Healthy or Harmful: Smoothies and Juices

Smoothies and juices are hot trends in today’s culture. There are tons of smoothie booths and cafes serving all sorts of flavors. A lot of gyms even offer guests a complimentary smoothie on the way out after a workout. But are they really that good for you? The answer may surprise you.

Picture this: You just left gym. You spent 45 minutes lifting weights and doing core work, followed by a great bout of cardio intervals on the treadmill. You’re pretty sweaty. You’ve finished your bottle of water. You head out the door and walk down the street to local a cafe. Oh look, they’ll add protein powder to any smoothie drink you want! Sounds great right? Why not finish off your healthy workout with a healthy beverage?

Wrong!

Smoothies and juices aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when it comes to nutritional value. First of all, most cafes and restaurants don’t make their smoothies fresh. Typically, they use flavored powder or syrups to make their “smoothies”, so fruit literally is not an ingredient. Why would you pay $4.50 for a fruit smoothie that doesn’t even contain fruit? Silly.

Secondly, even smoothies and juices that are made with natural fruits lack most – if not all – of their fiber. Natural fruits, when eaten with their skin, contain fiber. When skinned or blended in a smoothie or juice, this natural skin disappears and the fiber goes with it. Why is fiber so important? Fiber helps your body regulate any sugar you ingest.

Fruit naturally has high sugar content. So when you eat a lot of fruit, your blood sugar tends to spike. However, when fruit is eaten whole and with the skin, as nature intended, your blood sugar is able to remain in a relatively normal range because the fiber acts as a buffer and works to help your organs and muscles quickly process the sugar.

Fiber is also a necessary part of any balanced diet and helps aid with digestion and excretion processes in your body, so if you’re constantly opting for juices and smoothies as your fruit servings for the day, you probably aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet. Unfortunately, lack of fiber in your diet can lead to unpleasant complications when it comes to digesting and passing food waste comfortably.

Lastly, as mentioned above, when you drink smoothies or juices, you aren’t consuming any fiber. Your system gets shocked, as if you just ate a candy bar. You’re trying to be healthy by having a smoothie, but in reality, your body reacts like you’ve just eaten junk. You experience a mad sugar rush. What comes up must come down, right? So after this spike, comes the crash. You’ll be left feeling sluggish and tired once all that sugar leaves your blood stream.

We all know too much sugar is not good for your health. But most people don’t consider the fact that smoothies and juices are loaded with sugar. Generally, double – even triple – the amount of sugar we should be ingesting daily can be found in just one smoothie.

So, to recap:

  • Most smoothies and juices don’t even contain real fruit.
  • Even when they do contain real fruit, they have no fiber, which means you ingest a ton of excess sugar.
  • Too much sugar is bad for your health!

Bottom line: Stick to whole fruits and grab some good old water instead.

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