Beware These Sugar Bombs on the Starbucks 'Secret' Menu

Paul Kita
·2 mins read

From Men's Health

The thought of keeping anything a secret is sort of silly when it applies from the world's largest coffee chain.

Yes, Starbucks, has a 'secret' drinks menu, and that word is in quotes because anyone with an Instagram account can quickly discover all sorts of previously unknown consumable combinations by searching for #starbuckssecretmenu.

Though the orders aren't secret in the way that, say, In-N-Out Burger's is secret. At that burger chain you just order off-menu, using code words, which signal to the staff that you'd like to mix things up. There's a shared language and understanding.

With Starbucks, you apparently just make demands of your baristas to mix together a bunch of different ingredients and then you dub the concoction something equally bonkers.

But adding to the stress of an over-caffeinated Starbucks' employee isn't the only problem with the so-called secret menu.

Many of the caffeinated milkshakes and glorified juices are high-calorie sugar bombs.

Take the Mermaid Frappuccino, for example.

It's a grande Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with three scoops of blackberry inclusions, a drizzle made with eight pumps of white mocha, three pumps of toasted coconut, and three scoops of matcha powder.

Photo credit: Westend61
Photo credit: Westend61

Starbucks' online nutrition tools don't, for whatever reason, automatically adjust after you tack on addition options. But if you figure that a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino has 400 calories and 64 grams of sugar and then navigate through this eye-destroying document, you'll find that every pump contains 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar. So 14 pumps in the above drink would add 280 calories and 70 more grams of sugar.

So that's a total of at least 680 calories and 134 grams of sugar in one drink. (No sign of blackberry anything in that document.)

Calorie-wise, that's like drinking 4.53 (12 fl oz) cans of Pepsi.

Sugar-wise, that's downing 9.57 8-ounce glasses of Sunny D Orange Strawberry punch.

Photo credit: Peter Dazeley
Photo credit: Peter Dazeley

Look, I don't have to go through the rest of the Butterbeer Frappuccinos and Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiatos on these lists to tell you that Starbucks' secret menu drinks are loaded with empty calories, stuffed with sugar, and lacking any kind of nutrition whatsoever.

Yes, they're treats, but at what caloric cost to your day?

There is at least one exception to all this mocha-induced madness, however: the Popeye Tea.

It's just unsweetened green tea, blended with matcha powder. Zero calories. Zero sugar.

And it's simple, which is what coffee and tea should be—both for you and whoever is making it.

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