Smoothie or Juice: Which Is Right For You?

juice and smoothie selectionDo you want a quick, easy way to get the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables into your body, while still enjoying great flavor?

Try a glass of juice, or a smoothie.

It can add an extra boost of nutrients to your normal diet. Replacing a meal with juice or a smoothie can give your body a chance to cleanse itself of the unhealthy substances in the foods you normally eat.

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Which should you choose; smoothies or juice? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown:


A smoothie is a mixture of whole fruits and vegetables. Everything is included – skin, seeds and stems. This means that smoothies are full of fiber.


  • A smoothie is easy to make.  Just stick the fruits and vegetables in your blender and turn it on.
  • Because the fiber is included, you need fewer fruits and vegetables to fill up a smoothie glass than a juice glass, so a smoothie is less expensive.
  • The fiber in smoothies provides additional health benefits, including reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • The fiber will make you feel full. After you have a smoothie, it will take you a long time to feel hungry again, so you’ll eat less.
  • Fiber slows down your digestion, preventing you from absorbing the sugar in a smoothie too quickly. This helps keep your blood glucose level stable.
  • You can turn a smoothie into a complete meal by adding a source of protein, such as yogurt or protein powder– a great option if you’re in a rush.
  • During a smoothie fast, the fiber will cleanse your intestinal tract.


  • Because fiber takes up space, a smoothie contains fewer fruits and vegetables than the same size serving of fruit. The smoothie is, therefore, less nutrient-dense.
  • A smoothie can take a while to digest; it doesn’t provide the same quick energy boost that juice does.
  • Some people may have trouble digesting a smoothie because of its fiber content. This means they won’t get all of the nutritional benefits.
  • If you’re not feeling well, digesting the fiber in a smoothie can be tiring when you need to focus your energy on healing.  If your digestive system is upset, a smoothie can make you feel worse.
  • During a smoothie fast, you still have to digest fiber. Your digestive system doesn’t get to rest and repair as it would during a juice fast.


Juicing removes all of the fiber from fruits and vegetables.


  • Juices are more nutrient-dense than smoothies. Removing the fiber from juice means that you can pack more fruits and vegetables into a glass, so you get more vitamins and minerals in one serving.
  • It’s easier to digest juice than to digest a smoothie, so you absorb the nutrients from juice more quickly.
  • You get an instant energy boost from juice.  If you need quick energy, juice is much healthier than a chocolate bar or a cup of coffee.
  • People with digestive problems, who may have problems with smoothies, can digest juice easily.  Juice is a good way for them to get the vitamins and minerals they may be lacking.
  • Juice is a great source of nutrients when you’re ill. It provides minerals and vitamins to strengthen your immune system, and digesting it doesn’t tax your energy reserves.
  • A juice cleanse can give your digestive system a rest.  During the cleanse, your body can focus on healing any digestive problems you may have.


  • Juice is harder to make than smoothies.  To make juice, you need to extract the juice from fruit using a juicer or a citrus press.
  • Because a glass of juice must contain more fruits and vegetables than a smoothie of the same size, juice can be more expensive.
  • Juice doesn’t offer the health benefits of fiber.
  • No fiber means that juice won’t fill you up the way a smoothie will. You may feel hungry soon after drinking it.
  • Without fiber to slow down digestion, the sugars in juice are digested very quickly. Your blood glucose can rise and drop again rapidly. If you’re partaking in a juice fast, the lack of fiber and protein in your diet can cause your blood sugar to soar.
  • While juice can be good for cleansing, it does not make a complete meal. You will need to get fiber and protein from other sources.

When Smoothies and Juice Go Bad

Remember that juice and smoothies are only as good as the ingredients in them. If you pack your smoothie with sugary, store-bought ice cream or flavored yogurt made with high-fructose corn syrup, you’ll be negating the benefits.

Too much sugar, even from natural sources, can be unhealthy.  Include vegetables as well as fruit in your juice or smoothie.  Drinks made with fruit alone contain too much sugar for anything other than the occasional treat.  While honey can add a nice touch of sweetness sometimes, go easy.

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If you buy your smoothie or juice already prepared because you don’t have time to make your own, check the ingredients list and make sure it isn’t full of sugar or artificial ingredients.

Juices and smoothies can be wonderful, healthy additions to your diets.  Understand the pros and cons of both, and you won’t go wrong.

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