Is Bubble Tea Healthy?

Although tea itself is healthy, providing antioxidants that may help lower your risk for heart disease and cancer, bubble tea isn't very nutritious. The "bubbles" in these teas consist of tapioca pearls, and the tea is often sweetened with sugar and sometimes sweetened condensed milk as well. These additional ingredients make it higher in calories and sugar and harder to fit into a healthy diet.

Bubble tea isn't a particularly healthy beverage. (Image: Dave Walker/iStock/Getty Images)

Nutrition Drawbacks

The typical bubble tea isn't healthy. The recipe varies, but may contain as much as 1/2 cup of cooked tapioca pearls, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 cup sweetened condensed milk per serving. This is far more than the American Heart Association's recommended limit of 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women or 9 teaspoons per men. Adding these ingredients to calorie-free tea adds 453 calories to your beverage.

A Healthier Version

Making this drink with the tapioca pearls along with just 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a mix of low-fat milk and coconut milk instead of the sweetened condensed milk results in a slightly healthier tea drink with 150 calories per serving. Although still a bit high in sugar, with half of the recommended limit for added sugar for women, it is low enough in fat and calories to justify indulgence as an occasional treat.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.