The Unicorn Frappuccino: Stop Freaking Out Over Its Sugar Content

Yesterday, my news feeds were full of sparkly, pastel drinks from Starbucks — the unicorn frappuccino! In case you live under a rock, it’s a limited edition drink that is sweet and sour, but mostly Instagrammable. My favorite post so far has been by my friend, Tahnee.


Today, my news feeds are full of people shaming the unicorn frappuccino for its high sugar and caloric content. My first reaction: duh?! WTF did you expect? It’s a pink drink with sparkly sprinkles. Of course there’s a lot of sugar. I didn’t realize how many people would be sharing their opinions on this treat, and it worries me for a couple reasons:

  1. ALL frappuccinos (and many other coffee beverages) contain ridiculous amounts of sugar. Are people not realizing what they’re drinking if they are doing so on a regular basis? Are caloric contents on Starbucks menus not properly educating consumers?
  2. Sugar exists in more places than we realize. A *healthy* Starbucks smoothie contains 41g of sugar compared to the 76g in a unicorn frappuccino. For comparison, a 20oz. South Acai’d from the Protein Bar has 65g of sugar. Even if you’re making your own smoothie at home, most smoothies are going to pack a sugary punch. I personally have a sweet tooth, and after overcoming my eating disorder, I’m the last person that will shamefully remind you that your food (whether it be yogurt, protein bar, or a fucking apple) has X grams of sugar. Those people suck. Don’t be that person.
  3. This is a limited edition treat. Whether or not they’ll abide, Starbucks claims they’re only around for a few days. If they do continue the drink, I doubt anyone will be ordering a unicorn frappuccino on a daily basis. If someone wants to enjoy a treat in moderation, let them do so.

I encourage eating whole, nutritious foods, but also living in balance. Judging others for their food choices leads to guilt, shame, and disordered eating. Whether it’s a donut, pizza, an alcoholic beverage, or a unicorn frappucino, we all deserve to indulge every once in awhile. Get off your high unicorn and stop judging people for their choices.

++ Mary K


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