Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte – Not so Hot Right Now

Originally posted by The HB’s instructor, Lena, on her blog “Beautiful You.” Check it out!

October is in full swing. The leaves are falling, the trees are turning yellow, and Starbucks is marketing the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte along with the ongoing fall favorite – the iced chai tea latte. As a chai and pumpkin flavor enthusiast and an avid coffee drinker, these fall flavors go better together than Miley Cyrus and nude pleather. However, along with that sweet spicy flavor comes a lot of sugar.


In a grande iced chai tea latte with nonfat milk from Starbucks, there is 42g of sugar. What does that look like? Well, in teaspoons that breaks down to exactly 10 teaspoons of sugar. That is more sugar than a 12 fl oz can of Coca Cola!

A Starbucks grande pumpkin spice latte with nonfat milk and no whipped cream has 48g of sugar. That equates to 11.5 teaspoons of sugar – a little under the sugar contents of a 16 fl oz bottle of Coca Cola.

So what does this mean? Am I saying, no more pumpkin spice or chai tea lattes this fall? That would be like Robin Thicke without stripes. Feel free to enjoy the seasonal beverages atyour local coffee shop, but be aware of serving sizes and added sugars.

According to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, “On average, adults in the United States consumer 14.6 percent of their calories from added sugars[.] Higher intake of added sugars is associated with higher energy intake and lower diet quality, which can increase the risk for obesity, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and no more than 8 teaspoons per day for men.  Down one of these beverages and you are almost doubling the recommended amount. These beverages spike your blood sugar quickly and then leave you with an energy crash after. Here are some options to give to your barista:

  • Grande Nonfat Latte with 1 pump pumpkin spice.
  • Grande Nonfat Iced Chai Tea Latte with half the amount of chai powder and a shot of espresso.

These options lower the sugar contents of each beverage by more than half without losing that holiday spice. So throw on that scarf and boots, grab your latte to go, and WERK! Happy October 🙂

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