The Starbucks drink menu is famously enormous. It’s also famously customizable, and often famously over-the-top.
With a whole spectrum of flavored syrup, powders and toppings, it’s not uncommon for a Starbucks drink to come out looking more along the lines of a big cup of ice cream than a simple coffee these days.
These days, especially around any celebrated holiday or change in season, we’ve gone way beyond nonfat milk and whipped cream.
But along with the impressive variety and extra-ness that Starbucks drinks have become best known for is an impressively diverse range of healthy Starbucks drinks as well.
These still delicious, exceptionally well-made health-conscious options will still scratch your itch for Starbucks without sacrificing your health and nutrition goals.
So what are they? Let’s dive in and see:
How to Reduce Calorie Count & Minimize Health Concerns with Starbucks Drinks
If you tend to keep to the basics rather than going all out on some of the crazier options available on the Starbucks menu secret or regular then the drinks you opt for on your own may already be pretty close to what we’ll recommend.
On the other hand if you’re the type to jump on the liquified donut-style trend drinks from TikTok or finish most of your orders with, “and make it a Trenta,” we’ve got some tips to help you make your Starbucks orders a lot more healthy.
The “Tall”er the Better
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The less you consume, the lower your calorie intake. That’s a given.
So the easiest tip you can employ when trying to up your health consciousness at Starbucks is to start by keeping your favorite drinks as small as you can.
If you’re used to ordering a Venti, step it down to a Grande or even a Tall.
If all you tend to need is a Tall cup of sweetened iced tea or brewed coffee to kick off your day, ask your barista for a Short next time, which is a semi-secret off-menu size down from the Tall available for most simple hot drinks.
Make Your Drink Less of a Sweet Treat
Just like pretty much anything else you can eat, the less sugar in it, the less unhealthy it’s likely to be.
Fortunately, Starbucks drinks can be sweetened with sugar-free syrup instead of regular sugar, which will cut down on the calories a bit.
Be aware though that artificial sweeteners come with their own significant health tradeoffs, like introducing synthetic chemicals into your diet.
So if calories aren’t your number one concern, in many cases you’re often better off sticking with a couple grams of sugar or natural brown sugar syrup.
If you can do without sweetener at all, that’s by far your best bet.
If bitterness is your main motivator for adding sugar or sweeteners, try balancing out your drink with a splash of nonfat milk, almond milk or oat milk instead.
On that note, another important factor in making your Starbucks drink its best, healthiest self is watching milk and creamer options.
Steamed milk is a great topper for hot drinks, but going with whole milk will massively increase both the fat and calorie content of your coffee or tea.
Instead opt for nonfat milk or even better, plant-based alternatives something like oat milk for a great-tasting nonfat cappuccino or vanilla late – skinny vanilla latte.
Skip the Extras
This may be a hard one to swallow if you’re a long-time Starbucks fan, but most of those extras, flavorings and toppings are just added calories, fat and other unhealthy ingredients you don’t really need in your iced green tea or cold brew coffee.
Skip the whipped cream, mocha sauce, vanilla syrup and chocolate powder, except for the occasional treat. Your body will thank you.
The Coffee Geek Menu of Healthy Starbucks Drinks
1. Iced Coffee with Syrup Sweetener (no sugar)
Simple and straightforward yet timelessly refreshing and delicious, Starbucks’ iced coffee is a great choice for cold brew lovers after a simple brewed coffee on ice.
Choose the chain’s sugar-free syrup or sugar-free vanilla syrup for one of the lowest-calorie Starbucks beverages achievable.
2. Skinny Chai Tea Latte
Another simple, low-calorie beverage that will still hit the spot and give you that gratifying Starbucks drink satisfaction, the skinny chai tea latte is a great option when you’re trying to be health-conscious at Starbucks.
It’ll come with nonfat milk by default, which you can substitute for alternatives like almond milk.
To sweeten the deal, you can add a dash of sugar-free vanilla syrup or natural plant-based sweetener like Stevia.
3. Nonfat Cappuccino
A classic warm-me-up favorite, the nonfat cappuccino is the kind of healthy Starbucks drink that still manages to look indulgent.
With nonfat frothed milk (or oat milk) on top of perfectly brewed espresso, you’ll still get that warm and fuzzy satisfied feeling Starbucks beverages are famous for, without sacrificing calories and health.
4. Iced Passion Tango Tea
Here’s one for chilled tea lovers looking for a break from iced cold green tea in the summer.
This fruit-blasted take on iced tea is really something special, as it’s totally different from many of the more basic items on this listing.
It’ll give you a completely novel option if you’re looking for a break from coffee, and it’s still incredibly unique amongst the tea options.
It’s made with fruit flavors something like apple, lemon and hibiscus and still manages to come in at zero calories. With this one you can skip the whipped cream and still get your sweet fix.
5. Iced Green Tea
No need to always be extra though and the classic iced green tea is definitely worth a mention.
Simple, natural, healthy and still with a decent kick of caffeine, this green tea is a personal flavor go-to when I want something to cool off with that’s a little more chilled-out than iced coffee.
Zero calories (assuming you skip the extras) and consistently satisfying, it’s a great option requiring very little thought.
6. Iced Coffee with Oat Milk
While we’re on the classics, it wouldn’t be a great list of healthiest drinks without the timeless cold brew coffee.
Starbucks has really perfected cold brew coffee over the years, so what you get with them is never just watered stale hot coffee over ice.
7. Light Caramel Frappuccino
Here’s an option that still manages to fit in some sweet caramel syrup without breaking the 100-calorie barrier.
This delicious cold brew-based beverage used blended ice, nonfat milk and a drop of syrup to create one of our favorite healthy drinks at Starbucks of all time.
8. Nitro Cold Brew (with Sweet Creamy Milk)
If you still want to have some fun actually placing your order at the counter, this one could be for you.
It’s a pre-made cold brew beverage that’s based on deliciously strong coffee that tends to be a bit less bitter than some of Starbucks’ freshly-brewed blends.
This one gets a special sweet creamy milk added to it, which removes the need to add any separate additional sweeteners, and is an outstanding option for anyone looking to change up their coffee drink or get something thick and creamy without compromising on being healthy with their order.
Wrap-Up: How to Do Healthy Drinks at Starbucks
Whether you’re a coffee person, a tea person, or just a Starbucks lover, there’s a way to do a huge variety of healthy drinks at Starbucks.
Sure, being health-conscious with what you drink takes some degree of compromise no matter how you slice it, but with the incredible options—from cold brewed coffee to a crave-worthy chai tea latte, “healthy Starbucks” isn’t an oxymoron or a disappointment.
Depending on your health concerns you can easily enjoy some of the best drinks Starbucks has to offer.
Got a favorite recipe on a skinny vanilla latte we didn’t cover here?
Found the sweet spot in the number of grams of sugar you can still add to a nitro cold brew without exceeding 100 calories recipe?
Share your healthiest findings and thoughts with us!