Also known as tapioca pearls or tapioca balls, boba are tiny black spheres of starch made from the cassava root. When properly cooked, boba take on a soft, chewy consistency and a sweet flavor. Boba may be added to teas, juices, smoothies or other drinks, with the balls sinking and settling in the bottom of the glass. Along with the extra sweetness and texture, boba also delivers additional calories and nutrition, as well.
A regular boba ball measures roughly 1/4 inch in diameter. Boba may also come in miniature sizes, with each ball measuring approximately 1/12 inch in diameter. Boba drinks will often feature wider straws to allow passage for the chewy little balls. Whether large or small, each boba has the same nutritional value per ounce, with the only thing changing being the number of individual boba per serving.
One ounce of boba contains 100 calories, according to New Calorie Counter. The boba often contains as many, if not more, calories than the drink to which it's added. Those individuals attempting to lose weight may wish to avoid the empty calories in boba. To burn the calories consumed in one ounce of boba tapioca pearls, individuals will need to walk for 15 minutes, jog for 12 minutes, swim for 15 minutes or cycle for 40 minutes, according to eDiets.
A 1-oz. serving of boba tapioca pearls contains no fat, according to New Calorie Counter. So while fat itself isn't the concern, boba does add a significant number of calories and a big dose of starch to any beverage. This additional starch may lead to weight gain without an accompanying increase in physical activity.
The same 1-oz. serving of boba tapioca pearls provides 25 g of carbohydrates, according to New Calorie Counter. The USDA recommends individuals consume less than 300 g of carbohydrates when adhering to a standard 2,000-calorie diet, meaning the 25 g of carbs in boba represents 8 percent of the daily recommended intake.
Boba contains very little in the way of vitamins and minerals. However, a 1-oz. serving of boba tapioca pearls contains 3.1 mg of potassium and 5.7 mg of calcium. The USDA recommends 3,500 mg of potassium and 1,000 mg of calcium each day, making boba's contribution to both daily values negligible at best.