- Starbucks has announced that their bright pink Dragon Drink will be a permanent addition to their menu.
- The Dragon Drink ingredients include dragon fruit, various fruit juices and flavors, as well as coconut milk.
- Dietitians explain if the Dragon Drink’s overall nutrition is healthy and the best way to enjoy it.
Starbucks has been owning the Instagram-worthy drink market lately, and they’re now rolling out a new beverage that’s sure to show up in your feed all summer. It’s called the Dragon Drink—and it’s bright pink.
This isn’t another Unicorn Frappuccino, though: The Dragon Drink is a permanent addition to the Starbucks menu. People are raving about it online and noting that it’s already sold out in a lot of locations—but what, exactly, is in the shockingly pink drink? Here, dietitians take a closer look at its nutrition profile.
What’s in the Starbucks Dragon Drink?
The Dragon Drink is packed with dragon fruit, hence it’s cool name. The ingredients include fruit juice with mango and dragon fruit flavors, as well as a scoop of actual dragon fruit, Starbucks says on its website. The drink is also shaken with coconut milk and ice, and it contains caffeine and coconut.
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Dragon Drink nutrition
Starbucks has also released nutrition information for their new drink. Here’s what you can expect if you order a venti iced:
- 190 calories
- 4.5 grams fat (4 g sat fat)
- 37 grams carbs (1 g fiber)
- 33 grams sugar
- 1 gram protein
- 70 to 85 mg caffeine
Is the Dragon Drink healthy?
You’re probably already aware that most pink drinks Starbucks serves up aren’t exactly health foods, and the same is true here. “It’s a ton of sugar and not much in the way of protein to buffer that sugar,” says New York-based registered dietitian Jessica Cording. “It’s excess calories that aren’t giving you a lot of nutritional value.”
The problem with all that sugar and not much protein is that it can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling wiped out and hungry again not long after you drink it, Cording explains.
Gina Keatley, a CDN practicing in New York City, actually had a friend try the drink and says it doesn’t taste overly sweet, despite being a sugar bomb. “This is another specialty drink from Starbucks that is very tasty but should be seen as a treat and not a go-to daily drink,” she says. That’s especially true if you like to have your Starbucks drinks with a pastry, which can really load up the calories and sugar.
Starbucks actually offers the Dragon Drink in a trenta size (which is the size larger than venti), and that’s a whopping 270 calories per drink. “That’s almost like a mini meal,” Cording says. “For that same calorie amount, you could have actual sliced dragon fruit with some kind of protein, like yogurt or eggs.”
What’s the healthiest way to enjoy the Dragon Drink?
If you want to have this as a special treat, that’s fine, Keatley says. She just recommends asking Starbucks to half how much dragon fruit they put in there (which is where a lot of the sugar comes from) and ordering a tall size (100 calories and 18 grams of sugar). If you want to reduce how many calories are in the drink, you can also swap out the coconut milk for skim milk, she says.
If you want the full-on experience, Cording suggests sharing your Dragon Drink with a friend so you can each have a few sips. “That way, everyone gets a taste to see what the fuss is about,” she says.
And if you’re really concerned about sugar? Stick to these healthy Starbucks orders instead.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.