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Low-sugar Starbucks drinks: Start your new year cutting sugar

These Starbucks drinks won't break your New Year's resolution

A Starbucks cup sitting on a counter inside of a store
Harun Ozmen / Shutterstock

Starbucks runs never get old — whether you’re looking for an everyday caffeine boost or a “treat yourself” drink for a special occasion. From frappuccinos to cold brew with sweet cream, Starbucks offers a delicious selection of drinks to indulge in. Unfortunately, most of these Starbucks drinks are high in added sugar and can put a damper on your New Year’s diet resolutions.

Cutting sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health because doing so provides numerous health benefits, from improved energy to better weight management. But if you’re planning to cut back on your sugar intake, don’t rush to cut out your weekly Starbucks run just yet. There are many different drink combinations you can order at Starbucks, both hot and iced, that have little to no sugar at all. Ordering these low-sugar Starbucks drinks can help you cut sugar and enjoy variations of your favorite coffee and non-coffee drinks. With a few ordering techniques, you’ll soon become a pro at ordering low-sugar drinks at Starbucks.

Starbucks cup
Sorin Sîrbu / Unsplash

About Starbucks’ low-sugar drinks

The great thing about ordering any drink at Starbucks is the ability to customize the drink to your personal taste preferences. Once you learn the tricks of the trade for ordering low-sugar Starbucks drinks, you might even find new ways to personalize your drinks to meet your dietary needs.

These low-sugar drinks at Starbucks are also perfect for people on a ketogenic diet, and the options without cream are great to enjoy if you practice intermittent fasting. Not only will these drinks help you cut down your sugar intake, but you’ll also avoid that post-sugar crash you get after sipping on those sugary frappuccinos.

Black cup of coffee next to a pastry
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Ways to order low-sugar drinks at Starbucks


If you’re looking for something a little different than a standard cup of coffee, try an Americano. You can enjoy an Americano hot or iced, and it’s made simply with espresso shots and water. Unlike a standard cup of coffee, the espresso beans used in an Americanos give it a sharper, stronger taste. This drink, when ordered without add-ins, is completely sugar-free.

Add-ins such as stevia packets, sucralose, or other zero-calorie sweeteners can be added to taste. In addition, you can also opt for a pump or two of  sugar-free vanilla syrup, which contains 1 gram of carbs per pump. If you prefer your coffee creamy, you can also add a splash of half-and-half or heavy cream to an Americano without adding much sugar.

Passion tango tea

If you’re not a coffee lover, there are still options for Starbucks drinks to enjoy. Starbucks’ tea is made from hibiscus flowers, lemongrass, and apple and contains no sugar at all. You can enjoy this tea hot or iced and customize it with zero-calorie sweeteners or sugar-free vanilla syrup for a hint of sweetness without the sugar.

Passion tango tea tastes great as is, but you can also add a splash of cream to change it up. The passion tango tea used to automatically come with classic syrup added in; however, Starbucks has changed its menu, so now it comes sugar-free when ordered standard.

Black cold brew

All of Starbucks’ fancy cold brew drinks, such as the pumpkin cold brew, contain significant amounts of sugar and should be avoided. However, you can enjoy a classic cold brew or nitro cold brew without any sugar at all. Starbucks’ coffee contains 0 grams of sugar and only 5 calories, made from only brewed coffee and ice.

The nitro cold brew option adds a creamy texture without adding sugar, using infused nitrogen to add a different texture to the drink. This Starbucks cold brew variety also contains 0 grams of sugar.

Iced coffee

Unlike other coffee chains that offer iced coffee, like McDonald’s, Starbucks automatically adds sugar when you order an iced coffee. A standard grande size of an contains 20 grams of sugar, with larger sizes, such as the venti and trenta, containing upward of 30 grams of sugar.

When ordering, request no “classic syrup” in your iced coffee to avoid the sugar. Instead, you can sweeten your iced coffee with natural zero-calorie sweetener packets like stevia or request a few pumps of sugar-free syrup.

The inside of a Starbucks store
Anthony Fomin / Unsplash

Cutting sugar from your coffee run

Adjusting to ordering your Starbucks drinks a bit differently can take some time, but it surely pays dividends in the end. Cutting sugar from your diet, even just from your morning coffee, can help you boost your health in so many ways. Coffee lovers can enjoy these low-sugar drinks using zero-sugar sweeteners like sucralose or stevia or choosing sugar-free syrups instead of Starbucks’ sugary classic syrups. Soon, you’ll learn to enjoy the taste of your drink without all the added sugar.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a full time freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She…
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