Dunkin' barista reveals just how much sugar you get per pump. It's a wild amount

@ryanelizabethtatum/TikTok JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I don’t mean to ruin your day’: Dunkin’ barista reveals just how much sugar you get per pump. It’s a wild amount

'Now why would you tell me this.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Mar 29, 2024   Updated on Mar 28, 2024, 5:14 pm CDT

Managing sugar intake can be difficult, especially if you’re eating out. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the healthy level of daily sugar intake is 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men. Unfortunately, Americans get far more sugar in their diets than most realize. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion reports that the average American consumes 68 grams of sugar a day, with most coming from sodas, juices, and sweetened beverages.

A recent viral TikTok by a former Dunkin’ barista shed light on how people’s daily coffee routine can potentially quadruple their sugar intake with a single cup. TikToker Ryan Tatum (@ryanelizabethtatum) garnered over 102,000 views on her video as of publication.

Tatum filmed her video while sitting in her car, sipping on a Dunkin’ iced coffee. “I’ve been seeing an increasing amount of people getting a Dunkin’ iced coffee, and I see all these recipes, and I absolutely love it because I’m a Dunkin’ stan,” she began. “As a former employee, I feel it’s my right and duty to tell you that all of their swirls have 33 grams of sugar per pump.”

“The standard is two pumps for a small, three pumps for a medium, four pumps for a large,” Tatum continued. “But if you get a medium caramel iced coffee, that’s not including the milk or the additional sugar that they put in there, you are automatically getting a hundred grams of sugar.”

According to Dunkin’s website, a medium iced coffee with Caramel Swirl and no additional dairy or sweetener contains 38 grams of total sugar. While that’s far from 100 grams, it’s still significant, as the website also indicates that the swirl in a medium iced coffee (regardless of flavor) takes up more than 60% of a person’s daily sugar intake before any sweetener or milk is added. Luckily for those looking to reduce their sugar intake, Dunkin’ does not seem to automatically add milk and sugar, as Tatum suggested. A post on the r/DunkinDonuts subreddit about cream and sugar indicated that it was “brand standard” to ask customers if they wanted the additions before putting them in their drinks.

Tatum said she discovered the sugar content one summer when Dunkin’ began a 99-cent happy hour promotion. Taking advantage of the deal, she regularly consumed the cheap drinks. However, she said she stopped when she noticed a drastic change in her body.

“I was getting one every single day,” she said. “At the end of that summer, I had gained 10 pounds.”

Confused about how she’d gained so much weight in such a short period of time, Tatum pinpointed her coffee habit as the only major change in her diet.

“The next time I went to work, I turned around that nutrition label, and I saw with my very own eyes that a pump has 33 grams of sugar,” Tatum said.

She concluded with some advice for avid coffee drinkers: “Just ask for one pump of the swirl, or they have the other flavors like other shops do that have way less sugar in them.”

She seems to be referring to the flavor shots, which Dunkin’ notes are “unsweetened and sugar-free” in contrast to the “sweet, creamy and indulgent” flavor swirls. Other important distinctions are that the flavor options between the shots and swirls differ, and most of the swirls (except Mocha) contain dairy.

@ryanelizabethtatum I dont mean to ruin your day but dunkin coffee is always a sweet treat ☕️ #dunkincoffee #dunkinicedcoffee #dunkinicedcoffeeday #ryantatumtips ♬ original sound – ryan tatum

Many viewers pushed back on Tatum’s claim that Dunkin’s swirls are 33 grams of sugar per pump.

“There’s no way it’s per pump – it’s gotta be per serving which is probably 2 pumps,” one said.

Another added, “That would be 132 calories per pump, which is astronomical.”

“I also used to work at Dunkin and I’m pretty sure it’s per serving which is two pumps. Still a lot of sugar!” a third replied.

Others thanked her for the information, stating that she proved what they’d suspected all along.

“GIRL this is life changing info. I KNEW IT WAS TOO SWEET TO BE HOW MUCH SUGAR THEY CLAIM!!!” a viewer said.

“That makes so much sense! I hated Dunkin for this reason, they were always WAY too sweet for me! I would dump them out,” a second agreed.

Unfortunately, heightened sugar intake is so common in America that trying to avoid sugary products can draw unwanted attention. For example, one Dutch Bros customer says a worker lectured her when she ordered a sugar-free drink.

The Daily Dot reached out to Tatum and Dunkin’ via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2024, 3:00 am CDT