What is the real difference between a smoothie and regular juice. Conceptually they seem like they should be very similar. They both contain fruit and they both are a liquid. So, why are they so different. We decided to dive in to find what the difference between a glass of juice and a smoothie really was.
When it comes to sugar and caloric intake smoothies are king. When you compare the amount of sugar in a regular glass of juice to the amount of sugar in a smoothie the numbers are entirely different. In an article by UC Davis Health they did the math on what a glass of juice was equivalent to and the results were shocking. “In one popular apple juice brand, which we have chosen not to name, one 4 oz. box contained 14 grams of sugar. That equals about 3 teaspoons of sugar. In a 6 oz. box of a popular orange juice, it was found to have 18 grams of sugar, or a little more than 4 teaspoons. If you compare that to a can of soda, in terms of volume, it’s about the same – and those are fruit juices with no added sugar.” As unreal as it might sound it’s true the number of calories in a glass of normal juice is equivalent to a regular soda. It’s hard to tell how much sugar is in a smoothie but if you use fresh fruits and a healthy source of flavor the sugar content will be way lower.
With sugar being so high it’s no wonder juice is one of the largest influencers when it comes to growing obesity in America. Even when you compare healthy and organic juices, the preservatives and calorie numbers are not good for you. Also, those calories don’t even fill you up. In an article from Eat This, Not That they state that “In other words, it might not seem like a big deal to drink 150 calories worth of fruit juice, but since it won't give you any real satiety, you're just going to follow it up with more food (i.e. more calories), while rendering the 150 calories you just consumed from the juice mostly useless.” When you choose to make a smoothie using organic and real fruit you are consuming only those calories. That fruit is also going to fill you up and make you feel full and satisfied.
When you use healthy and fresh fruits in your smoothies you are stimulating your body with many great antioxidants. Antioxidants may prevent or delay cell damage, and fruits and vegetables offer rich sources of them. If you want to increase your antioxidant intake consider adding fresh berries to your smoothies. Berries such as acai and blueberries have been known to contain high levels of antioxidants.
According to One Green Planet, which is a healthy fitness blog, the consumption of a green smoothie can have very positive effects on an athletes energy and recovery times. “One finding of the athletes in Powered by Green Smoothies was that adding the smoothies to their diet seemed to increase their energy, decrease recovery time, and also lead to fewer aches and pains. For example, one athlete found that after running a 100-mile race, he was able to recover in just 10 days, rather than his usual month.” The benefits of a green smoothie can boost your athletic abilities by a large margin and make you a better and more efficient athlete.
Our opinions on smoothies is based on the idea that a smoothie should be made with fresh fruits and blended without any unhealthy or high calorie ingredients. Ingredients such as nutella or ice cream sure do taste good, but they will make it questionable if your smoothie is healthy or not. For tips on how to blend perfect smoothies or for inspirational recipes read our other blog posts or consider investing in the BLENDi recipe book.
by: Sam Taub