Starbucks has become known for its high-calorie beverages including the White Hot Chocolate at 640 calories and tons of carbs. So, when ordering a beverage at the famous coffee shop it might seem impossible to find Starbucks keto drinks. However, it’s feasible to find drinks that get a thumbs up while on the ketogenic diet. It’s just a matter of getting to the nitty-gritty of the various coffee and tea beverages offered at one of its 30,000+ locations. Some of the low-carb beverages are only available in-person. However, that’s ok if it means you can satisfy your caffeine fix without getting a blood sugar spike on the side.
What makes a Starbucks drink low-carb? Fun Fact: Water is the only all-natural zero-calorie food. However, many foods have rock-bottom carbs so they’re classified as low-carb. Green tea and black coffee are already zero-calorie. So, it’s ironic that beverages at today’s coffeeshop chains have become infamous for being high in calories, carbs, and bad fats. The good news is you get back to basics with some low-carb versions of the Seattle-based company’s most popular drinks. Some of the beverages are basic tea/coffee while others swap out sugary ingredients. They’ll all keep you in ketosis.
Our Tea and Coffee High-carb?
This is the big question if you’re looking for low-carb Starbucks beverages. The answer is a little more complicated than it might seem.
Here’s the thing. If you drink freshly-brewed coffee or steeped green tea then those drinks are considered zero-calorie. These are the basic drinks that you make at home or can order at coffee shops. The problem is it’s the added white sugar, non-dairy creamer, and sugary additives that make coffee/tea unhealthy.
If you’re on the keto diet then it’s important to avoid sugar and white guar in particular. That’s the problem since many of today’s commercial coffee drinks are loaded with white granules. That includes various additives like whipped cream, caramel, and so on.
If you’re on the keto diet this becomes a problem. Your goal is to stay in ketosis by consuming less than 50g of carbs daily. For example, let’s say you order a 16-oz. Starbucks cappuccino. This is a basic drink yet contains 12g of carbs. That’s about one-quarter of your daily allowance while on the keto diet.
The goal of the keto diet is to stay low-carb so your body gets (and stays) in the metabolic state known as ketosis. That will cause your body to get energy from stored fat instead of food calories.
When you drink a sugary drink, it causes your blood sugar to spike and kicks you out of ketosis. Depending on the amount of sugar/carbs you consume you might be kicked out of ketosis for a day or even a full week.
The good news is you can find several drinks at Starbucks that are keto-friendly. You can go with the basic brewed coffee or herbal teas since they’re zero-calorie, to begin with. Since keto is low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) you could even add some cow/almond/coconut milk to add healthy fat to your drink. Hold the sugar!
Best Starbucks Keto Drinks
1. Brewed Coffee
This is super-keto friendly since you can find 0/low-carb roasts. The key is to go with low-carb options like Pike Place Roast. You’ll have to do some research about which ones have few carbohydrates.
Then it’s a matter of watching what you add to the coffee. Make sure to add NO white sugar. You could go with a little real milk or cream for good fats. If you want to keep it super-low carb then pick almond/coconut milk as alternatives to cow’s milk.
2. London Fog (low carb)
While plain Earl Grey tea is low-carb this drink isn’t. The Starbucks beverage includes steamed milk as well as vanilla syrup. You should ditch the milk and syrup. Replace them with whipping cream and some sugar-free syrup.
When ordering this drink make sure to avoid saying “London Fog.” Just place your order with the specific ingredients you want.
3. Skinny Mocha
This drink even sounds low-carb. The original version has a net 20g of carbs so it’s keto-unfriendly. The drink is made with ingredients like milk, mocha sauce, and whipped cream.
You’ll have to make some tweaks to make the drink more keto-friendly. Make the mocha sauce sugar-free. Then use whipping cream/water as a substitute for milk.
4. Iced Pineapple Tea
If you want your tea to have more flavor then this is a good option. Here’s what you do. Go with iced black, green, or white tea. These teas are low-carb from the get-go. Then add (unsweetened) pineapple fusion to enjoy a tea that tastes like the tropical fruit.
5. Americano (low carb)
This beverage is quite low-carb already. So, it’s a cinch to make it keto-friendly. Simply add heavy cream for some good fat.
There are other options. The key is to learn which ingredients are high-carb then swap in low-carb/high-fat substitutes.
Best Low-Carb Beverages
1. Diet Sodas
These are a mixed bag. In theory, you shouldn’t drink sodas at all because they’re empty calories. However, if you’re on keto and you want to have a can of soda once in a blue moon then make it a Diet Coke.
They usually have 0-carbs/calories. Keep in mind artificial sweeteners have their issues as well as other unhealthy ingredients in these fizzy drinks.
2. Fruit/Vegetable Juice
This is the homemade kind not the store-bought versions like V8. It’s surprising how high commercial ones are in salt, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients. Make sure to make it fresh.
Avoid adding starchy vegetables or sugary fruits. Even though they’re generally healthy, they can add lots of carbs. One of the go-to ingredients is green leafy veggies since they’re super-healthy and low-carb.
3. Milk/Soy Milk
Both have about the same number of carbs. If you can’t drink cow’s milk then soy/almond milk are some good substitutes.
It’s important to note these are the basic drinks without sugar in particular. You should also avoid additives like non-dairy creamer and others that have sugar. if you want to make these drinks even more keto-friendly then consider heavy cream or butter. Yes, butter coffee is a thing!
5. Coconut Water
This is relatively low-carb. One of the main benefits of coconut water in terms of keto-friendliness its high-fat content. It’s loaded with healthy fat and is one of the best sources among fruits.
Make sure you’re drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day. If the weather is hot/humid or you’re doing workouts then you’ll want to drink more along with Starbucks keto drinks.
This is the best low-carb drink because your body and brain require it to function properly. You can even infuse it with some lemon or lime if you want some more flavor.