The Not-So-Cheery Nutritional Info Behind Your Favorite Winter Drinks

‘Tis the season to order your favorite seasonal drinks — but do you know how many calories you’re really imbibing? Pictured here is the Signature Hot Chocolate at Panera Bread. (Photo: Panera Bread)

It’s red cup season, the time of year when restaurant chains across the land roll out their much-anticipated line-ups of wintery drinks. But, we’ve got a bit of bad news: Your favorite beverage is delicious, soul-warming — and probably worse for you than a pizza dinner.

Vocativ analyzed the winter drinks on the menus of popular American chains to find their most caloric options, and the results will make your arteries quake. Looking at Starbucks, Wawa, Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s, we found tons of calories and scoop after scoop of added sugar across the board.

Even the least sugary of the drinks on the list had 60 grams, which equates to roughly 14 teaspoons. (If it’s easier to imagine, that’s like adding about 17 of those white sugar packets at your coffee shop.) And the leader, Wawa’s Mint White Chocolate Hot Chocolate, packs in a whopping 140 grams—or 33 teaspoons—of sugar, despite being just 16 ounces.

Starbucks’ #RedCups marketing campaign (complete with a Twitter emoji) rolled out this week, and it’s winning social media — but that’s not the company’s only feat. Of all the list’s hot drinks, their super-indulgent Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha placed first in fat content at 26g. By itself, one of these alone would contain 85 percent of the day’s recommended saturated fat content for someone on a 2,000 calorie a day diet.

Here’s how some of the most common winter hot drinks stack up:


By Allee Manning. This story first appeared on Vocativ.

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