It’s tempting to drink a Frappuccino every day, especially when it’s been a long, hot day and you want a nice, cold drink to cool you off. Heck, even on a cold day, a cold drink can still sound refreshing. But just because a certain ice-cold drink is popular (and totally delicious) that doesn’t mean it’s smart to drink every day. Yes, Starbucks’ Frappuccino is a beloved frozen coffee drink might hit the spot on a summer afternoon, but it isn’t without its side effects.
As the Pepperdine University Graphic noted, college students love to sip Frappuccinos, but they aren’t very healthy and drinkers could have a negative reaction to them. Of course, just like anything, moderation is key when it comes to Frappuccinos, and drinking one every now and then isn’t going to kill you. That said, what happens to your body when you drink a Frappuccino every day isn’t all that great and will do more harm than good.
You could gain weight if you drink a Frappuccino every day
Perhaps one of the first things about a Frappuccino that may worry you is the calories. Black coffee has hardly any calories, and, even if you add some milk and sugar, typically adds up to less than 100 calories, as noted by Livestrong. According to Katherine Zeratsky, a registered and licensed dietitian, who answered a question from Mayo Clinic, there may be about 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar and However, if you drink a Starbucks Frappuccino instead, you’ll be adding in potentially hundreds of extra calories. According to Starbucks, a 16-ounce Caramel Frappuccino — a grande size — comes out to 370 calories. That’s a lot of calories for one drink.
And as has been proven, extra calories cause people to gain weight. According to the World Health Organization, “The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.” If you drink a Frappuccino every day, you probably won’t put on a bunch of extra pounds in a short amount of time, assuming the rest of your diet is balanced, but you might notice that your skinny jeans start to fit a little tighter after a few months of consuming the sugary beverage.
You could develop diabetes if you drink a Frappuccino every day
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Frappuccinos tend to be high in added sugar. After all, part of their appeal is how deliciously sweet they are. But what might surprise you is just how much sugar they contain. According to Starbucks, the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino, for example, has a whopping 57 grams of added sugar in a 16-ounce drink. For comparison, the American Heart Association recommends that men consume 36 grams of added sugar while women limit it to 25 grams per day.
Basically, drinking a Frappuccino every day means you are already consuming far more than the recommended daily intake of sugar — more than two days’ worth if you’re a woman. And doing so could make you more likely to develop diabetes. A 2015 study from the Journal of Diabetes Investigation concluded that “sugar-sweetened beverage intake was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes can also lead to many other health issues, as noted by Mayo Clinic, so, in order to avoid that, it might be smart not to drink a Frappuccino every day.
Drinking a Frappuccino every day could lead to acne
While some people are lucky enough to leave their acne breakouts behind them in middle school, others continuously deal with problematic skin. For adults who have acne-prone skin, choosing to drink a Frappuccino every day might not be the best idea. In fact, for anyone, drinking the sugary, frozen coffee beverage could lead to acne.
Frappuccinos tend to contain a lot of dairy, specifically in the form of milk. According to Starbucks, milk is literally the second ingredient listed for most of their Frappuccinos, such as the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. And as delicious as that sounds, consuming all that dairy on a daily basis can lead to your skin breaking out. A 2012 study published in BMC Dermatology found that “glycemic load diet and frequencies of milk and ice cream intake were positively associated with acne vulgaris.”
Additionally, since Frappuccinos are so high in sugar, which can also lead to acne, as sugar is a high-glycemic food. A report published in Advances in Dermatology and Allergology in 2016 noted that, based on previous studies, a “high glycemic index diet may have a significant effect on the occurrence of acne vulgaris.” Basically, everything that makes a Frappuccino so delicious can lead to developing pimples, which is just no fun at all.
You could be at a higher risk for certain types of cancer if you drink a Frappuccino every day
Cancer is a pretty big, scary word — and probably not one you associate with your favorite blended coffee drink. It turns out, though, that the ingredients in most Frappuccinos could put you at a higher risk for certain types of the disease.
Frappuccinos are especially high in added sugars. According to Starbucks, the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino contains a whopping 62 grams of sugar. Not only is that number high, it’s what increases your cancer risk. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Cancer concluded that “added sugars were positively associated with risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma,” which is a type of esophageal cancer. Association between added sugars and “the risk of small intestinal cancer” and an “increased risk of pleural cancer” were also found.
Of course, it isn’t just Frappuccinos that will increase your risk of cancer, but anything you consume that is high in added sugars. To stay on the safe side, you’ll want to monitor your consumption — and maybe, just maybe, reconsider that daily Frap.
You could experience joint pain if you drink a Frappuccino every day
Joint pain may sound like something you’ll only have to worry about in old age, but the truth is: Inflammation — not age — is the root cause of joint pain. Many Frappuccinos contain more than twice the daily recommended intake of sugar — and that’s what spells trouble for your joints.
According to WebMD, “eating lots of sweets has been shown to worsen joint pain because of the inflammation they cause in the body.” Unfortunately, people tend to not be aware of how much sugar they are consuming when they sip a Frappuccino. Because of that, they could go on to consume even more sugar throughout the day, which only increases their chances of inflammation and joint pain. Frappuccinos may be delicious and certainly fun to enjoy every now and then, but your body may take issue with you drinking them every day.
Your digestive system might be in trouble if you drink a Frappuccino every day
While you know that eating too much candy can cause your stomach to get upset, you may not apply the same logic Frappuccinos. Of course, the drinks are high in sugar, but that isn’t the only ingredient that can cause you to feel unsettled in your tummy; dairy plays a role too.
According to Insider, when your body doesn’t properly break down the lactose in dairy products, “it travels through your digestive system and is broken down by gut bacteria in a process of fermentation.” That little side journey can cause an upset stomach as well as diarrhea or cramping. Just one Frappuccino can have this effect on someone who is lactose intolerant, but the more anyone drinks, the more likely it is that they’ll have some digestive issues, whether or not they’ve had problems with dairy before.
If you drink a Frappuccino every day, you could become depressed
Many people view getting a nice coffee as a pick-me-up of sorts. It’s different and usually more flavorful than the coffee they can make themselves at home and it can certainly be a fun and tasty treat. Getting a blended drink at a coffeeshop or Starbucks may feel like quite the perk, especially during an otherwise meh day, but if you’ve taken to drinking Frappuccinos every day, you could actually be at a greater risk for becoming depressed, according to a 2014 study published in PLOS One.
“Compared to nondrinkers, drinking coffee or tea without any sweetener was associated with a lower risk for depression,” the study found. On the other hand, the study reported that “frequent consumption of sweetened beverages … may increase depression risk among older adults.” Yes, that daily Frappuccino you pick up on the way to work every morning might be cheering you up for now, but it could have the opposite effect in the long run.
You may experience bloating if you drink a Frappuccino every day
Although dairy products have many health benefits, they can also cause problems in a lot of people. And since milk is one of the main ingredients in Starbucks’ Frappuccinos, you could experience some of the not-so-pleasant side effects of dairy, like bloating.
“Even though dairy is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, it can definitely cause gas and bloating for some people,” Karen Ansel, registered dietitian nutritionist, told Self. Because some people’s bodies don’t break down the sugar found in milk as well, it can lead to stomach issues. “As a result, lactose, the sugar in milk, travels intact throughout your digestive system, pulling water into your gut, causing gas, bloating, and lots of discomfort,” Ansel continued. If you’ve noticed some extra bloat, you might want to cut out your daily Frappuccino, as it’s likely the culprit.
Drinking a Frappuccino every day could make you look older than you are
Sugar can wreak havoc on your body in a myriad of ways, as you well know, but one not so well-known side effect of sugar is its ability to age the person consuming it.
According to WebMD, “Excess sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called ‘AGEs,’ or advanced glycation end products.” And what do AGEs do? Horrifyingly, they age your skin by deteriorating your collagen stores. In fact, a 2012 study published in Dermato Endocrinology found that the “dietary intake of AGEs” can cause “systemic oxidative stress, increase RAGE [receptor for advanced glycation endproducts] expression, decrease antioxidant levels, and shorten lifespan.”
All that sugar in your daily Frappuccino may taste good, but it can also undo all the good from your go-to retinol creams. Cut the Frap and stick with a plain iced coffee next time; your skin will thank you.
You may get a temporary mood boost when you drink a Frappuccino every day
Aside from the taste, there’s a reason why you tend to crave sugar more than anything else. According to WebMD, when you eat sugar, you give “your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine,” which is very unlike what happens when eating a fruit or vegetable. While that dopamine release may feel good for a moment, over time, it can get out of control. “Your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure,” which can lead to a sort of sugar addiction.
If you’re drinking a Frappuccino every day, you’re quite literally feeding that addiction. Sure, you’ll get a temporary boost and think that Frap is the secret to happiness, but the habit will only have you wanting more. And consuming more is not a good idea, considering it can lead to a whole host of health problems.
Your body won't have as much energy if you drink a Frappuccino every day
Even though most people grab a Frappuccino when they want both caffeine and something sweet, that doesn’t mean the blended beverage is going to be the best at waking you up. In reality, if you drink a Frappuccino every day, your body may not have as much energy, despite the fact that its caffeinated. For example, a 16-ounce Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino contains 85 milligrams of caffeine, while a plain blonde roast coffee of the same size contains 360 milligrams of caffeine. Not only are Fraps lacking in caffeine, but the sugary nature of the drinks can also cause a crash after consumption.
A 2009 study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that “participants were significantly more active in the first 30-60 post-HS [high-sugar meals] minutes, but after 60 minutes there was a trend for activity to be lower after the HS meal vs. the LS [low-sugar] meal.” In short, consuming a lot of sugar may give you an energy boost at first, but it’s typically followed by quite the crash.
There's a chance you'll develop fatty liver if you drink a Frappuccino every day
According to Healthline, “Fatty liver occurs when too much fat builds up in liver cells.” A liver is considered fatty if “more than 5% of it is fat.” This condition can lead to diabetes and other diseases, so prevention is key. However, if you drink a Frappuccino every single day, that will be kind of hard to do.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Hepatology discovered that “regular sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with greater risk of fatty liver disease, particularly in overweight and obese individuals.” Considering Frappuccinos are most certainly super-sweetened, they unfortunately increase your body’s risk of developing a fatty liver. This means you may want to consider replacing your morning beverage with something a little less sweet.
EatingWell, which dubbed Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccino one of the worst cold coffee drinks for your health, recommended opting for the Mocha Light Frappuccino if you have to get your fix. While doing away with the Fraps altogether would be the healthiest option, the light beverage does contain 29 grams of sugar as opposed to 54.
Drinking a Frappuccino every day can ruin your oral health
Sugar can cause a lot of trouble for your teeth, which means that Frappuccino you grab every day on your way to work isn’t the smartest choice for your chompers. According to WebMD, “Bacteria that cause cavities love to eat sugar lingering in your mouth after you eat something sweet.” Additionally, when you eat or, in this case, drink sugar, you attract more bacteria into your mouth, because the bacteria “feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth,” according to Healthline. Eek.
On top of all of that, a 2014 study found an association between the added sugars in drinks may cause dental caries, or tooth decay. Frappuccinos might just be your teeth’s worst nightmare, and if you drink them daily, your dentist bill could really start to add up.
You risk kidney damage if you drink a Frappuccino every day
You may not be thinking of your kidneys when you take that first sinfully sweet sip of your Frappuccino, but you may want to start.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, “too much sugar can cause kidney damage” in diabetics. Now, that isn’t to say that if you don’t have diabetes you can consume all the sugar you want without worrying about any damage being done to your kidneys. In fact, the opposite is true. A 2013 study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at the Stritch School of Medicine Research in Illinois found there to be a “casual role of sugar in several kidney disease risk factors, including increasing serum uric acid levels, diabetes, and obesity. Sugar may also harm the kidney via other mechanisms.”
Frappuccinos taste great, that’s true, and even though one isn’t likely to cause you serious harm, drinking them daily can lead to organ damage, which may be serious enough to have you consider switching to espresso or black coffee.
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