By Vincent Hoang
Many students drink massive amounts of boba and milk tea on a weekly basis, but do they know the health risks hidden within these delicious drinks?
There are various milk tea stores that are scattered throughout San Jose. Like many, senior Vi Tran really enjoys her milk tea.
“If I had to give an estimation of how often I drink boba, I would say I drink like two times a week. Honestly, it’s dependent on whether I’m going out with friends.”
Vi does not like to get her milk tea extremely sweet.
“I typically get my drinks at 50/50. I don’t like drinking anything sickly sweet but I don’t want tasteless water so I go for 50/50,” says Vi.
However there are some who do not care as much as they should when it comes to milk tea.
“I drink milk tea at least two times a week at 100 percent sweetness for all my milk tea. I don’t care as much as I should, because I swim and work out a lot, therefore my sugar intake balances out with all the physical activities I partake in,” says senior Chloe Nguyen.
Lastly, there are the rare few who do care about what they drink.
“I drink milk tea once every 1 or 2 weeks, depends when my little brother wants it. When I do, I usually get it at 25 percent sweetness,” says senior Andrew Do.
In the end, most of us do enjoy a cool cup of milk tea anytime of the year, but the bigger question is how unhealthy the drink proves to be. On average, a 16-ounce cup of milk tea is 278 calories, 0.6 grams of fat, 68 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of protein.
“I try to limit myself from getting drinks that have less calories and always get less sugar if it’s an option. If I get 100% I start to feel bad because it’s too sweet. Another way I deal with how unhealthy is by not getting pearls. I haven’t ordered pearls in about one year,” says senior Andrew Do.
This all doesn’t sound that awful, right? Wrong. The amount of sugar put into these drinks make it much worse. An average cup of milk tea, has an average of 22 grams of sugar; 12 of those grams comes from added sugar, such as the sweetener, syrup, and toppings.
Like Andrew, we should consider what we put into our boba drinks, such as the pearls and other toppings. The toppings add much more sugar and calories to your daily intake of food. Instead, opt for fruit toppings for natural sugar and great taste. Along with this, consider other types of milk to put into your drink such as almond or organic oak milk instead of condensed milk, which adds much more sugar.