You vs. your children: It's the classic game of chicken, parenting style. Last person still running in circles at the end of the day wins! The problem, of course, is that the little Energizer bunnies have the advantage of both age and numbers and all you have is your caffeine buzz. So at first blush it may seem like Starbuck's new Trenta -- "30" in Italian, for the 31 ounces the drink boasts -- is a frazzled mom's dream come true. But is it? Let's break it down:
1. Caffeine. This being the obvious selling point -- if you wanted to drink 31 ounces of cream and sugar you'd just throw back a few of your kids' yogurt drinks (hush, it's ok, we've all done it) - you might want to know how much bang you're really getting for your buck. Seeing as the Starbuck's site doesn't list the nutritional info yet for the Trenta I did a little math based on the Venti size and calculated that a Trenta of their signature Pike's Place roast will zip you up to the tune of 643 mg of caffeine. Most nutritionists agree that consuming up to 300 mg of caffeine per day is safe. For comparison purposes, a Diet Coke has 45 mg and an 8-ounce coffee has an average of 60 to 120 mg of caffeine.
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2. Calories. Stick to plain black coffee and you'll still only get about 10 calories in that ginormous cup but if you splurge on any additives -- or heaven help you, a blended drink -- the calories go up faster than your toddler can go from calm to total meltdown. The most caloric drink on the menu, the white chocolate creme frappuchino, weighs in at 981 calories. Top it with whipped cream and make it an even 1,000.
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3. Logistics. Oddly, the Trenta exceeds the capacity of the average human stomach. Not that you were planning on slamming it in the preschool drop-off line but you might want to consider how many potty breaks you're going to need at the grocery store. A Big Gulp, that fabled soft drink of high schoolers and long-haul truckers, is only one ounce larger than the Trenta and as anyone who has ever tried to shove one into a cup holder (yes, even with the tapered bottom) knows, they can be a bit unwieldy. You're going to have a hard time fitting it into the handle on your stroller and forget about sneaking it into the movie theater.
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For myself, as a practicing Mormon, I've never even tasted coffee much less felt the heady buzz of a double espresso so it's probably easier for me than most to say I won't be buying the Trenta. But I do have quite a few friends who count their coffee as their secret weapon against long nights of croup followed by long days of Wiggles marathons. Plus, if you rely on caffeine to get your, ahem, plumbing moving in the morning, the Trenta is a lot cheaper than a colon cleanse!
Do you rely on a caffeine buzz to help you through the day? What do you think of the Starbucks Trenta? Is it the best thing to happen to tired parents since Disney Playhouse?
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the new book, The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything.
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