A Doctor Was Shocked to Discover That Starbucks Refreshers Have Caffeine

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author
By

Dec. 12 2023, Published 5:33 p.m. ET

I've been especially wary of caffeinated drinks lately. I don't have an aversion to them nor do I need to avoid them for any health-related issues, but I have accidentally had drinks with lots of caffeine in them that have led to multiple sleepless and restless nights. To that end, I find myself obsessively googling how much caffeine something has or doesn't have if I happen to be having it in the evening.

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In essence, the last thing I want to do is accidentally drink caffeine at times when it would do more harm than good. That said, I would have never thought to check on Starbucks Refreshers for their caffeine content. As it turns out, I should have.

One doctor has taken to X, formerly Twitter, to talk about how she only recently discovered that Starbucks Refreshers have caffeine in them. And boy, is she not happy about it.

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This doctor warns her followers that there's caffeine in Starbucks refreshers.

Starbucks may be known for its coffee, exotic drinks, and severe understaffing for holiday periods, but their Refresher drinks are also popular items.

In case you aren't aware, Starbucks Refreshers are cold fruit drinks that come in the form of slushy-like beverages or lemonades. They offer a refreshing alternative (no pun intended) to Starbucks usual offerings.

Refreshers also come in a variety of flavors such as Dragonfruit, Strawberry, Pineapple, and the not-so-secret Pink Drink menu item.

One might not think that these drinks include caffeine, but one doctor did her research on the matter.

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In mid-December 2023, Dr. Londlyn Robinson tweeted about discovering caffeine in her Strawberry Açai Refresher. Apparently, she had no idea that her favorite drink contained caffeine in the first place.

"I drank these at work for six months not knowing they have caffeine," she posted.

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She even shared the product description from the Starbucks app, which does not explicitly state that the drink has caffeine in it. The only hint it offers is that the chain calls it "the ultimate pick-me-up" for the afternoon.

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After digging into the ingredients, Dr. Robinson found out that a grande-sized Refresher contains more than 45 mg of caffeine, which she says is about the same as a Diet Coke.

In the replies to her initial tweet, other Starbucks customers also didn't know about the Refreshers' caffeine content before stumbling onto Dr. Robinson's findings. In fact, they even tried to avoid caffeine and unknowingly consumed it via Starbucks Refreshers.

"I'm epileptic and avoid caffeine," one person claimed. "I've been drinking these because I thought (and was told) it was caffeine-free."

"I was surprised when I found out they had a fair amount of caffeine," another person wrote. "I see lots of kids drinking them."

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Dr. Robinson even broke down the caffeine content of Starbucks' other offerings and found more than you might expect from drinks that may surprise you. While certain Frappuccinos don't have that much caffeine at 10 to 15 mg, other similar drinks can contain anywhere from 40 to 90 mg without explicit marketing or notice.

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Not only has Dr. Robinson avoided Starbucks drinks altogether since her discovery, but she's even issued health warnings to folks who avoid caffeine in their diets.

She tweeted, "I realize now the mistake in assuming that anything at Starbucks is truly caffeine-free (very few things are), but I do think that the 50 percent of people posting they had no idea about Refreshers having caffeine proves how effectively places can fool us."

Long story short, always check out the ingredients of a certain food item where applicable if you're looking to avoid certain products, especially if you're not expecting a Starbucks Refresher to keep you awake at night.

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