Skip to content

The #1 Worst Smoothie to Drink, Says Science

If you're missing these key ingredients, you'll just feel hungrier.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When pressed for time, it can be tempting to throw frozen fruits or vegetables into a blender, drink the resulting concoction and consider it a healthy meal or snack. We believe that the bright and colorful mixtures, with their healthy ingredients, must offer the promise of fitness and growth.

But are these kinds of smoothies really good for you?

In contrast to our intuitive opinions of them, all-greens or all-fruits smoothies might not be beneficial at all. In fact, these smoothies, which initially have the guise of being the most healthy ones, may actually hurt you more, especially if the recipe lists only fruits. A smoothie with all fruits and no protein or fat sources wouldn't do much for your health.

For all-fruit smoothies, the sugar content could be alarmingly high. The blender breaks down fruits into a liquefied form, and the resulting drink retains the same amount of sugars.

However, you're taking in sugar at a much higher speed than you would when simply eating fruit. While many of us opt to eat a fruit a day, one smoothie drink—most of us finish it within an hour—contains servings of many different fruits, all coming with their own portions of sugar.

While the sugar does make the smoothie more delicious, your blood sugar also rises rapidly in response to the high glucose content in the drink.

The swift increase in blood sugar levels isn't the only effect; it leads to more bodily reactions that could negatively impact your health.

After you consume the smoothie and sugar levels rise, the body immediately goes to work using and storing the sugar. You'll experience a quick burst of energy at first. The resulting storage of excess sugar leads to the generation of fat in your body. Your metabolism slows down to sustain you because crucial nutrients like proteins and fats aren't found.

Because the smoothie didn't contain any filling content, you're likely to feel hungry soon afterward and to start craving more food, whether it's a large meal or unhealthy snacks. To prevent urges to overeat, it's important to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients and not merely supply it with sugars and fibers from fruits.

If you've been drinking all-fruits smoothies, it's not too hard and never too late to change your recipe. You can easily make your daily smoothie more healthy for your body by coupling fruits and juices with protein and fat sources. Aside from artificial protein sources like protein powder, be sure to try out flax seeds or oats. Additionally, avocados are a great natural source of fat.

Daphne Yao
Daphne is a graduate journalism student at Northwestern University who specializes in health, environmental, and science reporting. Read more about Daphne