Sorry, Everyone, but There's an Unbelievable Amount of Sugar in Your Starbucks

Maybe that caffeine buzz is actually just a sugar high?

Starbucks Hot Drinks Cups
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your Starbucks white chocolate mocha with whipped cream could have as much as 18 teaspoons of sugar, according to a new report from the British campaign group Action on Sugar. That's nearly twice as much sugar as a can of Coke.

The group tested sugar levels in hot drinks from nine coffee shops and food chains in the UK, including shops we have here in the states like Starbucks, Pret a Manger and McDonalds.

The worst offenders were the hot mulled fruit drinks sold at British Starbucks, which clocked in at a whopping 25 teaspoons of sugar for a venti. So, if you're planning a trip across the pond, consider steering clear. According to the World Health Organization, adults should be consuming about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. 

Other drinks that far surpassed that daily recommendation include Starbucks' Chai tea latte, which has 13 teaspoons of sugar in a venti, and the Starbucks signature hot chocolate, clocking in at 12 teaspoons of sugar for a grande. 

The most sugary sip McDonald's offers is a large mocha, with 11 teaspoons of sugar. For Pret a Manger, it's the Orange Spiced Hot Chocolate, with 11 teaspoons, as well. 

A Starbucks spokesperson tells the company has plans to reduce the sugar in its "indulgent drinks" by 25% by the end of 2020, adding: "We also offer a wide variety of lighter options, sugar-free syrups and sugar-free natural sweetener and we display all nutritional information in-store and online."

Bye bye, sweet mochas!

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Kate Storey

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.