Which is better, smoothies or juice? This is one of the questions that I get asked most frequently and the answer is, both and neither. Wait, what? It’s not a simple question to answer, as there are many factors at play. Your body’s current needs, the strength of your digestion, the contents of your beverage, and the time of day that you’re drinking all play a role in whether or not a smoothie or juice will be a better fit. I’ll do my best to clear up any confusion for you.
A fresh juice of mostly vegetables is an incredibly powerful choice. When juicing, the water and nutrients are extracted from your ingredients and fiber is removed. This way, you are left with pure nutrient gold that is more bio-available (ready for your body to use). Juicing is a great way to give your digestive system a break and send a quick boost of nutrients to your cells.
Drinking fresh, slow, cold-pressed juice ensures that the integrity of nutrients remain intact. When juice is pasteurized, processed too quickly, or heated in any capacity there is a significant loss of nutrients. Stay away from store bought juice, which is high in sugars, additives, and other pro-inflammatory ingredients. There is nothing natural about ‘natural flavors’.
Drinking juice is intended to be “in addition to” a healthy diet, not in lieu of. A nice glass of fresh juice is not meant to be a meal replacement, but rather a nutrition boost. This can be a great asset to anyone suffering from impaired digestion, wanting to prevent illness, and/or looking for a health and energy boost.
For optimal results, drink your juice 20 minutes before or 2 hours after eating. This ensures that the sugars from the juice are absorbed properly. The last thing you want is to have juice sitting in a full stomach waiting in the cue of things to be digested. This can lead to bloating (from the fermentation of sugars), discomfort, and sugar being stored as body fat verses energy. Drink your juice prior to, or in between meals, to allow your body quick access to nutrients.
Be mindful of juicing and spiking blood sugar. Remember, the fiber is removed during the juicing process giving the sugars from your juice a straight shot to your blood stream. Pay attention to the ingredients you juice, how frequently you juice, how it makes you feel, and how it affects your blood sugar levels (especially if you are blood sugar sensitive, pre-diabetic, or diabetic).
Smoothies are blended fruits and vegetables that still contain fiber. The fiber is broken down in the blending process, which is helpful for digestion, but the fiber sill remains in the drink to slow down absorption in an even, steady stream.
Smoothies can come with the addition of powders (medicinal mushrooms, protein, etc.) and/or superfoods (goji berries, maca, cacao, etc.) to give an added boost of health benefits. Bonus if your smoothie includes quality fat and protein because then it can serve as a complete meal! This will satiate, leaving you feeling full longer, while slowing down the absorption rate even further having little to no affect on your blood sugar.
Much like juice, you want to avoid loading your smoothie with all fruit. Focus on leafy greens and vegetables with a touch of berries, fruit, or citrus to sweeten and enhance flavors in your smoothie.
Smoothies are great pre/post workout, on-the-go, sipped from a cup, or eaten out of a bowl with toppings and a spoon. They’re quite versatile. You choose based on what your mood and body are asking for.
There you have it. Juicing and blending both have benefits and a specific time and place when one will fit the bill better than the other. You just need to ask your body what it needs and be prepared to listen.
Smoothies or Juice? Why? Let us know your preference in the comments section below.