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Keto Drinks At Starbucks

Louise | January 14

So you decided it’s finally time to commit to a keto diet. But, there’s only one issue stopping you: you forgot that, once 3PM hits, nothing can save you except a highly caffeinated sugary drink from your local Starbucks barista! 

There is no need to worry though. Ordering keto drinks at Starbucks is much easier than you expect, if you follow certain rules and pay attention to the ingredients.

The best thing about Starbucks is their multitude of options and infinitely customizable drinks. This makes it incredibly easy to alter your favorite dessert-in-a-cup drink to cater to the keto diet. 

Before we dive into what is actually keto on the regular Starbucks menu, there are several rules that one needs to keep in mind before ordering.

How To Order At Starbucks if You’re Keto:

  1. Skipping whipped cream is always a good idea! Yes, it might be made from fat, but it also contains very high amounts of sugar, and sometimes even vanilla syrup, which will definitely take you out of ketosis.
  2. Let your barista know that you want sugar-free syrups in your coffee! Many of the popular Starbucks drinks are laden with sugar in the form of flavor-syrups, but fortunately they do have sugar-free versions available. All you need to do is ask. But be careful, going overboard with the sugar substitutes could disrupt your gut microbiome and send you racing for the bathroom.  Long term, it’s also better to train your taste palate to enjoy flavors other than sweet.
  3. Think twice about the dairy-free alternative! Starbucks offers a nice selection of plant-based milks, but these contain naturally occurring as well as added sugars, which can total 10-15g of carbs in a grande drink. Still, these numbers are lower than their dairy alternatives, which can add up to 20g of carbs to your grande drink. The easiest solution would be to skip the milk completely.
  4. For more richness, consider heavy cream! If you cannot have your dose of caffeine without milky creaminess, heavy cream would be a better option (if you’re ok with dairy products), as it’s mostly all fat and hence very low in carbs.
  5. Beware of The Classic! You may not have heard of this, but all Starbucks iced coffees and teas contain this sugary syrup by default. Mention to your barista to skip adding this syrup to your drink and you will have saved yourself from 20 hidden grams of carbs.

Now that you know what to keep in mind when it comes to customizing drinks and turning them into keto allies, let's take a look at the actual menu, and see what keto drinks Starbucks offers, for when you’re in a hurry.

6 Keto-Friendly Starbucks Drinks:

  1. This might surprise no one, but at the top of the list is the humble brewed coffee. Whether hot or cold brewed, all you have to do is pick your favorite roast and you’ll be out the door with a low carb drink in no time.
  2. The cold brew or nitro cold brew is another excellent keto option at Starbucks.  This is naturally served cold and sugar-free.
  3. A latte is another good option, if you replace the milk with steamed half water and half heavy cream, you’ll get the same creamy texture and zero carbs. If the iced version is more to your taste, remember to skip the Classic.
  4. Is there anything more American than an Americano? This steamy drink involves adding hot water over one or two shots of espresso, depending on your drink size, for only 2g of carbs in a grande Americano.
  5. The Mocha is another popular drink. While it’s not keto-friendly in its off the menu form, by replacing the steamed milk with half water, half double cream, and the two pumps of mocha and vanilla syrup with their sugar free counterparts, you have a deliciously flavored pick-me-up, with only 1g of carbs.
  6. If you prefer tea instead of coffee, you have several options. You can either go for the premade unsweetened iced tea or a brewed tea (served hot or cold). For brewed tea, there’s a good selection of black, green, as well as herbal.  Just be careful to avoid the tea lattes and sugary drinks made from tea.

But what about some of the infamous and instagrammable Starbucks drinks, like the Pink Drink or the Unicorn Frappuccino?

I’m sure no one will be surprised, but these drinks are packed with huge amounts of sugar, and would not fit in a keto diet. But, fortunately, you can make them keto friendly by taking full advantage of the infinite customizations available in a Starbucks shop. 

For the Pink Drink, ask for Passion Tango iced tea, four pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup, a couple of splashes of heavy cream, ice, and no Classic.

As for the unicorn Frappuccino, the regular version contains 80g of carbs, and there are not many options to significantly lower its carb content, so it might be best to make this at home, using frozen blueberries, strawberries, and heavy cream.

With all that said, hopefully now you have all the information needed to stick to your keto diet without having to skip Starbucks altogether.


Louise co-founded Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. She has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love.