Drinking a smoothie every day seems like a good idea. When you can pack so many fruits and vegetables into one easy-to-drink beverage, it feels like you have reached the pinnacle of health. While you may rightly assume you can score a few health benefits, a daily smoothie can also hide some severely damaging risks. Even if you try to stick to the strictest of terms and opt for smoothies made exclusively out of vegetables, don't assume you're safe.
Figuring out what actually happens if you drink a smoothie every day feels daunting, especially if you don't want to step into the nutritional unknown and try it out on yourself. Luckily, we assembled the shortlist of five primary side effects of a daily smoothie with the help of a handful of expert nutritionists. If you ever felt the urge to replace meals with smoothies, or just add one into your day, plan to encounter these consequences.
Read on to learn about what side effects you can expect from a daily smoothie, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Too much sugar can lead to diabetes.
Sugary smoothies can do a real toll on your body and when you drink one every day, you face some very serious long-term side effects.
"The side effect to worry about with a daily smoothie is elevated blood sugar that exceeds healthy limits. The bigger side effect to worry about is a daily routine that causes an excessive blood sugar spike that can, over the course of many years, contribute to more serious diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease or even Alzheimer's," says Kara Collier RD, LD, CNSC, and co-founder of Nutrisense.
"[Smoothies] are often packed with carbohydrates and they are a liquid form of food, causing quicker digestion," Collier continued. "We tend to more easily consume things in liquid form that solid form, causing us to eat more than intended."
Instead, focus on these 14 Best Smoothie Ingredients for a Flat Belly.
It can promote hormonal balance.
When you consume smoothies loaded with healthy fat every day, you can help balance any hormonal issues you might face.
"Healthy fats like almond butter, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax seed, and avocado help to stabilize blood sugars and promote hormone balance," says Taylor Stolt, Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian.
When you can supercharge your smoothie and glean some long-term health benefits, what's not to love? To take your smoothies to the next level, check out 11 Tricks for the Best-Ever Smoothie.
It could lead to weight gain.
If you thought all smoothies helped you lose weight, brace yourself.
"If it's a store-bought smoothie, it is most likely very big and therefore caloric, contains juice, and possibly even peanut butter. A smoothie like this can easily cause unwanted weight gain due to drinking an excessive amount of calories," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
If you need to watch your weight, avoid sugary smoothies at all costs. Otherwise, you might completely undo your diet goals for weeks!
If you want to avoid any additional side effects from extra fatty smoothie add-ins, make sure to check out 11 Most Fattening Smoothie Ingredients, According to Experts.
You'll have higher immunity to illness.
A smoothie a day might actually help keep the doctor away, thanks to the drink boosting our body's immune system.
"High fiber protein smoothies can boost immunity simply because of the healthy fruits and vegetables they contain," says Megan Byrd, RD, and creator of The Oregon Dietitian.
"Make sure to also add in some vegetables for extra nutrition. Carrots, kale, and spinach are all great in smoothies because they blend well and don't overpower the other flavors. By boosting your vitamin and mineral intake with a daily smoothie, you can boost your immune health, too."
You'll have increased bowel movements.
"Protein [smoothies are] rich in protein and potassium, so it's an ideal drink for athletes as protein helps repair and build muscle tissue and provides energy, but if taken appropriately as high doses can cause some side effects, such as increased bowel movements," says Dr. Asmat Khan, Media relations specialist at Fitness Volt.
If you want a drink with laxative properties, make sure to have a daily protein smoothie. This double-edged side effect might come as a welcome surprise to anyone who faces chronic constipation, but everyone else might not take this result as kindly.
Now that you know the side effects, here are 8 Hacks To Make Your Smoothie Healthier.