There are plenty of cautionary tales out there about avoiding beverages that pack a ton of calories when you're trying to make healthy choices. But let's be honest — sometimes you just want a little bit of a treat, and a slightly indulgent beverage can be a far better option than a massive cheeseburger or slice of decadent chocolate cake. And, when you can find several beverages on the Starbucks menu that taste like treats but are actually quite good for you, well, what have you got to lose?
Whether you're a tea or coffee drinker, whether you want something iced and frosty or hot and foamy, there are plenty of healthier options that Starbucks offers. So, next time you're feeling a bit discouraged and need a little pick-me-up, turn to one of these for a totally guilt-free treat that will lift your spirits!
Here are 20 of the healthier Starbucks drinks. They will give you all of the flavors for far fewer calories than many of the other items on the menu. I mean, there are so many options you probably won't be able to choose just one favorite!
20 Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea Is Perfect For Sunny Summer Days
Sometimes, when you want something super fruity and refreshing, an iced tea is exactly what hits the spot — and the iced tea at Starbucks is a fantastic option, with one slight change.
When you go for the fruity, delicious passion tango tea, make sure to ask for no sweetener.
The regular version contains a few pumps of classic sweetener per size, which adds a ton of calories but no extra flavor — it's just not worth it! The tea itself is already super fruity and full of zing, so you really won't miss the sweetener at all — and your body will thank you in the long run.
19 Iced Coffee, Minus The Classic Sweetener
This one is another drink that's a great option, with a slight tweak. Just like their iced teas, Starbucks adds a few pumps of classic sweetener to their iced coffee as the default option. Make sure to ask for no classic sweetener, and you've got yourself a big, iced beverage that's under 10 calories.
If you need a bit of sweetness and don't want to try to dissolve Stevia in your chilled drink, ask for a few pumps of sugarfree syrup for a flavor-packed treat. I mean, something like vanilla or caramel is way better than just the plain sugary classic syrup.
18 Very Hibiscus Refreshers Are Fruity With A Caffeinated Kick
If you want all the flavor of a fruity iced tea but also need a bit of caffeine (which many of the fruity herbal teas don't have), this is the perfect option.
A grande-sized refresher has only 70 calories and is made with green coffee extract, whole blackberries, and real fruit juice.
Sure, there's a bit of sugar in there, but it's definitely not as bad as many of the other menu items. And, as the name promises, it's super refreshing! You can even go up a size and get a venti, and you're still only dealing with 100 calories. Talk about a guilt-free treat!
17 "Skinny" Vanilla Latte — A Health-Friendly Staple
A latte isn't really a bad choice — it's just steamed milk and espresso, which means you're getting a pretty decent dose of protein along with your caffeine. However, if you're watching your calories but are super in love with all the sweet-flavored lattes, go "skinny".
A regular grande vanilla latte (with 2% milk and regular vanilla syrup) has 250 calories, while a grande skinny vanilla latte (made with non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup) has just 130 calories. That's right — you're getting basically the exact same flavors for half as many calories. What's not to love? This is a great treat for when you need an afternoon pick-me-up.
16 Caffe Americano For When You Want A Little More Than Just Plain Brewed Coffee
Let's say you're really trying to be careful with the number of calories you consume, but you want something a little more special than regular brewed coffee — that's where the Caffe Americano comes in.
This drink, for those who aren't familiar with the coffee lingo, consists of espresso shots topped with hot water.
It's similar in flavor to a regular brewed coffee, obviously, but it's just a bit smoother, with a delicious layer of crema on top. A grande has only 15 calories, and even with a splash of milk, it's a super healthy option to go for. You can even order it iced if that's your preference.
15 The Iconic Pink Drink You've Seen All Over Social Media
Often, treats that are trending on Instagram tend to be of the super unhealthy variety — crazy milkshakes and doughnuts and cheese-drenched carb explosions. However, if you're looking to get in on a trending food while still keeping up with your healthy eating, we've got news for you — the Pink Drink is a great option.
This drink, now officially on Starbucks' menu with the complete nutritional information, consists of a Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with coconut milk. A grande-sized Pink Drink clocks in at only 140 calories, which makes this a fantastic pick for those who want something a little creamy and a little fruity with none of the guilt.
14 Caffe Latte — Sometimes, It's Best To Keep It Simple
If you want a bit of a treat but you don't really have a sweet tooth, a regular latte just may be the perfect thing. A latte is just a blend of espresso, steamed milk, and a layer of foam.
But if you regularly just have brewed coffee at home with a splash of milk, it can seem like a total luxury.
A grande with non-fat milk only has 130 calories, and if you're looking to take things even lower on the calorie spectrum, opt for their Almondmilk — a grande made with that will only be 100 calories. Plus, those espresso shots will give you a burst of energy!
13 Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage For When You Just Really Need A Frapp In Your Life
Look, we get it — sometimes you just want what you want, and what you absolutely need is a frosty, perfectly blended frappuccino. While virtually none of the regular versions with whole milk and whipped cream and spoonfuls of sugar are anywhere near healthy, the caramel light frappuccino blended coffee is a surprisingly good option.
The light one comes with non-fat milk and no whip, and even with the addition of the caramel syrup to give that buttery taste, a grande still only clocks in at 140 calories. That's way, way better than the 400, and even 500+ that the regular frappuccinos have in them.
12 Non-Fat Iced Caramel Macchiato Has All The Sweetness And Frozen Goodness Of A Frapp, But Healthier
We kind of can't even believe how well you can hack a totally decadent drink with the caramel macchiato. While it's not the healthiest option on the menu starting out, if you opt for a venti with non-fat milk and sugar-free syrup, it clocks in at around 145 calories.
Seriously — that's it!
Each pump of sweetener has around 20 calories, so that really adds up, especially in the larger iced sizes. You can't get a sugar-free version of the rich caramel drizzle on top, but hey, sometimes you need to treat yourself a little — plus there's something about the caramel dripping down the side of the cup that seems so decadent.
11 Brewed Coffee Is Always A Solid Option
Obviously, when it comes to making healthy choices, regular old brewed coffee is a fantastic option, especially when you don't add a ton of sweeteners or dairy to it.
Still, if you're used to your regular grocery store brewed coffee at home, it can feel like a total treat to try out some of the blends that they have brewing on a daily basis.
If you're feeling super fancy, you can even go for one of their roasts brewed on the Clover brewing system, which is supposed to make the cup of coffee even more incredible. Why not give it a try?
10 Brewed Tea For Chillier Days
Again, everyone knows that brewed tea with nothing added is a fantastic selection if you're trying to make healthy choices. After all, it's just water and tea leaves!
However, Starbucks has a ton of unique flavors that can be a total treat to try, especially with their Teavana line.
Opt for a pineapple Kona pop, a peach tranquility, or a hot version of passion tango — the options are endless! And, they'll often include two teabags in larger sizes, so you really get that burst of flavor — no watered down teas here! It's a great chance to try a flavor without having to buy an entire box.
9 Non-Fat Iced Green Tea Latte For Those Matcha Cravings
Everyone knows that matcha has a ton of fantastic health benefits, so if you want a boost of caffeine and flavor without having to go the espresso route, an iced green tea latte is the perfect option.
The matcha tea blend that Starbucks uses does have a fair bit of sugar in it, so this isn't as guilt-free as a simple iced green tea, but it's a whole lot more decadent and creamy, so it's definitely worth a shot if you're looking for a frosty treat. If you opt for non-fat milk, a grande of this clocks in at only 170 calories — not too shabby!
8 Whole Milk Cappuccino — When You Want To Get A Little Decadent
If you always assume that the only way to get a guilt-free drink is to go for non-fat milk, well, we're here to give you another option. You see, while a drink like a latte only has a smattering of foam on top, a cappuccino is made entirely foamed milk.
This means that the whole drink is a lot lighter and more calorie-friendly.
So, even if you skip the non-fat milk and skip the 2%, going straight for a decadent treat with whole milk, a tall cappuccino will still only clock in at 110 calories. If you want a healthy option but hate the taste of non-fat milk, this is the perfect solution.
7 Cafe Misto — A Lighter Twist On A Latte
If you want an even lighter version of a latte with the same coffee flavor and foam to top it off, the Caffe Misto is a perfect pick. This drink is basically equal parts freshly brewed coffee and steamed milk, which means it's perfect for individuals who don't love all the milk a latte contains.
You can even get totally crazy and add a pump or two of sugar-free syrup if you want to replicate that vanilla latte feel. It just goes to prove that there are so many great options on the menu when it comes to making healthy choices!
6 Cold Brew Coffee Is A Summer Staple
If you just can't get down with iced coffee because you find it way too bitter without a ton of classic syrup added to it, we've got a suggestion — give the cold brew a try. Because of the longer brewing process involved in making this caffeinated treat, the brew itself is a little bit sweeter and less bitter.
A grande only has 5 calories — the same as a regular hot brewed coffee — and it can be a great option for a warm and humid day.
If you prefer your coffee with a little milk, add a splash or two of your choice, either dairy or non-dairy. Starbucks has plenty of options to choose from.
5 Flat White For Channeling Those On The Other Side Of The Pond
Unless you're a total Anglophile, chances are, you may not have known exactly what this drink was when it first started popping up on Starbucks menus in North America. Well, it's yet another great, healthy option.
It's basically a latte, but instead of regular espresso shots, it's made with ristretto shots, which give you a much bolder flavor. And, instead of regular steamed milk, the steaming technique is switched up a little bit so you get a super velvety microfoam. A grande with non-fat milk clocks in at just 130 calories — not bad for such a creamy, decadent drink! Team Flat White Forever!
4 Skinny Mocha For When You Just Need That Chocolate Dose
If you've ever done a bit of searching on what some of the unhealthiest drinks on the Starbucks menu are, you'll know that basically anything incorporating mocha syrup is a huge calorie bomb.
However, that doesn't mean you have to skip mocha drinks altogether if that's your jam — you just need to be smart about modifying your drink.
If you go for a skinny mocha — that's a mocha with non-fat milk and just a foam topping rather than a huge swirl of whipped cream — a grande only has 170 calories. It's not as skinny as a skinny latte, but it allows you to have that chocolate-y mocha flavor.
3 Coffee Light Frappuccino Blended Coffee For When A Regular Iced Coffee Just Isn't Doing It
Not everyone loves the frappuccino options that have a ton of crazy flavors added. Sometimes, you just want a frosty sort of drink with that coffee flavor. A grande coffee light frappuccino — which is basically just coffee blended with non-fat milk and ice — has just 110 calories. This makes it way better than even some of the iced latte options.
If you're trying to kick the frappuccino habit, this is a great way to get that same frosty experience for a lot fewer calories and sugar. Sometimes, it's just about taking baby steps — no one is saying you need to switch from sugary frappuccinos straight to black coffee!
2 Iced Cold Foam Cappuccino — An Intriguing New Menu Addition
Okay, we have to admit, we were super jazzed about this recent addition to the menu — and it's everything you could want and more! A grande of this delectable treat comes in at just 60 calories, and it's totally something you would never be able to make at home.
Espresso is packed under a layer of frothed cold foam, and there's a splash of milk in there to give you that creamy flavor.
It's frothy, it's foamy, it's rich, it's packed with espresso... it's everything a coffee lover could want from a beverage. And, it's totally unique — perfect for when you want to treat yourself with something a bit more unusual.
1 A Faux Chai Latte — Why Not Hack The Menu?
Okay, this one isn't actually on the menu, but it's a really easy option to order if you're all about that chai life. A regular chai tea latte isn't super calorie-packed, but that chai concentrate is absolutely crammed with sugar — so not cool if you're trying to watch your sugar intake.
So, instead, hack that chai flavor by asking for a chai tea misto, made with the actual chai tea bags. Depending on how much milk you want, that comes in at under 100 calories, and you still get all that chai flavor — without all the sugar! It's a total win-win, in our opinion.