Eat. Sleep. Coffee. Repeat! Whether you drink a coffee before you even open your eyes in the morning or you only drink caffeinated drinks on occasion, you have most likely visited a Starbucks at some point in your life. For some, coffee is a religion, and Starbucks is the place of worship. Others may enjoy a Starbucks as a special, occasional treat. Starbucks even has its own language that only true enthusiasts have mastered! This restaurant review will not, however, be a lesson on how to order your “Venti-no-whip-skinny-sub-soy-caramel-frappucino”. What it will do is help you find something low FODMAP to order when visiting this popular coffee shop.
Low FODMAP Beverages at Starbucks
The great thing about Starbucks is that you can personalize your drink! … and that it’s completely normal to ask for something really specific. Hooray! This is important for those of us with IBS that need to swap certain ingredients out for low FODMAP options.
How to Place a Good-for-Your-Gut Order at Starbucks
1. Choose your cup size:
“Short” – 236ml, equivalent to a small coffee
“Tall” – 354ml, equivalent to a medium coffee
“Grande” – 473ml, equivalent to a large coffee * We recommend you avoid this size if you have IBS or digestive health issues.
“Venti” – 591ml, equivalent to an extra-large coffee and likely the start to an extremely long day! *Probably best to completely avoid this size if you have IBS or digestive health issues.
2. Choose espresso or tea:
As you may have read in our article all about digestive teas, there are a few different types of tea that are low FODMAP and will be great for those with IBS and digestive issues. If you haven’t read this article – read it now! At Starbucks, you can order a black, green or peppermint tea and choose to steep it weak or strong (this refers to how long you leave the bag in). Another low FODMAP option is Chai tea, but this tea should be steeped weak.
If you’re choosing espresso – choose decaf when you want the full flavour but not all the caffeine or regular if you need a little kick. NOTE: a regular shot of espresso (30ml) contains about 75mg of caffeine (vs. 20mg of caffeine in 30ml of regular brewed coffee). However, please be aware that caffeine is a gut stimulant which can make symptoms of IBS worse, a lot worse for some of us, so it’s important to know your body and how caffeine affects you – you may simply opt for decaf or you can try “half-caf” (half a shot of caffeinated espresso and half a shot of decaffeinated).
3. Choose a syrup:
There are many different flavours to sweeten or spice up a drink, including sugar-free options. To avoid possibly bumping into some IBS symptom trouble, stick to sugar, brown sugar, stevia powder, or maple syrup to sweeten up your drink. These have all been tested and approved as low FODMAP – which is best to minimize symptoms of IBS. Avoid the sugar-free options to be on the safe side as the sweetener added may be high in FODMAPs. You can also bring your drink over to the milk & sugar station and shake some cocoa powder or cinnamon on top to add some extra flavour. Yum!
4. Choose your milk:
Many people suffering from IBS avoid lactose to reduce symptoms, so ask the barista for lactose-free milk. If you need to avoid lactose completely – you might consider choosing something that doesn’t need milk like a tea. 😉
Next time you’re invited out for coffee, don’t feel the need to stay home in fear of digestive upset. Keep these tips in mind to make the best choice for your tummy and feel safe in your socialization!
If you decide to have that friend over for a cozy hangout at home, try this low FODMAP Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL)!
Low FODMAP Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes: 4-6 servings
Time: 10 minutes prep
1 can coconut milk (not coconut beverage)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Optional: strain mixture through a fine sieve if you like your latte extra silky smooth! Store PSL flavour base in the fridge for up to one week, if you can make it last that long. 😉
To make your latte, fill a mug approximately 1/3 of the way with the base mixture (according to how much flavour you like) and microwave to warm. Fill up the rest of your mug with your choice of coffee – decaf may be best tolerated for those with IBS.
Top with coconut milk whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or cocoa (or both!) if you’re in need of an extra special morning pick-me-up!
NOTE: You can pick up a frother from most home/kitchen stores for under $15 if you’re really serious about your PSL game ;-). Pouring your coffee and PSL flavour base into a blender is another way to get some frothing action going on.
Wishing you good gut health & wellness,
Stephanie and the Team