Iced Coffee: More Calorific Than Your Meal?

By Ali Luke
Flickr: basheertome

Next time you’re out and about, think twice before grabbing that big cooling frappuchino to go – it may have more calories than your dinner.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that most iced coffees contain at least 200 calories – with several over 400 calories.

The worst? A venti (large) Dark Berry Mocha Frappuchino from Starbucks: 561 calories. If you’re a woman on a calorie-controlled diet, that could be almost half your daily allowance in just one drink.

2996-frappuchino.jpgStarbucks Dark Berry Mocha

So, what can you do to quench your thirst without drinking a load of unwanted calories?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Don’t have whipped cream – this’ll save you 100 calories. Obvious, yes! But it’s easy to give way to temptation at the counter.
  2. Go for the smallest size available.
  3. Avoid whole cream milk – but this might not be enough to make a significant difference: even using skim milk, Caffe Nero’s Double Chocolate Frappe and Mocha Frappe Latte both contain 452 calories.
  4. Avoid sweetened drinks, and don’t add sugar – the best choice is an iced Americano.
  5. Check the calories, sugar and fat content of drinks using in-store information, or the coffee chain’s website
  6. Another good tip for summer is to keep a refillable bottle of water in your bag: much cheaper than an iced coffee, and calorie-free.


  1. Susan

    This summer I came up with the YUMMIEST recipe: I put unsweetened organic soy milk in the blender with some ice cubes, cocoa powder, diet Swiss Miss (has some unnatural ingredients, but oh well), coffe, and a bunch of ice cubes. I call it my “mocha choka latte” haha. 🙂 Yummy!!

  2. Jess

    This was my immediate thought as well. ‘Iced coffee’ has no more calories than regular coffee.

    I drink iced coffee every day. It’s my vice pretty much. But it’s always just coffee with a splash of creamer or milk. Roughly 30 calories a serving, and I let myself have as much as I desire. Keeps me sane.

  3. deirdre

    This is a misleading article.

    It describes iced coffee DRINKS, not iced coffee. Actual iced coffee (whether regular poured over ice, cold brew, iced Americano…) is, just like hot coffee, pretty much calorie free, and if one wants sugar or dairy, one can control how much one puts into it.

    I’m surprised to learn that anyone would confuse something that’s more like a coffee-flavored milkshake with actual iced coffee.

    • stormee

      That is not what they mean they are speaking of the bottle ice drinks such as the bottle coffee starbucks :Next time you’re out and about, think twice before grabbing that big cooling frappuchino to go – it may have more calories than your dinner. They are trying to show you just how loaded they are like sugar 45mg and one should only have 16 mg a day most.The calorie contents are very high it is not fat that makes one fat it is sugar this is where most people get caught up being over weight.Regular coffee even poured over ice is not good for you either it dehydrated you very much.Water is the best filter water not bottle water as so many would like you to think it has been sitting in those plastic bottles for no telling how long but filter water is always best.Coffee is bad for you period regardless how it is served.

      • Ted Kallmyer

        Actually, A fresh made a grande mocha frappaccino has 400 calories so it’s both really.

  4. Andrew

    It has been known for a while that the blended ice drinks at Starbucks are high in calories, but it is always shocking to hear the exact caloric content!

  5. Lady G

    Yep it sure is enlightening to compare the nutritional info of all the different types of drinks you can get at Starbucks or Gloria Jeans. And oh so easy to forget that just because it’s a liquid doesn’t mean the calories don’t add up!

    My strategy is to stick to the same drink every time – a small skim cappucino, full stop (no sugar, syrup or marshmallow). I’ve heard a well made coffee shouldn’t need sugar, and althogh I used to add it I got used to it after awhile.

  6. Mike Howard

    Oh snap! You had to go THERE, did you?

    I had to laugh because of how true it is. It may be the 25 timbits or dozen donuts that are washed down with the “double double” for the Tim Horton’s patrons though.

    I live in the one part of Canada where starbucks actually outnumbers Tim’s, but Tim’s seem to be popping up more in Vancouver.

    Sadly though, Tim Hortons – the Canadian institution has not been Canadian in many years.

  7. oops

    I dont see many overweight/obese people at Starbucks (or specialty coffee chains, in general), they are mostly at Tim Hortons.

  8. FitJerk - Flawless Fitness Blog

    Heh.. what else are they going to do once a cure for cancer is found? They need other areas of interest. Calories are forever!

  9. Spectra

    I don’t get fancy coffee drinks when I go to coffeeshops, mainly because I know they’re loaded with sugar and fat. If I want iced coffee, I’ll make it at home: I freeze coffee in ice cube trays and put them into coffee with a little skim milk and Equal or Splenda to make my own iced coffee.

  10. Jody - Fit at 51

    I know all this & most people should know that whipped cream, whole milk, chocolate & the like added to drinks ups the calories big time & the fat/sugar content too. In CA, they now have to put nutritional pamphlets out by where you order so anyone can see what they are ordering.. IF THEY WANT TO KNOW….

  11. Christine

    …and who DIDN’T know this?! Seriously. Those drinks are money-suckers and artery-cloggers.

  12. ManaKultras

    Ah, over fed Americans. Shoving their mouths with food then whining when the get fat.

  13. Ann

    Why is the World Cancer Research Fund wasting its time checking the nutrition information on coffee shops’ websites? Can’t we do that for ourselves if we care?