How Healthy is Panera’s Green Tea?

how healthy is Panera's green tea?

Panera Bread’s green tea has quickly become a favorite for many looking for a refreshing drink option. It’s tasty, it’s cool, and it’s got that green tea label that sounds pretty healthy at first glance.

But with so many of us questioning the real health value behind our favorite foods and drinks, it’s worth digging a bit deeper. Is Panera’s green tea actually as healthy as we hope, or is it a sugary wolf in healthy sheep’s clothing? Let’s dive into the details and find out the truth.

What Is in Panera Green Tea?

Alright, let’s dive into what’s actually in Panera’s green tea. So, you’ve probably seen a couple of options on the menu, right? They’ve got it bottled and ready to drink with their Bottled Passion Fruit Papaya Green Tea, and they also serve up a nice cold glass of Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea when you’re dining in or grabbing a takeout. Plus, if you’re throwing a party or just really, really love your green tea, you can even snag a half-gallon of the stuff to share (or not!).

Now, let’s peek at what goes into these drinks. The bottled version? It’s got water, sugar, brewed green tea, and natural flavors that include a tropical twist from passion fruit and green tea essence. They also toss in citric acid, ascorbic acid for a bit of vitamin C, and some color from fruit juice, turmeric oleoresin, and beta-carotene. Oh, and let’s not forget the papaya puree for that extra fruity kick.

Moving on to the Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea you’d order by the glass/plastic cup (or half-gallon), it’s pretty similar. This mix includes water, passion fruit papaya flavored green tea syrup (which has its own blend of water, sugar, citric acid, brewed green tea, and natural flavors like passion fruit and green tea extract), a splash of fruit juice for color, and the same colorful additions of ascorbic acid, turmeric oleoresin, and beta-carotene, topped off with papaya puree.

Sounds delicious, right? But hold up, did you catch the part about sugar being pretty high up on that ingredients list? While the tropical flavors and natural colorings sound great, if you’re watching your sugar intake, that’s something you might want to keep in mind. Let’s keep this in mind as we move on to talk about the nutritional side of things next!

Nutrition Check

When it comes to what’s in your cup at Panera, whether you’re sipping on a regular or large glass of their green tea, it’s good to know what you’re getting, especially in terms of calories and sugar.

Starting with the calorie count, a 20 fl oz (regular) serving of Panera’s Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea clocks in at 150 calories, while the larger 30 fl oz serving jumps up to 230 calories.

Not too bad on the surface, right? Especially if you’re using it to quench your thirst on a warm day. But the devil, as they say, is in the details—or in this case, the sugar.

Macronutrients Breakdown

Across the board, these drinks don’t offer much in terms of protein or fat—actually, they offer none at all. Carbohydrates dominate the nutritional profile here, with the regular size serving dishing out 38g of carbs, and the large serving serving up 58g. And here’s the kicker: all those carbs come from sugar.

Does Panera Green Tea Contain a Lot of Sugar?

Short answer? Yes. For a bit of perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that women limit their daily sugar intake to no more than 25 grams and men to 36 grams. So, even just one regular-sized glass of Panera’s green tea (38g of sugar) would put you over the top, and a large would send you soaring even higher.

Let’s talk health implications. While sugar in moderation is part of many diets, consistently consuming high-sugar drinks can lead to various health issues over time, like weight gain, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Plus, without any fiber, protein, or healthy fats to slow absorption, the sugar in these drinks can lead to quick spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling less than stellar.

It’s also worth noting that despite the sugary content, Panera’s Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea is caffeine-free. So, if you’re looking for a caffeine boost, this won’t do the trick. But if you’re avoiding caffeine, then this aspect might actually be a plus for you.

So, is Panera Green Tea Actually Healthy?

Is Panera’s green tea healthy? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The base of green tea is good for you, full of antioxidants and other health benefits. But, the version Panera serves is pretty diluted and comes with a hefty dose of sugar.

So, while you might enjoy it as a sweet treat, it’s not the healthiest choice if you’re drinking it for the green tea benefits. For those, you’re better off with a simple, unsweetened brew. In short, Panera’s green tea is more of a tasty indulgence than a health boost.


Can I Drink Panera Green Tea While Pregnant?

With Panera’s green tea, the good news is it’s caffeine-free, so you don’t have to worry about the caffeine aspect, which can be a concern during pregnancy due to recommendations to limit caffeine intake.

However, the high sugar content is something to consider. While an occasional glass (or a few sips) might be fine, consuming high amounts of sugar regularly isn’t ideal during pregnancy. It’s best to enjoy it sparingly and focus on a balanced diet with plenty of hydration from less sugary options.

Is Panera Green Tea Good for Weight Loss?

Considering the sugar content in Panera’s green tea, it is not the best choice if you’re focusing on weight loss. While green tea itself is often associated with metabolism boosting, the added sugar in Panera’s version could counteract these benefits. Opting for unsweetened green tea would be a healthier choice for weight loss goals.

Does Panera Offer Any Unsweetened Tea Options?

It seems that Panera’s menu is more focused on flavored and sweetened teas, and they might not offer an unsweetened green tea option. If you’re looking for unsweetened teas, it’s a good idea to check their current menu or inquire directly, as offerings can vary by location and season.