- Starbucks just released a new Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Beverage, which will be a permanent addition to its summer drinks menu.
- The drink is “tropical combination of starfruit-flavored juice and real kiwi pieces, hand-shaken with ice.”
- Below, dietitians take a closer look at the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers’ nutrition information, including calories and sugar.
Starbucks has rolled out a new sweet drink so you can “enjoy the last sips of summer,” per a press release. Their latest line features vibrant iced beverages with a kiwi base.
In addition to the Star Drink (a coconut milk-based beverage), the coffee giant has added the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers to its permanent summer drink menu. While the Kiwi Refreshers only recently rolled out in the U.S. (it’s been out in Canada for a few weeks already), people are already buzzing about it on Instagram.
But even though this option looks and tastes lighter than its classic coffee offerings, is it any healthier? Below, dietitians take a closer look at the nutrition facts.
What’s in the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers?
According to Starbucks, the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers is a “tropical combination of starfruit-flavored juice and real kiwi pieces, hand-shaken with ice.”
The drink is made with a “kiwi starfruit refresher base” that contains the following ingredients, according to the nutrition info posted online: water, sugar, white grape juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid, natural green coffee flavor, watermelon and juito fruit juice (for color), the sweetener rebaudiside A, turmeric (for color), and freeze-dried kiwi.
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Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers nutrition
Here’s what you can expect on the nutrition front with a grande Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers, according to Starbucks:
- Calories: 90
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbs: 22 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 18 g
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Caffeine: 45 mg
Is the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers healthy?
“For those who have a need for a little sweet in their drink, this is a great option,”says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “The juice used to make the Refreshers is 100% juice, which is good—it just might not be the juice you expected.”
The drink is lower in calories than some other sweet drinks, making it easier to make room in your diet for it as a treat, says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. “Kiwi is also a very nutritious fruit, providing important vitamins and minerals,” she says. “That said, because this drink is mostly carbs with minimal fiber, it won’t help you stay full and can still spike your blood sugar, especially if consumed on an empty stomach without and protein, fat, or additional fiber to slow the digestive process.”
While the drink can provide some hydration—an important feature in a summer drink—it’s far from perfect, adds Keri Gans, M.S., R.D.N, author of The Small Change Diet. “With 18 grams of sugar and the second ingredient after water in the kiwi starfruit refresher base being sugar, it is hard to call it healthy,” she says.
So what’s the healthiest way to enjoy the Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers?
For the record: You’re not going to torpedo your nutrition goals if you have one of these. Still, you can enjoy it in a healthier way. Keatley recommends opting for a tall, which has 4 less grams of sugar. “Portion matters,” he says. You can also ask for a “light pour” of the juice used to make the Refreshers to “cut down on the sugar.”
If you’re concerned about having a sugar crash, Keatley recommends pairing your drink with something like a protein box or string cheese to balance out the sweet stuff.
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