McDonald's CosMc's, Starbucks and Dunkin': How do their drinks compare in calories and sugar?


new McDonald's beverage-focused chain called CosMc's has a menu that features popular drink options similar to those customers love at other coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin', but how do they compare in terms of your diet?

It's no secret that some of those tasty sips are sneakily packed with more sugar than you might think, so we decided to compare the nutritional information of similar drinks at all three chains to see how they compare in terms of sugar and calories.

Employees work at McDonald's new drive-thru-only chain, CosMc's, during the concept's secret opening in Bolingbrook.
Employees work at McDonald's new drive-through beverage chain, CosMc's, during the concept's secret opening in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on December 7, 2023. ERIC COX/REUTERS

While drink sizes between brands differ slightly, the medium-sized coffee cups (or large, as it's called at Starbucks) all weigh 16 ounces, so we'll use that size for our comparisons below.

He The American Heart Association recommends limit added sugar to 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams) a day for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women.

“Many people consume more sugar than they realize. It is important to be aware of how much sugar we consume because our bodies do not need sugar to function properly,” the association's website states. “Added sugars do not provide nutrients, but they provide many calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity. That can reduce heart health.”

Note: CosMc's confirmed to CBS News that its standard coffee recipes use whole milk. To make the comparisons as close as possible, we use whole milk recipes for Dunkin's nutritional breakdowns, while Starbucks's are based on 2% milk, since they do not offer a whole milk option in their nutritional guide for all. drinks. The amounts of sugar listed below are total sugars. Any exceptions are noted below.

medium cappuccino

CosMc: 160 calories11g sugar

Starbucks: 120 calories10g sugar

Dunkin': 120 calories0 g sugar (no added sugar) or 220 calories, 35 g sugar (with added sugar)

Blended Frozen Coffee

CosMc Cold Frappe: 430 calories48g sugar

Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino: 240 calories50 g of sugar (with whole milk)

Dunkin' Frozen Coffee: 410 calories, 84 grams of sugar

hot chai latte

CosMc: 370 calories60g sugar

Starbucks: 240 calories42g sugar

Dunkin': 290 calories40g sugar

Hot chocolate

CosMc: 380 calories35g sugar

Starbucks: 290 calories41g sugar

Dunkin': 330 calories46 g sugar (type of milk not specified)

mocha latte

CosMc's mocha: 380 calories34g sugar

Starbucks “CafĂ© Mocha”: 260 calories, 34 grams of sugar

Dunkin' “Mocha Swirl Hot Latte”: 330 calories47g sugar

Other CosMc drink options

CosMc's also offers some drinks exclusive to the chain, including “Signature Galactic Boosts” and iced teas and lemonades with fruity flavors.

No size of the former provides customers with a drink below the AHA's recommended daily amount of sugar for women, with the lowest total sugar being 27 grams for a small “Blueberry Ginger Boost,” according to its nutritional guide.

However, this drink, as well as three other options, are within the recommended daily amount of sugar for men, including a medium and large Blueberry Ginger Boost at 31 and 35 grams, respectively, as well as a small “Sour Cherry Energy Burst” of 31 and 35 grams, respectively. 30 grams.

Two of the most caloric and sugary options include the large Island Pick-Me-Up Punch with 500 calories and 103 grams of sugar and the large Berry Hibiscus Sour-ade, with 500 calories and 108 grams of sugar.

There are also some drink options in other categories that go over the 500 calorie point, including:

  • Large Cold Brew Frappe: 550 and 62 grams of sugar
  • Large Churro Frappe: 610 calories and 76 grams of sugar
  • All medium and large smoothies, with the highest being a large strawberry smoothie with 850 calories and 107 grams of sugar.

Options with less sugar and calories

There are a few options on the menu if you're trying to watch your sugar and calorie intake. In addition to water and diet soda, any size of their unsweetened tea or black coffee options (including iced coffee or cold brew coffee, without milk or sugar) have 0 grams of sugar and 0 to 25 calories.

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