The mango pineapple refresher is a popular summer drink offered by coffee chains like Starbucks. With its sweet, fruity flavor, it’s easy to see why this refreshing beverage is a fan favorite. But how much sugar is actually in the mango pineapple refresher?
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the nutrition facts for the mango pineapple refresher and break down exactly how much sugar it contains. We’ll also compare it to other Starbucks menu items and make some healthier suggestions if you’re looking to cut down on sugar. Let’s dive in!
Nutrition Facts for the Mango Pineapple Refresher
Starbucks provides complete nutrition information for all of its menu items on its website. Here are the nutrition facts for a grande (16 oz) Mango Pineapple Starbucks Refresher made with the standard nonfat milk:
|Grande 16 fl oz
As you can see, a grande Mango Pineapple Refresher contains 61 grams of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar!
To put that into perspective, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men. So this one drink contains more than twice the recommended daily amount of added sugar for women, and nearly double the limit for men.
Sugar Content in the Mango Pineapple Refresher
The mango pineapple refresher is made with a combination of mango and pineapple fruit juice, along with classic green tea and shaken with ice. The high sugar content comes primarily from the fruit juices used.
According to Starbucks, here is the breakdown of sugars in a Grande Mango Pineapple Refresher:
– Added Sugars: 50g
– Natural Sugars: 11g
– Total Sugars: 61g
So the majority of the sugars, about 50 grams, are added during the manufacturing process. The remaining 11 grams occur naturally in the mango and pineapple juices.
To give you an idea of how much sugar 50 grams is, here are some equivalent amounts:
– 12.5 teaspoons of granulated white sugar
– Over 2 full-sized candy bars (e.g. Snickers bar)
– 17 Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls
That’s a ton of added sugar in one drink! No wonder it tastes so sweet and delicious going down. But all that sugar definitely comes at a cost for your health and waistline.
How the Mango Pineapple Refresher Compares to Other Starbucks Drinks
The mango pineapple refresher is on the high end of the spectrum when it comes to sugar content compared to other Starbucks beverages.
Here’s how it compares (all regular Grande size drinks):
– Classic Hot Chocolate: 39g sugar
– White Chocolate Mocha: 50g sugar
– Caramel Frappuccino: 66g sugar
– Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew: 39g sugar
– Iced Coffee with cream and sugar: 35g sugar
– Green Tea Lemonade: 34g sugar
– Iced Passion Tango Tea: 32g sugar
So you can see the mango pineapple refresher has more sugar than hot chocolate, iced coffee, and most of the tea-based drinks. However, the ultra sweet Frappuccinos like the Caramel contain even more sugar.
Healthier Low-Sugar Alternatives at Starbucks
If you want to enjoy a refreshing fruity drink at Starbucks but avoid the huge sugar spike, here are some healthier low-sugar options to consider:
– Iced tea unsweetened (0g sugar) – Get an unsweetened black, green or passion tea and add your own sweetener sparingly if desired.
– Cold brew coffee (0g sugar) – Starbuck’s smooth cold brew has zero sugar on its own. Add just a splash of milk, nut milk or cream.
– Sugar-free syrups – Opt for sugar-free vanilla or cinnamon dolce syrup in your iced coffee or tea. Each pump adds 0g sugar.
– Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte (9g sugar) – This lighter latte is made with sugar-free syrup, nonfat milk and espresso.
– Pink Drink (19g sugar) – A refreshing blend of coconut milk, strawberries, and Starbucks Teavana Shaken Iced Green Tea. Significantly less sugar than the mango refresher.
– Iced Coffee with nonfat milk (12g sugar) – Minimize the added cream and sugar and enjoy Starbucks classic iced coffee.
Health Concerns of Drinking High-Sugar Beverages
While delicious tasting, routinely drinking beverages as high in added sugar as the mango pineapple refresher can negatively impact your health over time. Here are some concerns to keep in mind:
– Weight gain – The excess calories from sugar can easily lead to weight gain, particularly in the form of dangerous visceral fat around organs.
– Blood sugar spikes – Large amounts of sugar entering your bloodstream quickly can spike blood glucose levels and overwork your insulin response. This can increase diabetes risk.
– Inflammation – Research shows added sugars contribute to chronic inflammation in the body, associated with numerous diseases.
– Heart disease – People who drink sugar-sweetened beverages regularly are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. The excess calories also increase obesity risk, further raising heart disease risk.
– Fatty liver disease – High sugar intake combined with excess weight commonly leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
– Accelerated aging – From oxidative stress to inflammation to the glycation of cells, excessive sugar intake can accelerate aging on a cellular level.
Tips to Reduce Your Sugar Intake
To avoid the many health risks of excessive added sugar, here are some tips to lower your intake:
– Limit sugary drinks – Stick to water, unsweetened tea, black coffee, and beverages with minimal added sugars. Avoid soda, energy/sports drinks, fruit juice, and blended sweet coffee and tea drinks.
– Check labels – Read nutrition labels closely and avoid products with added sugars at or near the top of the ingredients list. Look for low sugar or no sugar added versions.
– Limit condiments – Ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and other condiments are often loaded with added sugar. Use them sparingly or find low-sugar varieties.
– Eat more whole foods – Focus your diet on minimally processed whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. Avoid baked goods, sugary cereals, candy, ice cream, and desserts.
– Beware of “healthy” sugars – Even agave nectar, honey, and coconut sugar have similar metabolic effects as plain white sugar and should be minimized.
Following these steps can help lower your sugar consumption, improve your health, and reduce your risk for chronic disease. Moderation and balance is key.
The mango pineapple refresher from Starbucks is a sweet, fruity treat that’s undoubtedly tasty but packs a big sugar punch. With 61 grams of sugar in a grande size, this popular summertime beverage far exceeds recommended daily limits for added sugars.
The majority of the sugar in the mango refresher comes from added sugars during manufacturing rather than naturally-occurring sugars. Drinking beverages this high in sugar on a regular basis can negatively impact your health and waistline over time.
Opting for lower-sugar options when you visit Starbucks, like unsweetened iced tea or cold brew coffee, is a healthier way to enjoy your favorite coffeehouse drinks while avoiding sugar overload. Be mindful of added sugars in your overall diet and aim to keep them minimal by focusing on wholesome, minimally processed foods and beverages.