If you’re stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts to get a quick fix of caffeine, you probably want to order something relatively low in sugar from the menu. After all, a sugar crash would kind of defeat the purpose of an energizing drink to start the day, right?
Dunkin’s menu is filled with options that sound tempting and decadent — but these items have a ton of excess sugar and syrup. It can be difficult to discern whether the blended drink you choose is a good choice or not, unless you scour the chain’s huge PDF of nutrition facts beforehand online. Who has time (or energy) for that before their morning cup of joe?
We did the work for you and found the drinks with the most calories and sugar and the drinks with the least. That way, when you walk into Dunkin’ Donuts looking for a drink to start your day, you don’t accidentally fall into a syrupy, sweet trap. Here are the 10 healthiest and the 10 unhealthiest drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Your healthiest menu option is probably a hot cup of brewed tea. Tea has many health benefits ranging from immune support to cancer-fighting antioxidants. This beverage has zero calories and is relatively inexpensive compared to other menu options. Dunkin’ Donuts carries a variety of options, including black tea, hibiscus tea, and chamomile tea. Opt for chamomile if you’re feeling stressed, or if you’re feeling any of these other ailments.
Iced tea can be refreshing and healthy, so long as you don’t opt for a version with a ton of added sugars or sweeteners. Order the Unsweetened Iced Green Tea from Dunkin’ if you’re looking for a hydrating, healthy beverage. It has only five calories and will even give you a little jolt of caffeine, along with green tea’s many health benefits.
If you can handle the bitter taste, ordering just a plain espresso shot is one of the lowest-calorie, quickest ways to get your caffeine. A shot of espresso is a negligible 5 calories and has all the energy of a full cup of brewed coffee from some chains. Even if you order yours with a splash of milk or sugar, it won’t add too many calories.
When you drink it black, Dunkin’s Cold Brew Coffee has just 10 calories and lots of caffeine. Cold brew has more caffeine than regular coffee, so you might get a case of the jitters if you’re especially sensitive. Dunkin’ Donuts placed pretty high on our ranking of nine popular cold brew coffees, so you know you won’t be disappointed with its flavor.
Of course, plain black coffee is your best bet if you’re watching your sugar and calorie intake. If you can’t stand the taste, however, there’s really no reason to force yourself to choke down the bitter brew plain. Add some skim milk or almond milk for just 15 more calories in your cup. Even whole milk or cream would be okay — so long as your coffee-to-cream ratio isn’t too ridiculous. You can also consider choosing a flavored blend of Dunkin’s coffee — they offer French Vanilla and Hazelnut. Just be wary you don’t accidentally order the French Vanilla or Hazelnut Swirl. That order will land you with sugary syrup and hundreds of extra calories.
Americanos are the perfect drink for people who love straight espresso but want their drink to last. Espresso shots are mixed with piping hot water for a low-calorie beverage that isn’t shy with the caffeine.
Ordering iced coffee — which, by the way, is very different from cold brew — is another low-calorie way to get your fix. A medium Iced Coffee at Dunkin’ is just 15 calories. But if you’re ordering your coffee iced because it’s too hot outside to drink a warm beverage, don’t. Hot coffee might actually be more effective at keeping you cool!
A macchiato is two shots of espresso poured over milk. To cut down on fat and calories, opt for skim milk in your beverage. A medium size is 70 calories with 11 grams of sugar, many of which come from lactose in the milk — not the same as the refined sugars and corn syrup in other drinks.
Who doesn’t love a good latte? Go ahead and order one, foamy milk and all, without feeling the guilt over refusing a black coffee — foamed milk is actually a pretty healthy way to make coffee taste better. If you omit the syrups and add-ons, a latte with skim milk (hot or iced) is just 100 calories. You’ll also benefit from the calcium in the milk!
Keep it simple at Dunkin’ with a cappuccino — espresso blended with milk and topped with foam. A medium has just 120 calories and 10 grams of sugar (but again, that sugar is from the milk).
The Dunkaccino is a creamy blend of coffee and chocolate with the optional topping of whipped cream. A medium size has 350 calories and 38 grams of sugar — the drink’s first ingredient. You won’t be getting much caffeine sipping this warm beverage, but you will be drinking soybean oil, corn syrup solids, milk solids, and other processed ingredients.
Hot chocolate is the ultimate cozy drink for a snowy day (and it actually has some health benefits if you make it right!) but maybe reserve this one for a special occasion. Dunkin’ Donuts offers their Hot Chocolate beverage, which is made with more sugar than actual cocoa, in various flavors including Mint, Salted Caramel, and Almond Joy. The most caloric of these options is the Almond Joy Flavored Hot Chocolate. A size medium is 340 calories and 47 grams of sugar. For comparison, a full-size Almond Joy candy bar has 20 grams of sugar and 220 calories.
A mocha is always a creamy, chocolatey treat, and this one is no exception. The Mocha Swirl Hot Latte has 350 calories and 51 grams of sugar if you order a medium size; if it’s the energizing effect of coffee you’re looking for, you would be better off getting your caffeine elsewhere or ordering your latte without the syrups and flavoring.
A latte can be a healthy choice, especially if you opt for low-fat or almond milk. However, these foamy beverages can overload you with sugar if you order it with pumps of flavored syrup. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Caramel Swirl Hot Latte is a classic example of this, with five different types of sugar infused in its Caramel Swirl syrup. The medium size of the drink contains a whopping 54 grams of sugar and 350 calories when you order it with whole milk.
You’ll only find this item in certain regions of the United States; but if you do find it, order with caution. It’s a Monster energy drink mixed with Dunkin’ Donuts’ fruity Blue Raspberry flavor. The drink only comes in a large size, which contains 390 calories and 94 grams of sugar — nearly 10 times your daily recommended limit.
Chai tea could be a really healthy thing to drink at the start of your day — but not this kind. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Frozen Vanilla Chai is more sugary than most milkshakes, with 113 grams of sugar and 600 calories in a medium size. If you’re craving a cinnamon-spiced beverage, try a glass of turmeric-spiced golden milk instead. But if you’re up for a treat, go ahead and splurge for this item.
Dunkin’ Donuts offers three flavors of their Coolattas: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Fruit, and Vanilla Bean. Though it’s marketed as a refreshing fruity beverage, drinking one is really more like sipping on sugary sorbet. The Blue Raspberry flavor has 360 calories in a medium, while the Strawberry Fruit has 440 and the Vanilla Bean has 630. As for the sugar content, it has more than actual sorbet. Sure, some fruit has more sugar than other kinds, but the fruit isn’t the problem with these drinks. A medium-sized Blue Raspberry has 91 grams of sugar, Strawberry Fruit has 108, and Vanilla Bean has 132. Yikes.
If the weather is too warm for hot chocolate, you might be tempted by one of Dunkin’s Frozen Chocolate Drinks. Whether you opt for a medium Caramel Swirl, French Vanilla Swirl, Hazelnut Swirl, or a plain Frozen Chocolate, you’re drinking 700 calories of milky sugar and syrup. All of these options have over 125 grams of sugar.
In addition to the hot blended beverage, Dunkin’ Donuts offers a Frozen Dunkaccino, which is similar to a milkshake or a frappe. A medium size has 720 calories and 121 grams of sugar — not exactly a valuable part of a nutritious breakfast.
Ordering your coffee frozen from Dunkin’ is nowhere near similar to ordering it hot or iced. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Frozen Coffee drinks are actually the most caloric and most sugary items on their drink menu — even more than their chocolatey shakes! Medium sizes of these Frozen Coffee drinks can have up to 900 calories each, with over 140 grams of sugar. That means Dunkin’ Donuts’ least healthy drinks even have Starbucks’ Frappuccino beat — though the unhealthiest menu items at Starbucks are pretty surprising, too.
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