How Much Sugar is in Bubble Tea?

How Much Sugar is in Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea has really taken off in the last few years, as more and more people discover the delightful combination of chewy tapioca pearls, flavored tea, and sweetened milk. But just how sweet is that milk we’re using in our favorite bubble tea concoctions? 


In this article, we’ll explore how much sugar is in bubble tea. Given the harmful effects that too much sugar can have on our health (which we’ll also explain), it’s important to know just what we’re getting into whenever we order our next cup of bubbly goodness. 


So, is bubble tea high in sugar? Let’s find out!


Overview of Bubble Tea

Before we discuss how much sugar is in bubble tea, let's get acquainted with this wildly popular beverage that has everyone hooked. Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has since taken the world by storm.


Bubble tea is a concoction of tea, milk (or non-dairy alternatives), sugar, and chewy tapioca pearls that make each sip an adventure. What sets bubble tea apart is its versatility – you can find flavors from classic black or green tea to more exotic options like taro, honeydew, or passion fruit.


The signature "bubbles" in bubble tea refer to the pearls, which are made from cassava root or sweet potato starch, creating a uniquely chewy texture. As the beverage gained popularity, innovative variations emerged, including fruit teas, slushies, and even bubble tea ice cream.


How Much Sugar is in Bubble Tea?

So, how much sugar is in bubble tea? Let’s take a look at bubble tea’s sugar content, then compare its sugar levels to some other popular drinks to help you make the best choice for you. 


Is There Sugar in Bubble Tea?

First of all, is there sugar in bubble tea? The short answer is yes - sugar plays a significant role in the tantalizing sweetness of bubble tea. The sweetness comes from a combination of sources, which can make it tricky to pinpoint exactly how much sugar each flavor has. 


There’s the sugar content in the tea itself, plus the sweetened milk or non-dairy alternatives, and any additional flavorings or syrups you add to your order. Even the beloved chewy tapioca pearls are often rolled in brown sugar before finding their way into your cup.


How Much Sugar is in Bubble Tea?

Ok, so just how much sugar is in bubble tea? The sugar content in bubble tea can vary widely depending on the specific recipe and customization. A typical serving of bubble tea can contain anywhere from 20 to 50 grams of sugar, or even more in some cases. 


Why is there so much variation? Because it really depends on your order. The type of tea used, the amount of sweetener added, and whether fruit syrups or flavored powders are incorporated all make a big difference. 


To get a clearer picture of your bubble tea's sugar load, it’s a good idea to ask about the specific preparation methods at your favorite bubble tea spot. You can always find out which flavors have less sugar, or ask for ½ or ¼ sweetness, as most places accommodate this. 


Is Bubble Tea High in Sugar Compared to Other Beverages?


Let’s say that an average bubble tea is 16 oz, and contains 35 grams of sugar (again, it depends on your specific order). The American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men, and 25 grams for women. 


So, based on those numbers, a single bubble tea order already puts you over your sugar allotment for the day. But, compared to most cans of soda and other sugary drinks like sweet tea, bubble tea actually has slightly less sugar, but it’s still a significant amount! 


Why the Sugar Content of Bubble Tea is Concerning 

Indulging in the sweet, chewy goodness of bubble tea can be a nice treat, but at what cost? Here are some reasons why the high sugar content of bubble tea is raising some eyebrows. 


Caloric Overload

Bubble tea's high sugar content means that each cup has a significant number of calories. Excessive calorie intake, especially from added sugars, can lead to weight gain and contribute to various health issues, including obesity.


Hidden Sugar Sources

Beyond the obvious sweetness of bubble tea, the hidden sugar sources lie in flavored syrups, powders, and sweetened milk. These additions might enhance the taste, but also contribute to the overall sugar content. Make sure you know what’s going into your favorite boba order! 


Impact on Blood Sugar Levels

The rapid rise in blood sugar levels after consuming high-sugar beverages can lead to a spike in energy followed by a big crash. This rollercoaster effect may leave you feeling fatigued, irritable, and craving more sugar, creating a cycle that can be detrimental to your overall well-being.


Dental Health Concerns

Sugary drinks like bubble tea can pose a threat to dental health. The combination of sugars and starches provides a feeding ground for bacteria in the mouth, potentially leading to tooth decay and cavities over time.


Associations with Chronic Health Conditions

High sugar intake has been linked to an increased risk of chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Given the popularity of bubble tea and its potential impact on daily sugar intake, understanding these associations is important for any bubble-fan.


Is There a Healthier Type of Tea That Still Tastes Great?

As you can see, the sugar content in bubble tea isn’t something you can ignore. Especially if you’re drinking bubble tea on a regular basis, this amount of sugar can start to have real effects on your health. But what other options are there?


The Quest for Balance: Healthier Bubble Tea Alternatives at Oobli

At Oobli, we’ve created a delicious, fruity beverage that you can enjoy day in and day out, without stressing over sugar levels or watching yourself slowly grow out of your favorite pair of jeans. How have we done it, you might be asking? With the power of sweet protein!


Sweet proteins are found naturally in tropical fruits. Because they’re 5,000 times sweeter than regular sugar, we only need to add a tiny amount to our sweet iced tea to provide a powerfully sweet kick, meaning that they’re virtually calorie-free. 


Our 16 oz cans contain just 7 grams of sugar - compare that to the insanely high levels of bubble tea and you’ll soon see why Oobli is a safer, healthier, choice that can be enjoyed every single day. Plus, our refreshing fruity flavors are simply delicious! 


We sweeten naturally, so you don’t have to worry about the side effects that come with most sugar free drinks, like the risks of stevia during pregnancy or how to get rid of a sucralose headache. If you’re looking for diet drinks without aspartame, or a safe erythritol substitute, you’re in the right place.


As well as our scrumptious, low-sugar teas, we also have chocolate for sale that will simply blow your mind. Despite containing just 1 gram of sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and being keto, vegan, and gut-friendly, our chocolate is seriously delicious. And seriously guilt-free. 


DIY Bubble Tea: Controlling Sugar Content at Home

If you’re making your own bubble tea at home, you have a bit more control over the sugar content. You can reduce the amount of sugar you add to your concoction, or use a low-sugar milk (or dairy-free alternative) to make sure you’re not overdoing it with the sugar.


You can also choose to use a low-calorie sweetener (think stevia vs sucralose or splenda vs stevia) instead of regular sugar, but be mindful of the potential health risks that these alternatives can bring. 


Wrapping Up Our Guide to How Much Sugar is in Bubble Tea

It can be a surprise to learn just how much sugar is in bubble tea, especially if you’re used to enjoying a cup pretty regularly. Luckily, there are some beverages out there that you can enjoy every day, without stressing about the sugar overload!


At Oobli, our sweet iced tea is the perfect refreshing drink you need. With just 7 grams of sugar in each 16 oz can (compared to the 35 or more grams in your bubble tea!), you can crack open a can with 0% guilt and 100% delicious fruity flavor. 

Staying healthy shouldn’t mean sacrificing your taste buds. And now, it doesn’t! Shop Oobli today and taste the difference. 

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