What’s In A Chocolate Shamrock Shake?

What's in a Chocolate Shamrock Shake?On February 7th, 2017, McDonald’s added four flavor varieties to their Shamrock Shake menu. The McCafe Shamrock seasonal, limited-time menu now includes:

  1. Original Shamrock Shake
  2. Chocolate Shamrock Shake
  3. Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappé
  4. Shamrock Hot Chocolate
  5. Shamrock Mocha

What's in a Chocolate Shamrock Shake?Included in this new sweet-shake family is the Chocolate Shamrock Shake, a drink customers in-the-know have been secretly ordering on the down-low for years. The Chocolate Shamrock Shake is a hybrid “layered” shake that consists of a Chocolate Shake on the bottom and half a Shamrock Shake layered on top. It is topped with whipped topping, green sugar crystals, and chocolate syrup drizzle.

In my article, “This Is Why You Should Never Drink A Shamrock Shake,” I dissected McDonald’s McCafe Shamrock Shake’s gruesome nutrition facts. I shared why I think it is a nasty, high caloric chemical shake-bomb that should not be consumed.

In this article, I break down what’s in a Chocolate Shamrock Shake.


When I heard about the four additional Shamrock Shake flavors, I wanted to know more about their nutrition facts and ingredients. Finding this information proved to be difficult. Most Shamrock flavors are not listed on the McDonald’s website, and despite numerous calls to the McDonald’s Customer Service, I wasn’t able to get much info. With each call I made, I was told that my inquiry would be sent off to the Research Team and that someone would contact me with answers to my questions. My contact information was collected, but I never received any feedback. It has been a few weeks now.

After scouring the Internet, I did find information about one of the new flavors – the Chocolate Shamrock Shake. Strangely, the McDonald’s website only lists the nutrition facts and ingredients for the small and large sizes. Here is what I uncovered about the Chocolate Shamrock Shake:

Nutrition facts for McDonald’s CHOCOLATE Shamrock Shake (McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake)*

A large, 22-ounce McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains:

  • 830 calories
  • 200 calories from fat
  • 22 grams of fat (35% U.S. recommended percent daily value, DV**)
  • 14 grams of saturated fat (72% DV)
  • 1 gram of trans fat
  • 106 grams of total carbohydrates (35% DV)
  • 90 milligrams of cholesterol (30% DV)
  • 117 grams of sugar (The AHA recommends that adults consume no more than 25-36 grams/day)
  • 340 milligrams of sodium (14% DV)

Wow! That is a lot of calories and sugar. Let’s break this down a little more.


To equal the amount of calories (830) in one large Chocolate Shamrock Shake, you would have to eat one the following options:

  • 1.5 McDonald’s Big Macs (540 calories per Big Mac)
  • 1.6 McDonald’s Large Fries (520 calories per Large Fries)
  • 2.1 McDonald’s McDoubles (380 calories per McDouble)
  • 4.1 McDonald’s Vanilla Cones (200 calories per Vanilla Cone)
  • 4.3 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts (190 calories per Original Glazed Doughnut)
  • 18.4 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (45 calories per McNugget)


To equal the amount of sugar (117 grams) in one large Chocolate Shamrock Shake, you would have to eat one of the following options:

  • 2.5 McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundaes (47 grams per Hot Fudge Sundae)
  • 4.8 McDonald’s Vanilla Cones (24 grams per Vanilla Cone)
  • 11.7 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts (10 grams per Original Glazed Doughnut) – Yikes!!

A medium, 16-ounce Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains:***

***I have not been able to collect this information yet. Once I do, I will update this article with the correct data.

A small, 12-ounce Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains:

  • 510 calories
  • 130 calories from fat
  • 14 grams of fat (22% U.S. recommended percent daily value, DV*)
  • 9 grams of saturated fat (46% DV)
  • .5 gram of trans fat
  • 66 grams of total carbohydrates (22% DV)
  • 55 milligrams of cholesterol (19% DV)
  • 70 grams of sugar (The AHA recommends that adults consume no more than 25-36 grams/day)
  • 200 milligrams of sodium (8% DV)

*These nutrition facts and ingredients were updated on February 9, 2017.

**Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be lower depending on your calorie needs.

The McDonald’s Shamrock Shake nutrition facts are similar to the Chocolate Shake

What's in a McDonald's McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake?

Added sugar kills

The nutrition facts listed above are pretty nasty. For a little insight into how nasty they are, check this out:

We all know too much added sugar is bad for us. Refined sugar is considered to be poisonous because it is depleted of its life forces, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Studies linking added sugars and conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease (the number 1 cause of death in the world) have been around for years. Too much sugar is harmful to the body and promotes inflammation and disease. Diets high in added sugars have been connected to health risk factors such as organ malfunction, obesity, depression, ADHD, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.

A 2014 study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine was one of the first to link too much sugar to an increased risk of dying from heart disease. The study said people who consumed 17 to 21 percent of their calories from added sugars had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who ate 8 percent of their calories from added sugar.

Drink one shake and you will consume 2-5% more than the daily recommendation for added total sugar

Daily added sugar limits
American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adult women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar (6 teaspoons) per day and that adult men consume no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) per day.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes are sugar bombs!

  • A small Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains 70 grams of sugar, which is 17.5 teaspoons! This is 2.8% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for women and 2% more than the daily recommendation of total sugar for men!!
  • A large Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains 117 grams of sugar, which is 29.25 teaspoons! This is 4.68% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for women and 3.25% more than the daily recommendation of total sugar for men!!

Wait… it gets even scarier. If you have children and/or teens, you must read this

The American Health Association recommends that children and teens, ages 2-18, should consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day and that they should drink no more than 8 ounces of sugary beverages a week.

  • Again, a small Chocolate Shamrock Shake is 12 ounces and contains 70 grams of sugar, which is 17.5 teaspoons. This is 6 ounces more than the weekly recommendation of sugary drinks and 2.8% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for children and teens, ages 2-18!!
  • A large Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains 117 grams of sugar, which is 29.25 teaspoons. This is 16 ounces more than the weekly recommendation of sugary drinks and 4.68% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for children and teens, ages 2-18!!

By drinking this ONE drink, you and/or your kids will consume anywhere between 2% to 4.68% more that the AHA’s recommendation for daily added sugar limits. Remember, this is not taking into account any other foods your child might consume during the course of that particular day. Scary!

To learn more about the sugar epidemic in the United States read my article,

American Heart Association's daily added sugar recommendations

Parents – set your kids up for health, not illness

Parents and grandparents of young kids and teens have the ability to control what kinds of food their children eat. Sure, when children are out with friends, you may not be able to sway their food choices… but you can help them make better decisions when they are at home. Healthy eating habits start early in life. If you are a parent, I urge you to reread the daily sugar recommendations listed above and understand how much is too much.

It is important that we all gain awareness that added/refined sugars, like those found in Shamrock Shakes, wreak havoc on the body (especially little bodies). To avoid sugar addiction and illness caused by sugar, it is important that we limit the consumption of added sugars during adolescent and teenager years.

As adults, we have control of the steering wheel of our kids’ health. So why not guide our youth in the right direction? Set them up to be healthy and strong. Encourage and empower children to make better choices when it comes to food.

  • Show your children love by teaching them why you feel fast-food products like Shamrock Shakes are not good snack or dessert options.
  • If you have traditions with your kids, (e.g.: stopping at McD’s after soccer games), create new ones.
  • Present your children with alternatives to sugar-laden sweets. This world is full of food that is both delicious and healthy.
  • Encourage kids to take ownership of their health by showing them how to make their own Shamrock shakes. Yes, there will be sugar in homemade versions as well, but nothing close to what McDonald’s is serving in their sweet concoctions.
  • Be a positive role model and do not eat fast-food products like Shamrock Shakes.

Ingredients for McDonald’s CHOCOLATE Shamrock Shake (McCafe Shamrock Shake)

The Chocolate Shamrock Shake has 34 ingredients

If the high levels of added sugar, calories and fat aren’t enough to convince you to stay away from a Chocolate Shamrock Shake, I want you to take a closer look at its ingredients. If  you aren’t swayed to run far away from a Shamrock Shake after learning what’s in it, well, may the sugar and synthetic-food gods be gentle on your soul.

Six general ingredients make up a Chocolate Shamrock Shake:

  1. Vanilla reduced fat ice cream
  2. Shamrock Shake syrup
  3. Chocolate Shake syrup
  4. Whipped topping
  5. Maraschino cherry
  6. Green sugar crystals

Looks simple, right? Don’t let yourself be fooled. A quick glance shows that there are only six ingredients. However, closer inspection reveals that each main ingredient has several ingredients of its own. Most of the main ingredients in a McDonald’s McCafe Chocolate Shake have between 10 and 15 individual ingredients. This adds up to THIRTY-FOUR (non-repeated) ingredients. The majority of these ingredients are chemicals in the form of synthetic additives, food dyes and preservatives – not so groovy things that have been proven detrimental to our health.

*Gasp.* Run away now while you still can!

McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake ingredient breakdown:*


  • Some ingredients such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors are repeated, which means that the final product has double and sometimes triple the amount of such ingredients.
  • The highlighted ingredients link to online resources.


  1. Milk
  2. Sugar
  3. Cream
  4. Corn syrup
  5. Natural flavor
  6. Mono and diglycerides
  7. Cellulose gum
  8. Guar gum
  9. Carrageenan
  10. Vitamin A palmitate


  1. High fructose corn syrup
  2. Corn syrup
  3. Water
  4. Sugar
  5. Natural flavor
  6. Xanthan gum
  7. Citric acid
  8. Sodium benzoate (preservative)
  9. Yellow 5 (banned in Norway and Austria)
  10. Blue 1 (banned in Norway, Finland and France)
  11. May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available


  1. High fructose corn syrup
  2. Corn syrup
  3. Water
  4. Cocoa (processed with alkali)
  5. Natural and artificial flavors
  6. Caramel color
  7. Salt
  8. Potassium sorbate (preservative)
  9. Artificial flavor (vanillin)
  10. Red 40


  1. Cream
  2. Nonfat milk
  3. Corn syrup
  4. Sugar
  5. High fructose corn syrup
  6. Contains 1% or less: mono-and diglycerides
  7. Carrageenan
  8. Polysorbate 80
  9. Beta carotene (color)
  10. Natural and artificial flavor
  11. Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) to protect flavor
  12. Whipping propellant (nitrous oxide)


  1. Cherries
  2. Water
  3. Corn syrup
  4. High fructose corn syrup
  5. Sugar
  6. Malic acid
  7. Citric Acid
  8. Natural and artificial flavors
  9. Sodium benzoate (preservative)
  10. Potassium sorbate (preservative)
  11. Red 40
  12. Sulfur dioxide as preservative (contains sulfites)


  1. Sugar
  2. Yellow 5 lake
  3. Confectioners glaze
  4. Blue 1 lake
  5. Carnauba wax

Toxic cocktail

THIRTY-FOUR ingredients for a milk shake? What the?!

A “shake” should have four-to-six ingredients and contain no more than a total of ten ingredients. It should NOT have THIRTY-FOUR ingredients. With the Chocolate Shamrock Shake and its 34 ingredients, McDonald’s is serving up another cup of crapola that is full of artificial preservatives and colorings that are toxic and carcinogenic.

Think about it. This shake has thirty-four ingredients (many of which are man-made and harmful), 510-830 calories, 14-22 grams of fat, 70-117 grams of sugar, and 200-340 milligrams of sodium.

PLUS – rumor says that its taste is underwhelming, fake and tooth-pastey. Please show me the way to the puke bucket stat!

Spread awareness

Become aware and take action. I write articles like this to help inform people who may have no idea how unhealthy menu items from McDonald’s really are. I don’t think anyone should drink a toxic cocktail like this, but, in the end, it is up to YOU to decide what you will do with this information.

Knowledge is power. If you find any of this information appalling, surprising, useful and/or eye-opening, please help spread awareness by sharing this knowledge with your friends, family and anyone else who will benefit… and skip the McDonald’s Shakes this season.

  • Vote with your dollar – do not buy or drink Shamrock Shakes.
  • Share this article on your social media sites.
  • Print this post and pass it out to friends and families.
  • Talk about this topic at your dinner table and in your schools.
  • Call and write to McDonald’s – demand that they make changes to the nutrition and ingredients of their products!

What's in a McDonald's McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake?


Here’s a recap of what I just told you about this sweet shake-monster.

  • A small Chocolate Shamrock Shake has 70 grams of sugar (17.5 teaspoons), 510 calories, and 14 grams of fat!
  • A large Chocolate Shamrock Shake has 117 grams of sugar (29.25 teaspoons), 830 cals and 22 grams of fat!
  • A small Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains 70 grams of sugar, which is 17.5 teaspoons. This is 2.8% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for children, teens and women and 2% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for men!
  • A large Chocolate Shamrock Shake contains 117 grams of sugar, which is 29.25 teaspoons. This is 4.68% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for children, teens, and women and 3.25% more than the daily recommendation of total added sugar for men!
  • One Chocolate Shamrock Shake has between 6 and 16 ounces more than WEEKLY recommendation of sugary drinks for children and teens, ages 2-18.
  • One McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake has THIRTY-FOUR ingredients.
  • Several of the ingredients in a Chocolate Shamrock Shake are chemicals in the form of synthetic additives, food dyes and preservatives. Many of these ingredients have been proven to be detrimental to our health.

Related articles

1. McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake STRAW

  • The STRAW, dubbed “Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal,” is McDonald’s new engineered limited-edition straw designed to enhance the drinking experience of a Chocolate Shamrock Shake.
  • Learn what the STRAW is, when and where you can find it, and check out a review – click: McDonald’s Shamrock Shake STRAW

2. This Is Why You Should Never Drink A Shamrock Shake

  • If you want to learn what you are really drinking when you slurp down an original McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, I have outlined everything you need to know in one article.
  • Learn why I think you should never drink a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. Say no to its 35 ingredients, gross chemicals, preservatives, dyes, high calories and saturated fat!
  • Visit my article here: This Is Why You Should Never Drink A Shamrock Shake.

3. McDonald’s Adds Four New Chocolatey Shamrock Shake Flavors To The Menu

4. Homemade Shamrock Shake

  • Are you feeling too lazy to drive over to your local MickeyD’s? Are you grossed out by the Shamrock Shake’s flavor?
  • If you answered yes to these questions, have no fear! I have created a homemade recipe that is even better than the original. My cold, creamy and minty homemade shamrock shake is a healthy alternative to the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. YUM!
  • Check out my recipe here: Homemade Shamrock Shake.


Let me know what you think of this latest minty chocolate invention from McDonald’s. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below this article. Thanks!!

  • Have you had a McDonald’s Chocolate Shamrock Shake? If so, what do you think of its taste?
  • If you like (or love) its taste, will you continue to drink McDonald’s Shamrock Chocolate Shakes, despite knowing that they each contain 34 ingredients, and crazy amounts of sugar, calories and fat?
  • Are your McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes days over? Why or why not?


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