13 Of The Unhealthiest Drinks You Can Order At Dunkin'

A Dunkin' drink on counter
A Dunkin' drink on counter - Deutschlandreform/Shutterstock

Dunkin' is a quick service restaurant chain that, aside from its line of famous donuts, is known for selling a wide variety of drinks. While originally focused on basic coffee drinks, Dunkin' now offers so many options (and ways to customize them) that over 25,000 different combinations can be ordered, according to the company's website. Unfortunately for the health-conscious, many of these options should be crossed out due to their jaw-dropping amounts of added sugar.

Added sugar is defined as any sugar in a food product that is not naturally found in milks, fruits, and vegetables. The problem with added sugars is that we digest them much more quickly than natural sugars, leading to larger blood sugar spikes and subsequent insulin surges. As a result, people who consistently consume large amounts of added sugar are at risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, and obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is more than the recommended daily amount, which stands at 50 grams, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. population consumes much of its added sugars in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as those served by Dunkin'. In this article, we reveal which Dunkin' drinks contain the most added sugar, so you can make informed choices when you order.

Read more: The 14 Best Sugar-Free Sodas Ranked

Large Caramel Cold Foam

Dunkin' cold foam drink
Dunkin' cold foam drink - Dunkin'/YouTube

Dunkin' first launched its own cold foam drinks in 2021. These beverages consist of cold brew coffee with Dunkin's cold foam, a creamy, aerated mixture of milk, sugar, cream, and various flavorings. Olivia Vaughn, associate research & development technologist at Dunkin', said in a press release that "We're starting to explore more layered drinks that offer unique, textural experiences for our guests, and think Sweet Cold Foam unlocks an exciting opportunity for continued innovation in the Cold Brew category." While perhaps exciting from Dunkin' fans, these drinks have an unfortunate downside, as the Caramel Cold Foam drink exemplifies.

This drink includes caramel-flavored swirl syrup in both the cold foam and cold brew coffee, making for a flavorful, sweet beverage -- but also an unhealthy amount of added sugar. A large Caramel Cold Foam contains 61 grams of added sugar, which is 11 grams more than an adult's daily recommended intake (and it has 68 grams of sugar total). You might want to significantly downsize, if you're curious to try this drink.

Blue Raspberry Dunkin' Energy Punch

Dunkin' Energy Punch drink in hand
Dunkin' Energy Punch drink in hand - mbabz95/X, formerly known as Twitter

Dunkin' has been selling its Energy Punch drinks since 2017. Originally, these beverages were made by mixing a can of Monster Energy, one of the unhealthiest energy drinks around, with one of two Dunkin' flavorings: blue raspberry or strawberry. As part of its switch to using Pepsico products, Dunkin' replaced Monster Energy with Rockstar energy drink in 2023. The rest of the Energy Punch formula remains the same, and we have to say that Rockstar doesn't have a positive impact on the beverage's nutritional profile.

Given that a can of Rockstar Original contains 63 grams of added sugar, it's a foregone conclusion that a Blue Raspberry Dunkin' Energy Punch will contain a lot of the sweet stuff. A large size of this drink contains a whopping 98 grams of added sugar, which is almost double an adult's daily recommended intake. To put this into perspective, you could eat nine Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts and still consume eight grams less of added sugar, compared to slurping down this blue beverage.

Large Mango Pineapple Dunkin' Lemonade Refresher

Dunkin' lemonade refresher
Dunkin' lemonade refresher - TheBurberryBrat/X, formerly known as Twitter

Dunkin's lemonade refreshers are made by mixing lemonade with your choice of differently-flavored fruit concentrates. Among the most popular choices is a Mango Pineapple Dunkin' Lemonade Refresher, a tropical beverage that presents a bright flavor profile with a hint of citrus, thanks to the inclusion of orange juice concentrate. Try it in a large size, though, and you'll be sipping down 76 grams of added sugar, which is just over 125% of an adult's daily recommended intake.

This high amount of added sugar is largely attributed to two of the drink's ingredients: mango pineapple flavored concentrate and lemonade concentrate. Both of these concentrates list sugar as a major ingredient, and additions like orange juice concentrate introduce yet more tooth-aching qualities to the Mango Pineapple Dunkin' Lemonade Refresher. It's no surprise that numerous customers say that this refresher is very sweet, but even those who have tried the drink might not guess at the eye-popping amount sugar in that big plastic cup.

Large Churro Frozen Coffee

A churro frozen coffee from Dunkin'
A churro frozen coffee from Dunkin' - ALI 'DUNKIN' ART/YouTube

In 2017, Dunkin' launched a whole new beverage subcategory: frozen coffee. These drinks are made by blending together ice, liquid cane sugar, concentrated coffee syrup and the customer's choice of dairy or dairy substitutes. Liquid cane sugar is a key ingredient here, as it lowers the coffee mixture's freezing point, preventing it from freezing solid and creating the ideal slushie-like consistency. This is also why all of Dunkin' frozen coffees contain massive amounts of sugar.

While the addition of churro-flavored swirl syrup might be tasty, it also balloons the Churro Frozen Coffee's added sugar content. This is because the churro syrup's main ingredient by weight is brown sugar. Combine that with the base full of liquid cane sugar, and a large Churro Frozen Coffee winds up with 144 grams of added sugar. This is a staggering amount that's nearly triple an adult's recommended daily value. For this reason, it's one of the unhealthiest drinks you can order -- not just at Dunkin', but at any quick service restaurant.

Large Frozen Coffee With Almondmilk

A Dunkin' frozen coffee
A Dunkin' frozen coffee - Dunkin'

As previously mentioned, all of Dunkin's frozen coffees contain large amounts of added sugar, and not even skipping out on flavored syrups lands you in the clear. Take, for example, Dunkin's large Frozen Coffee with Almondmilk. While it's devoid of extra syrups, a large size still contains 111 grams of added sugar, more than double an adult's daily value.

Some Dunkin' employees and customers have noted that there is a "no sugar" button on the in-store machines that makes these frozen coffees. This would suggest that you can order these beverages with a lower sugar content, but even if your Dunkin' barista hits this button, your drinks will not be free of added sugars. Some self-professed Dunkin' staff members on Reddit say that the coffee syrup used in the base of these drinks contains sugar, so even if you skip the flavored syrups and liquid cane sugar, you'll have to accept some of the sweet stuff. We would suggest that there is no such thing as a healthy frozen coffee from Dunkin'.

Large Vanilla Bean Coolatta

Dunkin' vanilla bean coolatta
Dunkin' vanilla bean coolatta - _corpselove/X, formerly known as Twitter

Dunkin' has offered numerous coolatta drinks over the years. Similar to its frozen coffee, these drinks are made with a base of ice, liquid cane sugar, and syrup, creating a slushy, almost milkshake-like beverage. Some coolattas, including the Arnold Palmer flavor, stand as one of many discontinued Dunkin' items we'd love to have back. In the meantime, you can order a simple Vanilla Bean Coolatta -- but should you?

This drink is made with ice, liquid cane sugar, vanilla bean syrup, and milk. As you can guess, coolattas use a great deal of added sugar, just like their frozen coffee cousins. A large Vanilla Bean Coolatta contains a whopping 150 grams of added sugar. To put it another way, this drink has as much sugar as five of Walmart's Marketside Fresh Cinnamon Rolls. According to the FDA, 150 grams of added sugars is the maximum amount an adult should consume over a three day period. If that doesn't convince you that Dunkin's Vanilla Bean Coolatta is an unhealthy drink, we don't know what will.

Frozen Matcha Latte

A frozen matcha latte
A frozen matcha latte - journalismgoals/X, formerly known as Twitter

As you might guess, Dunkin's Frozen Matcha Latte is made by blending ice with liquid cane sugar to produce a frosty, sweet drink. In this drink's case, a matcha green tea blend is added for flavor and color. What many customers might not know is that the main ingredient in this blend is cane sugar, not the powdered tea itself. Naturally, this only increases the drink's already-high added sugar content.

A large serving of Dunkin's Frozen Matcha Latte contains 109 grams of added sugar. This might come as a shock to those who assume that a matcha drink must be a decently healthy choice. As one Dunkin' employee wrote on Reddit, "It's also like 86% sugar by weight. I bring this up because I've had to argue with customers either saying matcha is sugar free or healthy for you. Dunkin's rendition is neither." Suffice to say, if you want to reap the plentiful antioxidants found in matcha and enjoy its soothing effects, make a simple matcha latte at home instead.

Extra Large Original Hot Chocolate

Dunkin' hot chocolate
Dunkin' hot chocolate - thesaucyboss100/X, formerly known as Twitter

While Dunkin's frozen drinks tend to contain more added sugar than any other category, more sweetness bombs can be found in hot drinks all over the menu. Take Dunkin's extra large Original Hot Chocolate: This drink is only made with water and a hot chocolate powder, yet it contains 68 grams of added sugar, far more than an adult's daily recommended intake. To further put this number into perspective, it's the same amount of sugar that's found in 40 fluid ounces of Gatorade Thirst Quencher in Lemon-Lime.

This amount obviously doesn't cover any additional syrups a customer might request, so the total sugar count might balloon even larger. The company's website states that in a medium-sized drink, the addition of one flavor swirl syrup can add 150 to 160 calories -- presumably, most of that comes from sugar. In a large or extra large beverage, this amount may increase, but any amount of syrup stacks more sweetness on top of your hot chocolate.

Large Butter Pecan Swirl Frozen Coffee

Butter pecan frozen coffee
Butter pecan frozen coffee - ScarlettaVT/X, formerly known as Twitter

Out of all the drinks that Dunkin' serves, the large Butter Pecan Swirl Frozen Coffee contains the most added sugar, boasting an incredible 156 grams. Butter pecan-flavored swirl syrup is added to the already-sugary frozen coffee base. The top five ingredients in this butter pecan swirl are sweetened condensed nonfat milk, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, water, and brown sugar -- you'll notice that water is the only non-sweet ingredient in this list.

Once only a seasonal offering, Dunkin's butter pecan swirl flavoring is now available all year round. While this is good news for fans of the flavor, 156 grams of added sugar is more than an adult should consume over a 72-hour period. To put it differently, if you ate an entire pint tub of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream and then drank a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, you would still consume less added sugar than this frozen coffee drink contains.

Large Caramel Swirl Frozen Chocolate

Dunkin' frozen chocolate
Dunkin' frozen chocolate - Dunkin'

Dunkin's frozen chocolate drinks are not far behind the frozen coffees in terms of sugar content. This subgroup of drinks was first introduced to Dunkin' stores during 2011 and became a common fixture by 2015. A frozen chocolate is made in much the same way as a frozen coffee; the only difference is that these beverages also include Dunkin's hot chocolate powder. The most prominent ingredient in this powder happens to be sugar.

A large Caramel Swirl Frozen Chocolate contains 148 grams of added sugar. Incidentally, this is the same amount of added sugar in Dunkin's large plain Frozen Chocolate. Such a huge quantity makes both of these drinks incredibly unhealthy, though the Caramel Swirl Frozen Chocolate could be slightly worse due to the high fructose corn syrup in the caramel flavoring. High fructose corn syrup is controversial for many reasons, including its propensity to increase a person's appetite, as well as giving them sugar cravings (via Cleveland Clinic). This could create a habit of overeating of sugar, potentially leading to obesity and further health complications.

Large French Vanilla Swirl Frozen Coffee

Vanilla frozen coffee with whipped cream from Dunkin'
Vanilla frozen coffee with whipped cream from Dunkin' - bowlinggreendunkin/TikTok

Another Dunkin' frozen coffee that has made it onto our list is the large French Vanilla Swirl Frozen Coffee. To make this beverage, a French vanilla swirl syrup is added to the frozen coffee base. This syrup seems to be less toothache-inducing than others, adding less sugar to this frozen coffee than flavor swirls like butter pecan, but it's far from tame in terms of the total. A large French Vanilla Swirl Frozen Coffee contains 144 grams of added sugar.

Needless to say, 144 grams of added sugar is a shocking amount that no person should consume lightly. It is, after all, 288% of an adult's daily value. You could try to improve the overall nutritional profile by ordering this drink with skim milk, instead of whole milk or cream, but that doesn't decrease the added sugar content at all. This frozen coffee should be enjoyed only as an indulgent treat -- definitely not a daily, or even weekly, staple.

Large Blueberry Flavored Iced Sweet Tea

A blueberry iced tea from Dunkin'
A blueberry iced tea from Dunkin' - alidunkinart/Youtube

Dunkin's large Blueberry Flavored Iced Sweet Tea is one of the few drinks on in this list that isn't made in a blender. This beverage is made by steeping tea bags in water before adding sugar, blueberry flavoring, and ice. Unlike Dunkin's frozen drinks, this iced tea has no liquid cane sugar. Another reason why this drink contains less added sugar is because its flavoring is provided by a flavor shot, not a flavor swirl. As Dunkin' itself says, flavor shots are sugar-free flavorings that contain around 10% of the calories of flavor swirls.

Despite all these promising factors, the large Iced Sweet Blueberry Flavored Tea still contains 81 grams of added sugar. While this is nearly half the amount of other drinks in this list, it's nothing to take lightly. In fact, 81 grams is 162% of an adult's daily value. If you're looking to control your added sugar intake, don't be fooled by the simple, wholesome-sounding nature of this drink.

Large Mocha Swirl Frozen Coffee

Mocha frozen coffee from Dunkin'
Mocha frozen coffee from Dunkin' - poshspicelatte/X, formerly known as Twitter

The final Dunkin' drink featured in our list is, predictably, a frozen coffee. In keeping with the beverage subgroup's norm, a large Mocha Swirl Frozen Coffee contains 148 grams of added sugar. To make matters even worse, the mocha flavored swirl syrup's most prominent ingredient by weight is high fructose corn syrup, so there's a considerable amount of this harmful sugar in the finished drink.

As with the rest of Dunkin's frozen coffees, the Mocha Swirl Frozen Coffee is a shockingly unhealthy drink. It contains as much added sugar as an adult should consume over a three day period, much like a large Vanilla Bean Coolatta. To put it another way, this is more than double the amount of added sugar found in a large McDonald's Vanilla Shake (and at least a milkshake isn't trying to fool you into thinking it's a morning beverage). As such, Dunkin's large Mocha Swirl Frozen Coffee should only be ordered on very rare occasions.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.