Kiwi starfruit lemonade refreshers are a popular drink option at many coffee shops and cafes. They provide a refreshing, fruity flavor along with a boost of vitamins and antioxidants. However, many people wonder just how many calories are in these tangy, sweet drinks.
What is kiwi starfruit lemonade?
A kiwi starfruit lemonade refresher is a blended, chilled beverage typically made with kiwi fruit, starfruit (also known as carambola), lemonade, ice, and often additional sweeteners or flavorings. The kiwi and starfruit provide a bright, tropical flavor, while the lemonade adds tartness and sweetness.
Some key ingredients in a kiwi starfruit lemonade drink include:
- Kiwi – This small, oval fruit is fuzzy on the outside with bright green flesh and small black seeds inside. It provides vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber.
- Starfruit – Shaped like a star when sliced, this fruit is juicy and tart with a slightly sweet flavor. It contains vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Lemonade – Traditional lemonade is made from lemon juice, water, and sugar or honey. Store-bought varieties often contain additional sweeteners and preservatives.
- Ice – Crushed ice is added to the blended beverage to give it a thick, frosty texture.
- Sweeteners – Additional regular sugar, simple syrup, agave, or other sweeteners may be added to balance out the tartness.
- Water – Water helps blend all the ingredients into a drinkable consistency.
The exact proportions of each ingredient depend on the specific recipe used at each café or coffee shop. But the key components are puréed kiwi and starfruit plus fresh lemonade and ice.
Nutrition facts for kiwis and starfruit
To determine the calorie content of a kiwi starfruit lemonade, we need to look at the nutrition facts for the main fruit ingredients:
- 1 kiwi (about 75g) has:
- 42 calories
- 0.5 g fat
- 10 g carbohydrates
- 2.1 g fiber
- 1 g protein
- 1 cup of starfruit cubes (about 150g) has:
- 41 calories
- 0.4 g fat
- 10.4 g carbohydrates
- 2.8 g fiber
- 1.2 g protein
As you can see, kiwis and starfruit are relatively low-calorie fruits, with only around 40-50 calories per typical serving. They also provide fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Calories in kiwi starfruit lemonade
Now that we know the base nutrition facts for kiwis and starfruit, we can estimate the calorie content of a blended kiwi starfruit lemonade drink.
Calories from fruit
A typical 12-16 oz kiwi starfruit lemonade may contain around 1 cup of chopped starfruit and 1-2 kiwis.
If we assume:
- 1 cup starfruit: 41 calories
- 2 kiwis: 84 calories (42 calories each)
Then the total calories just from the fruit would be:
41 + 84 = 125 calories
However, these fruits are often blended with ice and lemonade, which affects the final nutrition figures.
Calories from lemonade
The lemonade used in kiwi starfruit refreshers can vary widely in calories depending on the type:
- Regular lemonade: 150 calories per 8 oz
- Diet lemonade: 0-15 calories per 8 oz
- Natural lemonade: 80 calories per 8 oz
If we assume 12 oz of regular lemonade is used, that adds around 180 calories to the total.
For 12 oz of light lemonade, we’ll estimate around 50 calories.
And for a homemade 12 oz lemonade using lemon juice, water, and a moderate amount of sweetener, approximately 100 calories.
Calories from sweeteners
Some kiwi starfruit lemonade recipes call for additional sweeteners like cane sugar, honey, agave nectar, or simple syrup to balance out the tartness. A couple examples:
- 1 tbsp honey: 64 calories
- 1 tbsp cane sugar: 45 calories
Let’s assume 2-3 tablespoons of added sweetener, adding around 130-190 calories to the total.
Final calorie estimates
Putting this all together, here are some estimates for the calorie content of a 12-16 oz blended kiwi starfruit lemonade:
With regular lemonade and added sweeteners:
- Fruit: 125 calories
- 12 oz regular lemonade: 180 calories
- 2-3 tbsp added sweetener: 130-190 calories
- Total: 435-495 calories
With light lemonade and no added sweetener:
- Fruit: 125 calories
- 12 oz light lemonade: 50 calories
- Total: 175 calories
With homemade natural lemonade:
- Fruit: 125 calories
- 12 oz natural lemonade: 100 calories
- Total: 225 calories
So in general, expect a kiwi starfruit lemonade to contain about:
The exact amount depends largely on the type of lemonade used and any added sweeteners. Choosing light lemonade and minimizing extra sweetener can create a more figure-friendly drink.
Nutrition benefits of kiwi starfruit lemonade
Despite the calories from fruit, sweeteners, and lemonade, a kiwi starfruit refresher actually packs some solid nutrition, mainly from the fruit.
Some benefits you get from a kiwi starfruit lemonade drink include:
Just one kiwi contains over 100% of your daily vitamin C, while a starfruit has about 50%. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports immune function and wound healing.
Kiwis offer a hefty dose of vitamin K, which plays a role in proper blood clotting. Starfruit contains a small amount as well.
With about 215mg potassium per kiwi and 182mg per starfruit, both fruits help provide this important mineral that regulates fluid balance and heart function.
The fiber content from the kiwi and starfruit can help slow digestion, control blood sugar, and promote gut health.
Kiwis and starfruit contain antioxidant compounds like vitamin C, polyphenols, carotenoids, and flavonoids that combat free radicals and inflammation.
With almost no naturally occurring fat, kiwis and starfruit provide nutrients and fiber without unnecessary added calories or fat.
Ways to create a lower calorie kiwi starfruit lemonade
If you like treating yourself to a kiwi starfruit lemonade but want to keep calories in check, here are some tips for a lower calorie version:
Use light lemonade
Choosing a lower calorie lemonade like Diet Sprite or sugar-free lemonade will remove around 130 calories per 12 oz serving.
Skip added sweeteners
Let the natural sweetness of the fruits and lemonade come through rather than adding excess sugar or syrups.
Use stevia instead of sugar
Add a few drops of stevia extract instead of spoonfuls of honey or sugar to lightly sweeten without added calories.
Water it down
Pour the blended drink over ice and add a splash of soda water or extra ice to dilute and stretch it into a larger portion size.
Opt for a 12 oz “tall” size rather than 16 oz “grande” to shave off calories through smaller portion size. Or split a large one with a friend.
Reduce fruit portions
Cut back slightly on the amounts of kiwi and starfruit to limit calories from natural sugars. Supplement with cucumber or mint instead.
Sub low-sugar fruits
Swap some of the kiwi and starfruit for lower glycemic options like berries or lime juice.
The bottom line
A kiwi starfruit refresher can contain anywhere from 175-500 calories, depending largely on the ingredients used. Choosing light lemonade, minimizing added sweeteners, and adjusting portion sizes can all help reduce the calories while still enjoying the bright, refreshing flavor. While not the lowest calorie option, kiwi starfruit lemonade provides vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and fiber from real fruits. So feel free to treat yourself on occasion – just be mindful of how it fits into your overall daily calorie goals. Moderation and customization is key to making this tangy blended drink work for your diet.