Have you ever wondered if the Starbucks Pink Drink is heathy?
The drink is filled with strawberries and coconut and just seems like it should be healthy. But is it?
“A fruity and refreshing sip,” as Starbucks puts it, this popular drink is one of several lightly-caffeinated Refreshers on the menu.
But if you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, reach weight-loss goals, or have dietary restrictions, you need to know exactly what’s in this drink.
Before your next trip to Starbucks, here’s a complete overview of the nutrition facts for the Pink Drink, including calories, carbs and added sugars.
In addition, see how the Pink Drink compares nutritionally to other Starbucks drinks and discover a few even healthier alternatives.
RELATED: 21 Sugar-Free Starbucks Drinks
What’s in a Pink Drink
A Starbucks Pink Drink is an iced coconut milk Refresher that’s flavored with strawberry acai juice and adorned with freeze-dried strawberries.
Strawberry Acai Juice: The Pink Drink gets its strawberry flavor from strawberry acai juice which is sweetened with sugar and lightly caffeinated with green coffee extract.
Here’s how much caffeine is in Starbucks Refreshers, including the Pink Drink.
Coconut Milk: Starbucks coconutmilk (they use one word) is one of their plant-based milk options.
While you may think it’s healthy, every one cup (240 mL) has 7 grams of added sugar.
In fact, cane sugar is the third ingredient listed on the Starbucks coconutmilk label. (Water and coconut cream are number one and two.)
Freeze-Dried Strawberries: All Starbucks Refreshers beverages comes with an inclusion of fruit. The Pink Drink gets strawberries.
Freeze-dried strawberries are simply dehydrated bits of real fruit that plump back up when added to the Pink Drink. They don’t have sugar or anything else added to them.
Is a Starbucks Pink Drink Healthy?
A Starbucks Pink Drink is definitely not a healthy drink. Even though a grande Pink Drink is under 150 calories, it has 25 grams of added sugar which is the maximum daily recommendation according to health experts.
The American Heart Association sugar recommendation, states that the maximum daily added sugar intake for women is 25 grams (6 teaspoons) and for men it’s 36 grams (9 teaspoons).
A single grande Pink Drink hits that upper limit!
To make matters worse, a Pink Drink essentially provides no dietary fiber. A 16-ounce grande has a mere 1 gram.
In a nutshell, a Starbucks Pink Drink is a classic sugar bomb–high in sugar, low in fiber.
If you’re looking for a Starbucks drink to be part of a healthy lifestyle, the Pink Drink isn’t it.
Is a Pink Drink healthier than a strawberry frappuccino?
Even though a Pink Drink isn’t necessarily a healthy drink, it’s not as unhealthy as many other handcrafted Starbucks beverages.
Let’s compare the strawberry-flavored Pink Drink to the Strawberry Creme Frappuccino, for example.
Overall, a grande Pink Drink has 70% fewer calories, 51% fewer grams of sugar and 1/8 the amount of fat than a strawberry frappuccino.
So if you’re looking for a healthier alternative for a frappuccino, then a Pink Drink is an excellent replacement.
Starbucks Pink Drink Nutrition Facts
Even though the Pink Drink has far few calories and grams of sugar and fat compared to many other Starbucks drinks, there’s not much nutritious about it.
Although, the coconut milk provides a small amount of vitamin D and calcium (20% daily value or less depending on the drink size).
Other than that, the Pink Drink is not a good source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Let’s break down the nutrition facts so you can see for yourself.
On average, a Starbucks Pink Drink has 8.8 calories per fluid ounce. In total, a 16-ounce grande Pink Drink has 140 calories.
In case you did a little math on your own, the amount of calories per ounce varies slightly between sizes since the proportion of juice to coconut milk isn’t exactly the same for each drink.
According to Starbucks nutrition facts, a grande Pink Drink clocks in at 25 grams of sugar.
Roughly speaking, 85% of the drink’s sugar content comes from the juice and the remaining 15% comes from the coconutmilk.
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The only source of fat in the Pink Drink is non-dairy coconut milk and the brand Starbucks uses contains 5 grams of fat per 1 cup serving.
That is why the total fat content in a Pink Drink is less than handcrafted Starbucks drinks like lattes made with 2% dairy milk or frappuccinos made with whole milk.
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A Starbucks Pink Drink made with coconut milk is not a good source of protein. Each size contains one gram or less.
|Pink Drink||Protein (g)|
Healthier Alternatives to a Pink Drink
Starbucks does not offer a skinny version of the Pink Drink.
It’s also not possible to modify a Pink Drink into a lower-calorie beverage since both the strawberry acai juice and coconutmilk already contain sugar.
However, if you want a refreshing, strawberry drink that’s healthier than a Pink Drink, Starbucks has a couple options.
Get a lower calorie Strawberry Acai Refresher.
A Strawberry Acai is the same drink as the Pink Drink except the concentrated juice is cut with water instead of coconut milk.
A grande Strawberry Acai Refresher at 100 calories, has 29% fewer calories than the Pink Drink.
Get a zero calorie Iced Passion Tango tea.
Starbucks Passion Tango is a refreshing, pink-colored, herbal tea that’s a flavorful blend of hibiscus, lemongrass and apple.
It’s a much healthier option than a Pink Drink since it doesn’t have a drop of sugary strawberry acai juice in it.
In fact, Passion Tango from Starbucks is served unsweetened and has 0 calories, 0 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fat.
If you want to sweeten it a touch, add in one or two pumps of liquid cane sugar or a sugar alternative.
To make the Passion Tango tea a little fruitier and creamy like a Pink Drink, ask for it to be shaken with strawberry fruit inclusions and a splash of coconut milk.