Is Americano at Starbucks healthy?

What is an Americano?

An Americano is a popular coffee drink made by adding hot water to espresso. At Starbucks, an Americano is made by pulling a single or double shot of espresso and adding hot water to dilute it. This results in a drink that is lighter in body and has less caffeine than regular espresso. The amount of caffeine in a Starbucks Americano depends on the size and number of shots used. A solo (single shot) tall Americano has around 75mg of caffeine while a venti (double shot) Americano has around 150mg of caffeine.

Nutrition Facts of Starbucks Americano

As Americano coffee is made up of just espresso and water, it has minimal calories and nutrients on its own. An 8oz tall Americano from Starbucks contains:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 5
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 10mg
Total Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 0g
Caffeine 75mg

As you can see, an Americano itself contains minimal calories, fat, carbs, and protein. The main nutrient is caffeine from the espresso.

Health Benefits of Coffee

While coffee and caffeine should be consumed in moderation, research has shown some potential health benefits associated with regular coffee consumption:

  • Antioxidants – Coffee contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that can help protect cells from damage.
  • Lower risk of heart disease and stroke – Moderate coffee drinkers have up to a 15% lower risk of heart disease compared to non-coffee drinkers.
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes – Drinking coffee is linked to reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 25%.
  • Increased concentration – Caffeine in coffee can boost alertness, focus, and short-term memory.
  • Lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – Some research shows coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.
  • Liver protection – Coffee may help lower the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

So while excessive coffee consumption can be unhealthy, moderate intake of 1-2 cups per day can provide some important health benefits.

Potential Health Risks of Coffee

Despite the potential benefits, there are some downsides and risks to consider with regular coffee consumption:

  • Sleep issues – Caffeine can disrupt sleep quality if consumed too late in the day.
  • Heart health concerns – Very high intakes may increase cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.
  • Drug interactions – Caffeine can interact with some medications and supplements.
  • Digestive issues – Coffee is acidic and can aggravate heartburn or ulcers.
  • Increased anxiety – Caffeine sensitivity can exacerbate stress and anxiety symptoms.
  • Withdrawal symptoms – Abruptly stopping coffee after regular use can trigger headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

So those sensitive to caffeine or with high anxiety should use caution and limit coffee intake as needed. Pregnant women should limit caffeine to 200mg or less per day.

Is It Healthy to Drink Starbucks Americano Every Day?

Drinking a Starbucks Americano every day can be healthy for most people as long as consumption stays within moderation. The key is paying attention to portion size and limiting added sweeteners, creamers, and flavors.

Some tips for keeping your daily Starbucks Americano habit healthy include:

  • Stick to the 8oz tall size or 12oz grande at most.
  • Avoid added syrups and sweeteners like vanilla, caramel, or liquid cane sugar.
  • Use just a splash of milk or half & half instead of heavy cream.
  • Limit yourself to 1-2 shots of espresso per drink.
  • Avoid drinking coffee after 2pm if it impacts your sleep.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Consider alternating with a decaf Americano some days.

As long as you pay attention to calories, added sugars, portion size, and caffeine content, an Americano can be part of a balanced daily diet. Those with medical conditions like hypertension or anxiety disorders may need to either avoid coffee or strictly limit intake. Overall, a small Starbucks Americano with modest modifications and consumed before 2pm is a healthy coffee option for most people.

Healthier Ways to Customize Your Starbucks Americano

While a plain Starbucks Americano is low in calories and added sugar, the customizations and add-ins can quickly make it an unhealthy beverage choice. Here are some healthier ways to customize your daily Americano:

  • Substitute 2% milk or non-dairy milk instead of higher-fat dairy options.
  • Opt for just 1-2 pumps of sugar-free syrups like vanilla, caramel, or cinnamon dolce.
  • Ask for light cream or half & half instead of heavy cream.
  • Add just a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra flavor.
  • Request less pumps of syrups or sauces than the standard.
  • For a protein boost, ask for a scoop of unflavored protein powder.
  • For a fiber punch, mix in a packet of powdered greens.
  • Skip the extra sugars and just add a dash of cinnamon.

Being mindful of added cream, sweeteners, and caloric add-ins can help keep your Starbucks Americano a relatively low-calorie, low-sugar option.

Tips for Ordering a Healthy Starbucks Americano

Here are some tips to order a more diet-friendly Americano at Starbucks:

  • Opt for the solo (single shot) or doppio (double shot) rather than triple or quad shots of espresso, which will have excessive caffeine.
  • Choose the tall 8oz or small 12oz sizes.
  • Request the drink be made with sugar-free cinnamon dolce, vanilla, or caramel syrup instead of regular syrups to avoid added sugar.
  • Ask for just 1-2 pumps of syrup instead of the standard 3-4 pumps.
  • Substitute stevia or Splenda for real cane sugar.
  • Request half hot water and half steamed light milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk.
  • Ask for light cream or half & half instead of heavy cream.
  • Skip the extra drizzle and whipped creams, which just add syrupy sugar and saturated fat.

Ordering carefully and customizing your Americano can help turn an indulgent calorie bomb into a healthier daily coffee drink option.

Healthy Alternatives to Starbucks Americano

While Americanos can be customized to be lower in calories and added sugars, here are some alternative healthy coffee-based drinks at Starbucks to consider:

  • Coffee: Regular freshly brewed coffee is naturally low in calories. Opt for a small 12oz and add just a splash of milk or cream.
  • Cold Brew: Cold brew coffee has a smooth, less acidic taste. Order it black or with a splash of milk for a low-calorie option.
  • Iced Coffee: Like cold brew but made with hot brewed coffe then chilled. Has a bolder taste. Keep it low-calorie by skipping flavored syrups.
  • Cappuccino: The small amount of foamed milk adds flavor for few calories. Request it made with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrups.
  • Caffe Latte: If you prefer more milk, order it with nonfat milk and less syrup pumps.
  • Caffe Misto: Half freshly brewed coffee, half steamed milk gives you some creaminess without too many calories.

Switching up your regular coffee order is a way to add variety while keeping calories and sugar intake low.

Is It Safe to Drink Starbucks Americano While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, it’s best to limit caffeine intake to 200mg or less per day according to health organizations. A tall Starbucks Americano has about 75mg caffeine while a grande has about 150mg. So while Americanos are lower in caffeine than some coffeehouse drinks, pregnant women will still want to carefully moderate intake.

Some tips for safely enjoying Starbucks Americanos while pregnant include:

  • Stick to the solo (single shot) size, or order a half-caffeine Americano made with half decaf espresso.
  • Limit yourself to just one small Americano per day at most.
  • Avoid larger venti or triple shot Americanos which can have over 200mg caffeine.
  • Read labels carefully and stick to sugar-free syrups and low-calorie milk options.
  • Do not drink coffee after 2pm so it does not interfere with sleep.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, juice, or decaf herbal tea.
  • Listen to your body and discontinue coffee if you experience any heartburn, jitteriness, or insomnia.

While expecting, it’s best to err on the conservative side with caffeine. Drinking coffee in moderation while pregnant is considered safe for most women, but check with your healthcare provider with any specific concerns. They may advise avoiding coffee entirely if you have a high-risk pregnancy.


When customized properly, a Starbucks Americano can be part of a healthy diet for most people. Choosing smaller sizes, limiting added cream and sweeteners, and avoiding high-calorie add-ins are keys to keeping this coffee drink relatively low in sugar and calories. Those sensitive to caffeine or with medical conditions like heart disease may need to avoid or strictly limit coffee intake. But for healthy adults with no caffeine sensitivity, a modest Americano remains a calorie-friendly way to get your daily java fix. As with any part of your diet, moderation and customization are the keys to balancing health with the coffee you crave.

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