Boba or bubble tea has become incredibly popular in recent years. While it can be a tasty treat, some healthy boba drinks are packed with sugar and calories. This blog will provide tips on how to order the healthiest boba drinks to satisfy your craving without overdoing it on empty calories and sugar. By making smart choices, you can enjoy boba while being mindful of your health and wellness.
Choose Teas Over Fruit Flavored Drinks
Teas like green tea, black tea, oolong tea and white tea are naturally calorie-free and contain antioxidants that can provide health benefits. Opting for a tea base instead of a fruit juice or flavored milk base can help cut back on added sugars and calories. Many boba shops offer a variety of tea flavors that are delicious options. Some fruit juices and flavored milk bases like strawberry, mango and taro can contain upwards of 30 grams of sugar per drink. While they taste great, the sugar content is high. Sticking to tea as your base is an easy way to reduce excess sugar intake from boba.
Go Easy on the Sweetness Level
The majority of boba businesses let you alter the drink’s sweetness.Opting for less sweetness is an easy way to cut back on added sugars. Ask for 25% or 50% sweetness instead of the regular 100% sweetness level. Your drink will still have plenty of flavor but with significantly less sugar.
You can also ask for half the amount of syrups, fruit juices or flavored milk normally added. Every little bit of sugar reduction helps make your boba drink healthier. Don’t be afraid to request no sweetener at all if you prefer your drinks unsweetened.
Choose Tapioca Pearls or Jellies Over Other Toppings
Tapioca pearls and fruit jellies are generally lower in calories and fat than other toppings like pudding, coconut jelly or grass jelly. While all toppings add some calories and carbs, tapioca pearls and fruit jellies tend to be the leanest options. Opt for regular or small sized pearls instead of gummy or popping boba which are higher in calories. You can also ask for fewer pearls to cut back on carbs. Fruit jellies like lychee, mango or strawberry add natural sweetness without a lot of extra calories.
Go Light on Creamers and Condensed Milk
While creamers and condensed milk add richness and flavor, they are also sources of added fat and calories. Opt to have your drink prepared with just the tea base or a splash of milk instead of full fat creamers. You can also ask for condensed milk to be served on the side so you control how much goes into your drink. A little bit goes a long way in adding flavor without overdoing it on fat and calories. For a lower calorie alternative, consider using non-dairy creamers made from coconut, almond or oat milk.
Choose Options with Fresh or Frozen Fruit
Many boba shops now offer drinks prepared with real fruit like mango, lychee, strawberries or pineapple. These fruits not only add natural sweetness but also fiber, vitamins and minerals. Opting for fresh or frozen fruit is a healthier choice than fruit syrups or juices which are higher in sugar. You can get creative by building your own fruit medley drink. Ask what fresh fruits are available and select a combination that appeals to you. The fruit will float in your drink, allowing you to enjoy little bursts of flavor with each sip. Frozen fruit also helps keep your drink chilled without excessive ice diluting the flavors.
Go for Less Ice or Ask for Light Ice
While ice is essential for keeping drinks chilled, it dilutes the flavors and means you end up consuming more liquid just to get to the bottom of your cup. Opting for less ice or light ice allows you to enjoy your drink to the last drop without overdoing it on empty liquid calories. You can also ask for your drink “on the rocks” which is prepared with just enough ice to keep it cool versus filling the cup completely with ice. This way you get more of the tea, fruit or toppings versus a cup full of melted ice water by the end. Making small adjustments like these can help you avoid drinking excess “empty” calories.
Consider Low-Calorie Sweetener Options
Some boba shops now offer low-calorie sweetener options, The natural sweeteners have zero calories but still provide sweetness. Ask if these are available as an alternative to regular sugar syrups. You can also bring your own packets or bottles of low-calorie sweeteners and ask the barista to use those instead. Even replacing just half the regular sugar with a low-calorie sweetener can help significantly reduce calories and sugar content while still keeping your drink tasty.
Ask About Healthier Milk Options
While non-dairy milks add creaminess, they can also increase calories depending on the type used. Consider lower-calorie alternatives like unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk
which have 30-60 calories per cup versus whole milk at 150 calories per cup. Boba shops may have soy, almond or oat milk available. You can also bring your own carton from home. Request a splash of your preferred milk versus having it prepared as the main liquid. Every small swap can help trim calories and fat for a healthier drink.
Go for Small Sizes When Possible
While large sizes may seem like better value, they often equate to consuming more liquid calories and sugar. When possible, opt for regular or small size drinks. This helps control portion sizes and prevents overconsumption of empty calories through excess liquid. Enjoy your boba slowly and savor each sip versus finishing it quickly. Smaller portions also allow for trying different flavors each time versus getting the same large size. You can always order more later if still thirsty versus feeling bloated from a huge cup.
Ask About Nutrition Information
Some forward-thinking boba shops now provide nutrition information online or have it available in-store. This level of transparency allows you to make informed choices on lower sugar and lower calorie options. Don’t hesitate to ask baristas about nutrition facts, ingredients and preparation methods. An educated customer is better equipped to order drinks that fit into their health and wellness goals. Many employees are also happy to offer substitutes or customize drinks to be more nutritious. Developing a rapport with staff can help ensure you always get the best options.
With a little planning and customization, it is very possible to enjoy boba in a healthy way. The tips outlined in this blog provide simple strategies to satisfy your craving while being mindful of calories, sugar and other nutrients. Remember – everything in moderation is key. An occasional treat in small portions is fine to enjoy boba drink price affordably. Focus on making overall smart choices most of the time for optimal health when indulging in boba tea.