Why You Should Avoid Dunkin’ Donuts’ Frozen Drinks

From The Blog

You might think that grabbing a frozen drink from Dunkin’ Donuts is a harmless way to cool down on a hot day. But before you take that first brain-freezing sip, you might want to consider the not-so-sweet reality behind these frosty beverages. From sky-high sugar content to questionable ingredients, there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of Dunkin’s frozen drinks. Get ready to have your icy illusions shattered as we explore the shocking truth.

1. Sugar Overload

One of the biggest issues with Dunkin’ Donuts frozen drinks is their astronomical sugar content. Many of their popular frozen beverages, like the Butter Pecan and Caramel Swirl frozen coffees, pack in over 100 grams of sugar per serving. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of chugging 25 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting.

Even seemingly innocent choices like a large Vanilla Bean Coolatta can have a whopping 150 grams of added sugar. That’s more than six times the recommended daily limit for added sugars. Consuming such excessive amounts of sugar on a regular basis can lead to a host of health issues, including weight gain, tooth decay, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It’s not just the frozen coffees that are loaded with sugar either. Even a large lemonade or hot chocolate from Dunkin’ can have over 50 grams of added sugar. So, no matter which frozen drink you choose, you’re likely to be hit with a massive sugar bomb that your body simply doesn’t need.

2. Artificial Ingredients Galore

In addition to the crazy amount of sugar, many of Dunkin’s frozen drinks are loaded with artificial ingredients. From artificial flavors and colors to preservatives and thickeners, these drinks are far from natural. While the occasional indulgence might not be a big deal, regularly consuming these artificial additives can be concerning.

Some studies have linked certain artificial ingredients to potential health risks, such as hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, and even an increased risk of certain cancers. While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of these additives, it’s safe to say that opting for more natural ingredients is generally a better choice for overall health.

If you’re craving a frozen treat, consider making your own at home using real, whole food ingredients like fresh fruit, yogurt, and a touch of honey for sweetness. You’ll have complete control over what goes into your drink and can avoid the artificial junk found in many store-bought options.

3. Dairy Dilemmas

For those who are lactose intolerant or choose to avoid dairy for other reasons, finding a suitable frozen drink at Dunkin’ Donuts can be a challenge. While some locations may offer non-dairy milk alternatives like oat milk or almond milk, it’s not a guarantee. Many Dunkin’ locations reportedly refuse to make frozen drinks with these alternatives, leaving dairy-free customers with limited options.

Even if a location does offer a non-dairy alternative, there’s still the risk of cross-contamination if the same equipment is used to make both dairy and non-dairy drinks. This can be a serious concern for those with severe lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free frozen drink option, you’re better off seeking out a specialty coffee shop or cafe that caters to dietary restrictions. Many of these establishments offer a wider variety of non-dairy milk options and have separate equipment to avoid cross-contamination.

4. Calorie Bombs

In addition to being loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, many of Dunkin’s frozen drinks are also incredibly high in calories. A large Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta, for example, clocks in at a staggering 900 calories. That’s nearly half of the recommended daily calorie intake for an average adult, all in one drink.

Even smaller sizes of these frozen drinks can pack a serious caloric punch. A medium Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta has 590 calories, while a small Frozen Vanilla Chai has 340 calories. Consuming such high-calorie drinks on a regular basis can quickly lead to weight gain and other health issues.

If you’re watching your waistline or trying to maintain a healthy weight, it’s best to skip the frozen drinks altogether and opt for lower-calorie options like unsweetened iced tea or black coffee. If you do decide to indulge, consider sharing a small size with a friend or limiting yourself to an occasional treat rather than making it a daily habit.

5. Not-So-Cool Side Effects

Drinking large amounts of frozen, sugary drinks like those from Dunkin’ Donuts can lead to some not-so-pleasant side effects. One common issue is brain freeze, that intense headache that hits when you consume something cold too quickly. While not dangerous, it can certainly be uncomfortable and put a damper on your frozen drink experience.

Another potential side effect is an upset stomach or digestive issues. The combination of high sugar content, dairy, and artificial ingredients can be hard on your digestive system, leading to bloating, cramping, or even diarrhea in some cases. If you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to digestive issues, it’s probably best to avoid these frozen drinks altogether.

In addition to physical side effects, regularly consuming high-sugar, high-calorie drinks like those from Dunkin’ can also take a toll on your mental health. The temporary sugar high may give you a brief burst of energy, but it’s often followed by a crash that can leave you feeling tired, irritable, and even anxious or depressed.

6. The Environmental Impact

While the health concerns surrounding Dunkin’s frozen drinks are certainly a good reason to avoid them, it’s also worth considering the environmental impact of these beverages. The cups, straws, and lids used for these drinks are often made from single-use plastics that can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills or end up polluting our oceans and harming marine life.

Even if you opt for a paper cup, the production of these cups still contributes to deforestation and the use of harmful chemicals in the manufacturing process. And let’s not forget about the energy and resources required to produce and transport the ingredients used in these drinks, from the milk and sugar to the artificial flavors and colors.

7. Better Alternatives

So, what’s a frozen drink lover to do? The good news is that there are plenty of better alternatives out there that can satisfy your cravings without the negative health and environmental impacts. One option is to make your own frozen drinks at home using whole, natural ingredients like fresh fruit, unsweetened yogurt, and a splash of milk or non-dairy alternative.

If you’re out and about and in need of a frozen fix, look for local cafes or juice bars that offer smoothies or other blended drinks made with real, whole food ingredients. Many of these establishments also use biodegradable or reusable cups and straws to minimize their environmental impact.

At the end of the day, the occasional frozen drink from Dunkin’ Donuts probably won’t kill you. But when you consider the high sugar content, artificial ingredients, and potential health and environmental impacts, it’s clear that these drinks are best avoided or enjoyed only as a rare treat. With so many better options out there, there’s no need to settle for a subpar frozen drink. Your body (and the planet) will thank you for making a more mindful choice.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

Latest Articles

More Articles Like This