It’s on everyone’s lips right now: the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino.
But what people aren’t talking about is how our favorite global coffeehouse chain is selling us a POISONOUS beverage! Of course, the marketing is working flawlessly: everyone wants a picture with this rare drink to share on their Instagram, Snapchat and so on. And that cute little unicorn marking the drink is all it takes to lure you into escaping the daily grind for a few magical moments.
And what a magical and beautiful drink it is! Pretty (artificial) colors: pink, blue, and purple, “fairy powders”, “magical flavors” (this is directly from the Starbucks website), colors that change (yes, it’s possible), and the list goes on. Let’s set aside discussing all the artificial (and potentially harmful) substances which create the magical elements of this dangerous drink. Let’s not even discuss the percentage of fat (and we’re not talking about the healthy kind…there ain’t no avocado in this Unicorn drink!).
No, let’s just have a look at its sugar content. STAGGERING and dangerous! I’m mortified at how a society that serves beverages all over the world, and which therefore becomes the de facto face of public health, can sell a Venti-sized drink that…
That’s 2 times more than the maximum amount of sugar “allowed” per day! Just imagine the health impact of this sugar rush!
But no fear, Starbucks takes care to reassure us that this fantastic drink bring us 25% calcium. Is that a joke?! Or a way to hide the dangerousness of a crazy high-sugar drink with a “nutritional” selling point: 25% calcium, 15% Vitamin A, and even better “this drink contains no caffeine”. Amazing! So, we can drink it at night!
For the health-conscious or anyone watching their figure, take heed that a Unicorn Frappuccino will bring you more than 500 calories! Have a frappuccino of this kind once a day for 2 weeks and you’ve got 2.2 lb of fat stored on your hips just in time for summer!
Indeed, to put it simply: 7000 calories = 2.2 lb of fat (not everyone is unanimous on this exact number, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re consuming).
10 min after ingestion, you’ll want to throw up from all the fat and sugar. The fact is that this drink is so rich that almost nobody can drink it within a few minutes.
20 min after ingestion, your blood sugar levels dramatically increase (this is called a Glycemic spike). Your body needs insulin to manage this brutal shift, and your pancreas begins overworking to produce insulin in very large quantities in order to metabolize all the excess sugar (note that when you have a very little sugar in your blood, the body can manage well without any dramatic consequences).
40 min after ingestion, lasting drug-like effects: the combined sugar and fat cause a chemical reaction in the brain which is very similar to the reaction following heroin use (study conducted by Bernhard Baune, James Cook University, Australia). Indeed, at this point, your brain starts to produce dopamine, the hormone which stimulates the brain’s pleasure center. You’re high and happy!
50 min after? You crash! The inevitable happens: after a blood sugar peak, there is a drastic drop in blood sugar levels which we call hypoglycemia. We’re tired, irritable, mentally fragile. The solution to feeling better? Drink the poisonous drink again…and yes, this is the cycle of addiction.
So, is all hope lost?
As I always say, our health and happiness is best achieved via a non-stressful “80/20” lifestyle approach: 80% perfection, 20% perfection.
So, having a caloric-bomb from time to time (thank G-d the Unicorn is only available for 5 days, but hey, there are always other beverages rich in saturated-fat and sugar on the Starbucks menu!) won’t cause too much damage to your health or the equilibrium of your body. BUT, if you make a habit of consuming these trendy drinks packed with sugar and fat (and I’m not even addressing the problems of artificial food colorants and taste enhancers), you certainly run the risk of developing Type II diabetes, creating an addiction to sugar and/or sugar/fat combined, a higher probability of cancers, suffering from intense mood swings, and of course, gaining weight.
By the way, if you’re wondering about the ingredients in the Unicorn Frappuccino, here they are:
So now that you’re well informed…you know what to do! If you’re going to have a Unicorn Frappuccino to say “I did it”, share it with at least 3 people (yes, 3!) and to counter all those calories afterwards, you have the choice of one of the following activities:
As you can see, those 500 calories will need to be burned – and in a little longer time than it took you to gulp down your 2-minute drink!
I’m off to enjoy a nice Sobacha (good for my body with zero sugar!)
To your health,
Your Weight Loss & Wellness LeBootCamp Coach (Unicorn the rest of the time ;))