When it's time to treat yourself, a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino® blended coffee drink can really hit the spot. The icy beverage combines rich coffee with smooth caramel and milk, topped with whipped cream and decadent caramel drizzled over all. Don't despair of your diet if you're watching things in your Caramel Frappuccino such as calories, fat or sugar. Instead, track the appropriate nutrition facts and make adjustments to future meals as needed.
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Count the Calories
You might expect Caramel Frappuccino calories to be sky high because it's such a sumptuous drink. In reality, you can order the light version of the beverage that uses nonfat milk and a lower-sugar version of the flavoring syrup and get the smallest drink — a 12-ounce beverage ironically called "Tall" — with only 100 calories if you're willing to forego the 100-calorie serving of whip cream. At the other end of the scale, the largest size of the original Caramel Frappucino — known as "Venti" in Starbucks-speak — packs 510 calories into its 24 ounces. Medium, or "Grande," drinks are 16 ounces and range from 420 calories for the full-fat, full-sugar version to 140 in the light version.
Sugar Affecting Calorie Count
The caramel frappe calories at Starbucks depend on how much sugar gets added to your drink. The larger the cup size, the more sugar is in it, naturally. However, the Caramel Light Frappuccino has fewer calories from sugar than the original version.
Sugars in Caramel Frappuccino
- Tall: 46 grams = 184 calories from sugar
- Grande: 66 grams = 264 calories from sugar
- Venti: 84 grams = 336 calories from sugar
Although the default for the Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks is whole milk, you can choose other kinds of milk as an alternative, including almond, coconut, nonfat, 2 percent and soy. Almond milk has the least sugar, reducing the Venti Frappuccino calories by 5 calories from whole milk, and coconut milk deducts 3 calories. All other kinds of milk are almost identical in sugar content.
Sugars in Caramel Light Frappuccino
- Tall: 22 grams = 88 calories
- Grande: 29 grams = 116 calories
- Venti: 40 grams = 160 calories
Instead of just sugar to sweeten the drink and some corn syrup in the caramel drizzle as in the regular version, the Caramel Light Frappuccino reduces the amount of sugar by adding alternative sweetening agents. Maltodextrin — an artificial sweetener made from vegetable sources — and stevia leaf-sourced Rebaudioside A accompany sugar to reduce the calorie content. Maltodextrin is a high-glycemic food and digests as glucose, so people with diabetes should be aware of this when consuming the product.
Don't Forget About Fat
The whipped cream adds approximately 100 calories to the top of your Caramel Frappuccino, but it also adds 8.5 to 11.5 grams of fat too, depending on the size of the drink, with 5 to 8 of those grams as saturated fat. Without any whip, the light Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks is entirely fat-free.
Protein in a Caramel Frap
Gain the benefit of 5 grams of protein from whole milk, 2 percent milk, nonfat milk or soy milk when you order a Venti Caramel Frappuccino. The light version of the drink made with nonfat milk has the same amount. Enjoy whip on top, which adds an extra gram of protein. There's significantly less protein when you order a Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks with almond or coconut milk; just 1 gram of protein in a Venti.
Smaller versions of the drink have less protein than the Venti. Dairy options deliver approximately 3 grams of protein for both the Tall and Grande sizes. A Tall using soy will give you about 2 grams, while Grande adds an extra gram of protein. Almond milk delivers roughly 1 gram of protein for the smaller sized drinks, while coconut milk has less than 1 gram.
Sodium in a Caramel Frap
The Heart Foundation recommends that adults limit sodium to 2,400 mg per day. That equals about a teaspoon of salt, or 6 grams. Figure in about 320 mg of sodium for a Venti-sized Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks; 2 percent milk in the drink adds 10 mg more, and soy milk reduces it by 10 mg. The light version has 260 mg, but if you add whip on top, figure an extra 20 mg.
Caffeine in a Caramel Frap
The Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks delivers a jolt of caffeine. You'll get 70 mg — 15 grams less than in a cup of coffee — in the Tall, 100 mg in a Grande and 130 mg in a Venti. The light version of the drink is also easier on the caffeine. The Venti delivers just 115 mg, and the smaller sizes have about 5 mg less than their original-recipe counterparts.