drive-thru isn't what's going to be your main meal, but what you're going to sip on. In-between bites of burgers and fries, you're going to need a drink, right? And while we would recommend a bottle of water, it's easy to get swayed by the eye-catching menu options.
But some fast-food beverages are actually scary. They're not only high in calories and fat, but the amount of sugar one of these drinks serves up is just out of control. It's important to keep in mind that The American Heart Association recommends men should consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day, and women shouldn't have more than 25 grams daily. You'll quickly notice that all of these beverages completely blow that limit out of the water. Big yikes.
So to help you avoid ordering a total diet disaster, we've rounded up the worst fast-food beverage options you'll find at popular chains. Just be sure you're not ever pairing your meals with any of the popular sodas we ranked by how toxic they are.
McDonald's Strawberry Shake
A milkshake always seems harmless, but they're often one of the worst items on any menu. McDonald's Strawberry Shake is made with vanilla soft serve that is blended with strawberry syrup and topped with whipped cream, making for a shake that has as many calories as two McDouble burgers. Then you take a look at the amount of sugar here and it's jaw-dropping, coming in at 109 grams of the sweet stuff. This is as much as you would get from eight jelly donuts from Dunkin'…
Taco Bell Dragonfruit Breeze
Taco Bell's brightly colored frozen drink is said to pack each sip with "a tropical sweetness [that] is sure to be the stuff of legends." Well, this pink drink doesn't have any actual fruit in it, and actually has as much sugar as 21 pieces of Starburst candies. Sorry, but there is nothing legendary about that!
Starbucks Chocolate Cookie Crumble Crème Frappuccino
Oh, the Frappuccino. It might be a Starbucks staple, but it's not doing anything for your waistline, especially not the Chocolate Cookie Crumble Crème flavor. One of these beverages is made up of mocha sauce and Frappuccino chips that are blended with milk and ice, layered on top of whipped cream and chocolate cookie crumble, topped with vanilla whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and even more chocolate cookie crumble. Talk about an overload! It's no wonder that a venti order has more sugar than 16 Chips Ahoy! cookies.
Wendy's Strawberry Lemonade
This lemonade is said to be flavored with real strawberries, but the strawberry puree it contains is made up of sugar, strawberries, and more sugar. If you want to sip on something sweet next time you're at Wendy's, instead, go for a junior size Frosty.
Burger King Vanilla Oreo Cookie Shake
By now, it should be clear that milkshakes are dangerous. The vanilla Oreo flavor from BK is just as bad, coming in at 716 calories and nearly 100 grams of sugar. This one shake has more calories than two Whopper Jr. sandwiches, so imagine tacking this on to your meal. No thanks! If you're looking to try and limit your sweets intake, check out the science-backed way to curb your sweet tooth in 14 days.
Chick-fil-A Strawberry Milkshake
The strawberry milkshake strikes again. Chick-fil-A's version is worse than McDonald's take on the classic beverage, costing you 820 calories and 125 grams of sugar.
Dunkin' Caramel Swirl Frozen Chocolate
Dunkin's Frozen Chocolate is said to be "an indulgent treat," but that's putting it mildly. The large size of the Caramel Swirl flavor has 165 grams of sugar—as much as you would get from 16 and a half Apple 'n Spice donuts. No one should be consuming that much sugar in one sitting, especially knowing it's coming from a drink that is packing 900 calories.
Sonic Cherry Limeade
Sonic's frozen treats are what sets it apart from other fast-food chains, but you'll want to be careful when you decide to indulge. A large-size Cherry Limeade is packing 97 grams of sugar, nearly as much of the sweet stuff as you would get from 10 Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. You wouldn't want to sip on that, now would you?
Arby's Mint Chocolate Shake with Andes Candy Pieces
Arby's is known for switching up its "limited-time-only" quite often, so it's understandable you would be tempted to order items from it. They don't stick around for long! But the Mint Chocolate Shake is dangerous. A large size has more than 1,000 calories, half of most people's calorie allotment for an entire day. And 161 grams of sugar? That's just wrong.
Culver's Chocolate Malt
At Culver's, adding on a malt to sip on as you eat might sound delicious, but this is simply nothing redeeming here.