It wouldn't be fall without pumpkin, but not all seasonal-flavored drinks are created equal. Let's crunch the numbers.
The world hasn't been the same since Starbucks launched the pumpkin spice latte 10 years ago. The coffee giant continues to find new and impressive ways to capitalize on the #basic trend (I mean, they literally bottled up the beverage to sell at grocery stores) to keep everyone coming back for more. So if you have a major obsession for the popular fall staple, we can't blame you. But if you're looking for a sippable swap that saves you some extra calories and sugar, Jamba Juice might have the perfect solution.
On September 7, the smoothie company will debut a new pumpkin protein smoothie that offers a healthy alternative to your go-to coffee house beverage. Made with a blend of almond milk, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chia seeds, and whey protein, the drink will blend together the nostalgic fall flavors of pumpkin pie with a major health upgrade. Its 23 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber will keep you feeling full longer and ready to take on the day.
Photo: Jamba Juice
But let's crunch all the numbers, shall we? Compared to a Grande (16 oz) PSL with 2% milk and whipped cream—which has 380 calories and 50 grams of sugar—the pumpkin protein smoothie will have 100 fewer calories. However, it still carries a hefty 29 grams of sugar. With official guidelines on total sugar intake for women hovering around 25 grams a day, this is still more than you really want in a single drink or meal replacement. As far as fat is concerned, that same PSL clocks in at 14 grams of fat while the smoothie is significantly lower at 4.5 grams. (Related: Good Sugar vs. Bad Sugar: Become More Sugar Savvy)
Overall, the pumpkin protein smoothie does offer more nutrition inside that cup, but you should always be mindful about slurping down your calories instead of chewing them—clean, whole foods will never let your body down.
Still need your pump spice fix? Try these five Starbucks hacks for a healthier PSL or these 15 pumpkin spice foods (and drinks!) you can feel good about eating.