Macro-Friendly Starbucks Orders

Macro-Friendly Starbucks Orders

I’m as basic as the next bitch, so obviously I enjoy a good Starbucks coffee. Being basic, I also do not enjoy black coffee. It’s a means to an end, for sure, so I’ll choke it down if I must, but my overall take on the matter is life is too short to drink black coffee.

When I go for a Starbucks run – usually when a child or 2 has fallen asleep in the backseat or I get the opportunity for the uber rare, solo Target-wandering adventure – I want it to be delicious. Aka not black.

At the same time, I’m a fitness-minded, goal-oriented macro-tracker, through and through. So there ain’t no way mama is spending a majority of her daily calories and fat on one freaking beverage. And anyway I can sneak in a bit of protein with my cup of life-giving liquid, I’m here for it.  I’ve considered adding collagen peptides to my glass of wine before.  A protein wine is a million dollar idea.

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Related Post: I Started Tracking Macros at My “Happy” Weight and Here’s What Happened.

Prior to getting to the front of the Starbucks line I’ll typically take a few minutes to browse the nutrition information to find a coffee that either fits my macros, or at least doesn’t blow them to smitherings.  Now and then I gotta be a little “extra” when I place my order, but not too extra, because honestly I feel self-conscious and like I’m inconveniencing the baristas. Surely there’s a deeper underlying issue there somewhere, and I’m just gonna breeze right past it for now.

Anymore I don’t need to spend much time, if any, looking at the calories and macros because I have a few go-tos I typically choose from. It’s easy to plug one into the MyFitnessPal nutrition tracking app and make it fit into my daily calorie and macro targets. Maybe a drink from this list will strike your fancy and help you stay on track with your macros, too.

“Skinny” Caramel Macchiato (no whip, no caramel drizzle.  Hot or iced).  This is one of my 2 go-to orders pretty much anytime I get Starbucks.  The calories are a wee bit higher than I’d like, however, for 11 or 13 grams of protein for a grande and venti, respectively, I can skip the 200 calorie protein bar and it all comes out in the wash.

  • Grande, 140 calories/21c/2f/11p
  • Venti, 170 cal/25c/2f/13p

Whipped cream adds 70 cal/2c/7f/0p (hot) or 110 cal/3c/11f/1p (cold), and caramel drizzle adds 15 cal/2c/1f/0p  (I always skip the whip, but have been known to ok the drizzle).

Iced Coffee with Sugar Free Flavored Syrup.  (I’ve definitely ordered this hot before, but tend to prefer it iced.) This is great for when you either don’t have the calories/macros left for a more “gourmet” coffee order, but still want a tasty pick-me-up. This is a no-frills kind of coffee order so iced makes it feel at least a little fancy.

  • Grande or Venti, 5 cal/0c/0f/0p

“Skinny” Cinnamon Dolce Latte (no whip, no cinnamon dolce sprinkles. Hot or iced). Honestly, I haven’t yet tried this one – I came across it while putting my list of go-tos together.  It sounds yummy, and the macros are impressive AF, so I’m definitely going to give it a shot on my next Starbucks run.

  • Grande, 80 cal/12c/0f/7p
  • Venti, 110 cal/17c/0f/10p (seriously, look at those numbers. BRB, I’m going to Starbucks.  And I already had my afternoon cup.)

Whipped cream adds 70 cal/2c/7f/0p (hot) or 110 cal/3c/11f/1p (cold), and it looks like the sprinkles add about 10 calories based on my process-of-elimination, and substitution mathing.

“Skinny” Caffe Mocha (no whip or mocha drizzle, with sugar free mocha syrup).  Again, this is one I have not yet tried simply because I didn’t know of it’s existence until I was right now years old.  You bet your bottom dollar I’ll be spending mine on this in the near future.

  • Grande, 100 cal/12c/1f/9p
  • Venti, 140 cal/17c/3f/13p

Whipped cream adds 70 cal/2c/7f/0p (hot) or 110 cal/3c/11f/1p (cold), and mocha drizzle adds 5 cal/1c/0f/0p. The drizzle looks like a no-brainer to me.

Nonfat Cappuccino. A simple, tasty option with great macros. Personally, I add some sugar free flavors syrup for 0 cal/0c/0f/0p, because why not?

  • Grande, 80 cal/12c/0f/8p
  • Venti, 110 cal/16c/0f/10p

Nonfat Caffe Latte.

  • Grande, 130 cal/19c/0f/13p
  • Venti, 170 cal/25c/0f/16p

Sugar Free, Nonfat Blonde Vanilla Latte.

  • Grande, 140 cal/22c/0f/12p
  • Venti, 170 cal/27c/0f/15p

I’ve found contradicting nutritional information between this drink and the more common “Skinny Vanilla Latte” that’s actually listed on the menu. Honestly I’m not sure of the difference between the two.

Besides the smoother, slightly sweeter finish to the blonde roast, the calorie  numbers are the same as the Starbucks Signature Roast, so there’s no discrepancy there.

Luckily, and not surprisingly, the difference between a sugar-free/nonfat Latte and a skinny one is like splitting blonde hairs.  Calories differ by only 10-20 and carbs by just 3g, while fat and protein stay the same.

Cold Brew Coffee. Most of the cold brew and nitro cold brew options are fairly low in calories, with just one exception…Salted Caramel Cream, I’m looking at you, you sexy, calorific thang, you. Check out these low-cal cold brew options (Grande):

  • Cinnamon Almond Milk Foam. 40 cal/7c/1f/1p
  • Dark Cocoa Almond Milk Foam. 40 cal/6c/1.5f/1p
  • Cinnamon Oatmilk Foam. 50 cal/7c/1.5f/1p
  • Salted Honey Cold Foam. 40 cal/7c/0f/2p
  • Plain Starbucks or Reserve. 5 cal/0c/0f/0p
  • With 2% milk. 35 cal/3c/1.5f/2p

I haven’t sampled all of these, but I know I like the Salted Honey Cold Foam. I mean, it’s salt. And honey. What’s not to like? Personally, I would add sugar-free flavored syrup to the plain and milk-only versions, and opt for nonfat milk with the milk-only cold brew.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew (sugar free vanilla syrup). This one, while not as impressive when it comes to macros as some, is an absolute delight.  I kept it separate from the rest of the cold brews because it’s my 2nd favorite order, after the Caramel Macchiato mentioned earlier, and deserves some solo glory. It’s got the distinct coffee taste, meaning it’s not totally disguised by sweetener, but it has the perfect amount of sweet to satisfy my need to drink delicious coffee.  My Instagram handle is Squatto4Moscato, so I obviously enjoy the sweeter things in life.

  • Grande, 70 cal/4c/6f/1p

Unfortunately the vanilla sweet cream itself is pre-mixed, so there’s nothing you can do to skinny-ize that part of it. But, if you have the fat to spare I promise you won’t be sorry. Even as listed online, with 2 pumps of regular vanilla syrup, the numbers aren’t bad at 110 cal/14c/6f/1p.

Nonfat, Sugar Free Caramel Cloud Macchiato. Now take this nutritional information with a ground of coffee (see what I did there?) because I had to do some searching, a wee bit of math, and a teensy bit of guessing. But this drink is super tasty and it’s worth a mention.

  • Grande, iced: 75 cal/20c/1f/5p
  • Grande, hot: 165 cal/32c/1f/11p
  • Venti, iced: 125 cal/25c/1f/8p

Yes, I realize the difference between hot and iced is ridiculous and maybe there’s no way it’s accurate. I will say I got both base calorie/macro numbers directly from the Starbucks website and the hot and iced options vary greatly at that level, as well. Also, these are the numbers I would use and enter into MyFitnessPal, and I’m pretty on the ball.

This is where “close enough” comes to play for me. I can enjoy my drink, have numbers I can work the rest of my day around to keep my head in the game, and move on with my life.

Coffee Frappucino Blended Beverage. The Frappucinos are typically outrageous in calories, fat, and sugar so I generally avoid this part of the menu altogether. However, it turns out there are some real, macro-friendly options out there for when you’re craving an ice-cold, milkshake-y, caffeine-ful treat.

Grande (as listed on website using whole milk), 230 cal/46c/3f/3p. Personally, I’d still order this with nonfat milk, and I would guess that would drop it to around 150 cal and 0g fat while keeping carbs and protein the same.

Java Chip Frappucino Blended Beverage (nonfat milk, no whip, no mocha drizzle, sugar free mocha syrup). The Starbucks website lists this as a whopping 440 calories without any of the substitutions in parentheses, but bear with me.  Starbucks also says here, you can get a 150 calorie version with those few simple swaps.

Still looking for some more lighter Starbucks options?  Check out these Eleven 100-calorie or less, cold drink Starbucks orders, directly from the Starbucks website. Also, definitely check out and follow TheMacroBarista on Instagram for lots of tasty, macro-friendly coffee orders and manipulations.

General Tips to Lighten Up Your Orders at Any Coffee Shop. At a local coffee shop you won’t always have nutritional information, but you can estimate for tracking purposes using Starbucks or other chain nutritional data that is available. Don’t freak out, or worse – not have your coffee! –  just because you don’t have exact numbers.

First of all, your cup of joe should not be a source of anxiety. Coffee is glorious and should only make you happy.  Second of all, the odds that what you’re drinking – or for that matter, eating, from any restaurant – actually matches the exact numbers listed in the nutritional info is slim to none anyway.

Simply order in a way that best supports your goals while also satisfying your taste buds. The same goes for when you’re acting as your own batista at home.  This is a great way to save some money (& calories), and I’ve made some yummy coffee concoctions right in my own kitchen.

I’ll put together a blog with some at-home coffee ideas, but here I’ll mention the G.O.A.T. for making iced coffee at home. The Hyperchiller will chill your piping hot coffee in 60 seconds! You can brew directly into it from your single cup (ie. Keurig) system, or pour coffee into it from the pot of a drip style coffee maker. No more watered down, barely cool homemade iced coffee! Pro Tip: It also works like a champ for chilling wine and spirits.

Here are some easy swaps that will help skinny-fy your tasty beverage:

Nonfat milk instead of 2% or whole. Starbucks typically uses 2% milk for their beverages, unless otherwise stated.  There’s about a 40 calorie difference between a cup of 2% milk and a cup of nonfat milk.  From what I’ve come across online, substituting nonfat/skim milk can generally knock the calorie count down by about 60 calories, depending on how much is used in the particular beverage. Almond milk is also a decent substitute, as it is lower in sugar and calories than nonfat cow’s milk, but be aware it will add a bit of fat to your drink.

Sugar free syrups instead of regular. Each pump of regular flavored syrup at Starbucks tacks on 20 calories and 5g carbs (all from sugar). This may not seem like much, but most of their drinks have 3, or even 4,pumps of syrup! That’s 60-80 calories! Go calorie- and carb- free with sugar free options. Starbucks has sugar free vanilla and cinnamon dolce syrups, and both are delicious.

If you’re at a coffee shop that doesn’t offer sugar free flavored syrups, ask for fewer pumps of the regular stuff – chances are 1 or 2 pumps is plenty.

At home, I highly recommend sprucing up your coffee with Jordan’s Skinny Mixes syrups. They have lots of flavors and a little goes a long way.  They’re the perfect addition to any home coffee bar. I use them literally every single day. Also, they don’t need refrigerated, so you could even keep a bottle in your car to add to some cheap, drive-thru black coffee  on-the-go.

Skip the whip. Whipped cream adds a lot of fat and calories to a drink that may already be a splurge in itself.  Honestly, on hot drinks I find it just kinda dissolves away anyway, like a marshmallow in hot cocoa. I would much rather be able to see it and eat it than have it disappear, leaving nothing but its tasteless fat and calories behind.

You know how your toddler has a conniption fit when the butter on her pancake melts and she can’t see it or lick it off?  That’s how I feel about whipped cream.  The coffee drinks, hot or cold, that are generally topped with whipped cream are delicious in their own right, so it just seems unnecessary. Unless, of course, Starbucks would offer a fat-free variety.  If you’re at home, use something like fat-free Reddi whip if you’re feeling fancy.

Order a Smaller Size. Do you really need a coffee the size of your head?  Yes? Oh, ok then. I see you. Carry on.  But, if you’re really treating yourself with an extravagant drink order, maybe go for the short/tall/small size rather than the medium/grande or large/venti.  You’ll save some calories and still satisfy your craving.

Hopefully you can now waltz up to the counter with confidence during your next Starbucks run.  What’s your go-to Starbucks order?  I’m always on the prowl for a delicious pick-me-up!  Let me know in the comments, and follow me on Instagram.

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