These Starbucks Drinks Are Causing Complaints of Stomach Issues

Turns out, adding this ingredient to coffee may not be such a good idea, after all.

This week, Starbucks customers have been complaining of stomach issues following the consumption of certain coffee drinks. While coffee is widely known to cause a trip to the toilet, as well as other problems, a particular line of drinks seems to be wreaking more havoc than usual.

This can be attributed to their special ingredient, which Starbucks’ former and interim CEO Howard Schultz has said lends an “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor” to the drinks. So before you make your morning Starbucks run and are tempted by this tasty-sounding treat, here’s everything you need to know about the Starbucks drinks causing stomach issues.

Which Starbucks drinks are seemingly causing stomach problems?

Starbucks Oleato Lineup With PartannaCourtesy Starbucks

According to Starbucks customers on Reddit and Twitter, the Oleato line of coffee drinks has been causing stomach issues, from diarrhea to cramping to nausea. The Oleato line includes the following drinks:

  • The Oleato Caffe Latte
  • The Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso
  • The Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew

Starbucks released these three drinks last month in the United States, and they all include extra-virgin olive oil from Sicilian manufacturer Partanna. Consumers assume that the combination of coffee and olive oil is what is leading to their gastrointestinal distress.

Why might the new Oleato drinks be causing stomach upset?

In short, coffee and olive oil are basically a one-two punch of laxatives. As aforementioned, coffee is a stimulant to the digestive system. Olive oil can have a similar effect. Additionally, for centuries, people have been using castor oil as a cure for constipation. Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, confirmed in an interview with TODAY.com that “[o]live oil can certainly have this effect, too, especially if you’re drinking a venti or a grande.” This is basically because any type of oil works as a lubricant in the digestive tract, especially for those who have been constipated for a considerable amount of time.

What if I still want to try the Oleato drinks?

Don’t be too afraid of olive oil coffee just yet—you may still be able to enjoy the Oleato line. For best results, order a small (or tall, in Starbucks lingo) size of coffee or request just one pump of olive oil instead of the usual two. Additionally, be sure to have some breakfast before you drink Oleato coffee (never have it on an empty stomach!) and stay hydrated. Lastly, if you’re getting enough fiber and healthy fats in your diet already, you will be at lower risk for constipation, making you also at lower risk for an Oleato-induced incident.

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Van Van Cleave
Van Van Cleave (they/them) is a writer and artist working out of Oakland, CA. The youngest in a long line of DIYers and creatives, Van fancies themself an encyclopedia of practicable knowledge for better living. They are passionate about all things food, home, garden, and lifestyle. If you've ever dreamed of befriending the Fab Five, Van gets you, and may just be the next best thing.