Can you get McDonald’s iced coffee without sugar?

McDonald’s iced coffee can be ordered without added sugar. The standard McDonald’s iced coffee contains added liquid sugar, but customers have the option to request it without sugar. Removing the added sugar reduces the calories and carbohydrates in the drink.

Quick Answers

Yes, you can get McDonald’s iced coffee without added sugar. When ordering, simply request “no sugar” or “unsweetened.” The barista can make the iced coffee without adding the standard liquid sugar syrup. This allows customers to enjoy the iced coffee flavor without the extra calories and carbs from added sugars.

Can you customize McDonald’s iced coffee?

Yes, McDonald’s allows customers to customize their iced coffee in several ways. First, you can request it without added sugar. Second, you can ask for an alternative dairy or non-dairy milk, like skim milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Third, you can select your coffee roast, choosing between regular, decaf, or French Vanilla. Fourth, you can ask for flavor shots like caramel, hazelnut, or vanilla. Fifth, you can request the desired amount of cream and milk. So there are many options to customize a McDonald’s iced coffee to your liking.

Does McDonald’s charge for customizations?

McDonald’s does not charge extra for ordering an iced coffee without added sugar. Removing the liquid sugar syrup does not incur an additional charge. However, some customizations do cost extra. Adding flavor shots is typically a 50 cent upcharge per shot. Requesting a specialty milk alternative also incurs an upcharge; soy milk or almond milk may cost 30-50 cents extra. Overall though, most simple customizations like removing sugar or swapping dairy milks can be done for free.

What is in a McDonald’s iced coffee?

A standard McDonald’s iced coffee contains the following ingredients:

  • Brewed coffee
  • Liquid sugar syrup
  • Milk
  • Ice

The liquid sugar is added by default in a set ratio, along with a splash of milk. When you request no sugar, the beverage contains just coffee, milk and ice. The amount of milk and brewed coffee is pre-determined based on cup size. So ordering without added sugar removes one key ingredient, but the rest of the recipe stays the same.

Does removing the sugar change the taste?

Yes, ordering a McDonald’s iced coffee without added sugar significantly alters the flavor profile. The liquid sugar syrup provides detectable sweetness. Removing it makes the drink noticeably less sweet. You’ll taste more of the underlying roasted coffee flavors. For some, this allows the iced coffee to highlight its true coffee taste. For others, the lack of sweetness may make it too bitter. So personal taste preferences come into play when deciding whether to order it unsweetened.

Should you avoid the added sugars?

Ordering without added sugars can be a healthy choice for certain customers monitoring sugar intake. The standard Large McDonald’s iced coffee has 108g of sugar. Removing those added sugars brings it down to about 3g naturally occurring sugar from the milk. Significant reductions in calories and carbohydrates also occur. However, some find unsweetened iced coffee unpalatable. In those cases, ordering with full sugar may be preferred, along with other positive dietary choices to help compensate. As always, consult a doctor for specific dietary recommendations.

Can you ask for less sugar rather than none?

Unfortunately, McDonald’s employees cannot adjust the amount of liquid sugar added to the iced coffee based on customer requests for less sugar, but not completely unsweetened. The syrup dispensing machines are preset to dispense a certain amount of syrup based on cup size. So your options are the standard full sweetness, or removing the syrup completely. Some customers get around this by ordering the iced coffee with syrup, but requesting extra milk and ice to dilute the sweetness level to their liking.

Are there natural alternatives to added sugar?

While McDonald’s cannot adjust the level of syrup, you can add your own natural sweeteners instead. Options include:

  • Agave nectar – 25 calories per teaspoon
  • Honey – 64 calories per tablespoon
  • Stevia – 0 calories
  • Monk fruit sweetener – 0 calories

Bringing your own sweetener allows you to customize the sugar level and use low-calorie natural alternatives. Just ask for the iced coffee unsweetened, then stir in your preferred sweetener to taste.

Does it taste good without any sweetener?

Drinking a McDonald’s iced coffee completely unsweetened with plain milk is likely to taste quite bitter and strong. Many customers do not find it palatable when totally unsweetened. The natural flavors will be bold and acidic without any sweetener to mellow it out. Adding just a touch of your own sugar, honey, or non-calorie sweetener improves the flavor significantly. It provides the balance of subtle sweetness to make the iced coffee taste smooth and enjoyable.

Should you get flavored syrup instead of sugar?

Ordering a flavored coffee syrup like hazelnut or vanilla instead of plain sugar does add flavor variety. However, it typically does not reduce overall sweetness or calories. Most McDonald’s flavored coffee syrups contain similar amounts of added sugar and calories as the regular liquid sugar. For example, the caramel and hazelnut flavors both have 140 calories and 33-39g of sugar per serving. So flavor variations provide an interesting twist, but do not offer significant health differences compared to standard sugar.

Is the French Vanilla version healthier?

Unfortunately, the French Vanilla iced coffee also contains high amounts of added sugar, comparable to regular syrup. A Small French Vanilla iced coffee still packs 23g of sugar – only slightly less than the 29g in a Small regular iced coffee. Overall, the French Vanilla offers more flavor from its vanilla and subtle caramel notes, but minimal health advantage due to its similar sugar content.

Can you order sugar-free syrups instead?

Currently, McDonald’s does not offer sugar-free flavored coffee syrups. All of their flavored syrups contain similar amounts of added sugar as their regular sugar syrup. Some customers have petitioned McDonald’s to make sugar-free flavored syrups available for diabetics and people with dietary restrictions. But so far, no options exist. Your best bet is to order the iced coffee completely unsweetened, then use your own stevia, Splenda, or other zero-calorie sweeteners to flavor it yourself.

Does it have less calories without added sugar?

Yes, removing those liquid sugars significantly reduces the calories in a McDonald’s iced coffee. Here is a nutrition comparison:

Size With Sugar Without Sugar
Small 120 calories 15 calories
Medium 150 calories 20 calories
Large 210 calories 25 calories

As you can see, calories drop by approximately 100 for a Small, 130 for a Medium, and 185 for a Large when sugar is removed. This represents over 50% fewer calories in every size.

And less carbohydrates too?

Correct, the carbohydrate content sees similarly significant reductions when eliminating added sugars:

Size With Sugar Without Sugar
Small 30g carbs 3g carbs
Medium 38g carbs 4g carbs
Large 51g carbs 5g carbs

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams for men. So a single Large iced coffee with syrup exceeds the recommended daily amount.

Is it healthier with skim milk instead?

Ordering your sugar-free iced coffee with skim milk instead of whole milk can further improve the nutrition profile. Here is a comparison of the calories and fat in whole vs. skim milk varieties:

Milk Type Calories Total Fat
Whole Milk 150 calories 8g
2% Reduced Fat Milk 120 calories 5g
1% Lowfat Milk 100 calories 2.5g
Skim Milk 90 calories 0g

As you can see, skim milk shaves off 50-60 calories and up to 8 grams of fat compared to whole milk. So ordering it sugar-free with nonfat milk maximizes both the calorie and fat savings.

Should you avoid dairy and use plant milk instead?

Substituting a non-dairy milk like soy, almond or oat milk will make your iced coffee completely dairy-free. This is important for vegans/vegetarians or those with dairy issues. Nutritionally, the calories and carbs in non-dairy milks are comparable to skim milk. But they do contain less protein. Here’s a comparison of skim milk to popular plant milk alternatives:

Milk Type Calories Carbs Protein
Skim Milk 90 calories 12g 8g
Soy Milk 80 calories 4g 7g
Almond Milk 60 calories 7g 1g
Oat Milk 90 calories 16g 2g

So if you aren’t concerned about protein content, non-dairy milks make an appealing lactose-free choice. Just be aware the upcharge is usually 30 to 60 cents more for plant milks at McDonald’s.

Should you avoid the cold foam too?

McDonald’s offers the option to top its iced coffees with a cold milk foam. However, this foam does contain added sugar, so ask to leave it off your sugar-free iced coffee. A typical large cold foam adds 50 calories and 9g of sugar. Skipping it removes those empty calories and keeps your iced coffee nutrition focused on protein from the milk rather than saturated fat and sugar.

Is it healthy enough for a meal replacement?

While not incredibly substantial, a large McDonald’s iced coffee made with skim milk and no added sugar does contain modest nutrition to potentially work as a meal replacement in a pinch. A Large packs about 25 calories, 5g carbs, and 8g protein from the skim milk. Pairing it with a food like a banana, apple, or hardboiled egg can provide a reasonably balanced quick breakfast or snack on the go.

Is it keto-friendly if you skip the milk?

Ordering a sugar-free McDonald’s iced coffee with no milk or creamer makes the carb count low enough to fit ketogenic diets. The coffee itself contains minimal carbs from its natural components. Here are the nutrition facts for a Large black iced coffee with no milk or sweeteners:

  • Calories: 5
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 1g

With only 1g net carb and no meaningful impact on blood sugar, black iced coffee fits cleanly into a keto eating plan. Adding heavy cream instead of milk can make it even more ketogenic.


Overall, ordering a McDonald’s iced coffee without added sugar allows you to enjoy a refreshing, customizable, low-calorie drink. Simply request it unsweetened when you order, then tweak it to your liking with your choice of milk and sugar substitute. Customizing your iced coffee is an easy way to avoid excess calories, carbs, and sugar for a guilt-free, better-for-you beverage.

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