Is Popping Boba Healthier Than Tapioca?

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Is popping boba healthier than tapioca pearls, or is tapioca pearls healthier? Let’s break down each one and look into the health benefits that each one provides. Both of them have minerals that can greatly benefit an individuals health if consumed over time.

Bone Strength

Tapioca pearls provide great skeletal and bone strength from the calcium found it. 3% of the tapioca pearls contain calcium.

Popping pearls also have calcium lactate in its ingredients. It makes up about 5% of its entire total ingredients.

Calcium is known to help prevent osteoporosis, which is a condition where frail bones are lacking minerals. It can lead to bones easily breaking and fracturing.

Cell And Blood Health

Tapioca pearls have potassium, which helps to regulate the fluids found within the cells in the body. Potassium also helps with blood pressure levels, and the circulation of blood throughout the body. It also helps the muscles to contract, which can possibly prevent muscle injuries during contractions.

Some popping boba flavors do have potassium in them. It just depends on the fruit flavor on whether or not it will have it. Some of the fruit flavors can provide a better source of potassium than tapioca pearls, which provide a small amount of the daily intake for potassium per cup.

Tapioca pearls have 17mg of potassium per cup, while some popping boba flavors can have around 2%.

Oxygen And Fluids

The iron found in tapioca pearls help the body to move oxygen around the body to vital organs, including the muscles. Without this, the body can shutdown or become tired and weak from the lack of oxygen.

The muscles desperately need oxygen in order to properly function during physical activities, like running for example.

Sodium is found in both tapioca pearls and popping boba, but popping boba has around 2%. Tapioca pearls only contain very small traces of sodium, making it a fraction of a percentage per cup.

Sodium helps to regulate the fluids outside the cells within the body. It helps to prevent dehydration in the body. Even though the body only needs a small amount of sodium, it is still vital for healthy living.


The carbs found in both popping boba and tapioca pearls is very good, but the tapioca pearls contain 3 to 5 times the amount when compared to popping pearls. This means that tapioca pearls would be a more viable source of energy than popping pearls would be.


Tapioca pearls only contain traces of protein, while most popping boba doesn’t have any at all.


The sugars found in uncooked tapioca pearls is actually pretty low. It contains 5 grams of sugars per cup, while popping boba contains 35 to 40 grams of sugar per cup. Keep in mind that this is comparing popping boba in its servable form to tapioca pearls that aren’t cooked and ready to serve.

With this said, tapioca pearls that are cooked are usually mixed with an equal amount of sugar to the portion of boba pearls cooked. That means that tapioca pearls mixed in sugar (which is the normal because they are bland) have 201 grams of sugar per cup after they are cooked and prepared.

This means that in the terms of sugar, popping boba is healthier than tapioca pearls.

Note: Typically only a third of a cup is used when making bubble tea drinks with either topping for a 16 ounce drink.


Neither tapioca pearls or popping pearls contain any saturated or unsaturated fats. This includes various flavors of popping boba as well. They are all fat-free.


Majority of the popping boba flavors have a little more than a third of the calories of tapioca pearls, with a few of them only containing half. When it comes to calories, popping boba is the better and more healthy choice.

The calories found in dry tapioca pearls for a cup is 544, while popping boba flavors sit at an average of 200 calories per cup. This isn’t taking into account that the tapioca pearls aren’t cooked yet. If the tapioca pearls are cooked and mixed with sugars, you can expect higher calories for tapioca pearls per cup that can sit at around 1,300 calories per cup.

Despite this high number in calories, it is reasonable to say that only a third of a cup of tapioca pearls would be added to a bubble tea drink that is 16 ounces. That would make it around 433 calories for tapioca pearls in a drink, with popping boba is sitting at 67 calories in a drink.

Popping boba doesn’t have any sugars added to them again before they are placed in bubble tea drinks, so the healthier calories choice is clearly popping pearls.


The tapioca pearls have potassium and iron in them, but do not have much in the terms of minerals. Some popping boba’s are made with seaweed extract, which has a plethora of minerals and health benefits.

Seaweed soaks up all the good minerals found in the water that it grows in, so it contains iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are important omega fatty acids that vegetarians can greatly benefit from in their diet.


From the surface it appears that tapioca pearls provide more health benefits because of the higher amounts of iron, potassium, and carbohydrates found in them when compared to popping pearls. However, popping pearls have significantly less calories and sugars when they are compared to cooked tapioca pearls that often include a lot more calories and sugars after they are prepared to serve.

Popping boba may provide less energy gains than tapioca pearls, but it makes up for it in its diversity of real fruit flavors if they are made with them. These additional fruit juices found within the popping boba can add extra vitamins and minerals that tapioca pearls simply don’t have.

If the popping pearls contain seaweed extract, then this adds even more healthy minerals that can help to detoxify the body. Seaweed also has concentrated minerals and strong antioxidants. Popping boba can be a really healthy choice.

Both toppings in their own ways are healthy choices, depending on what the individual hopes to gain in their health journey.

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