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Smoothie vs. Juice — Which Is Healthier?

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Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan by Erna Harutyunyan | Last updated on April 16, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Smoothie
vs
Juice

Summary

Smoothies tend to be higher in vitamin C and vitamin B12, offering substantial daily coverage for these nutrients. In contrast, juice provides more vitamin B6 and vitamin B3, with a 32% higher dose of vitamin B6 than smoothies.  Juice surpasses smoothies, 3.5 times richer in copper and twice as rich in potassium. At the same time, smoothies are more abundant in calcium and sodium. In addition, smoothies are low in sugar, making them an excellent option for people watching their sugar intake.

What’s the Difference?

Smoothies and juices differ in their preparation and nutritional profiles. Smoothies, created by blending whole fruits and vegetables, retain the fiber and nutrients in the skin and pulp. This makes them a wholesome and balanced option, particularly when enriched with nut butter or oatsprotein, and healthy fats. On the other hand, juicing extracts the liquid content, concentrating sugarsmicronutrients, and colors but leaving behind the fiber. While juices can be low in calories and rich in nutrients, they may lack the satiety of smoothies, especially those with added protein and fiber. Juicers can be expensive, and the process may involve tedious filtering.  Juicing may also generate food waste if the discarded pulp is not repurposed.

Nutrition

The nutritional values for 100g of orange juice and a strawberry banana smoothie are presented.

Macronutrients and Calories

Juice is only negligibly denser in nutrients, consisting of 86% water, while a smoothie contains 90% water.

The serving size of juice and smoothie is one cup, which is about 245-250g. Nutrition labels usually show 8 ounces (240 ml), equal to one cup.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
1
Juice
Contains more Protein +510%
Contains more Other +78.9%
Contains more Carbs +64.3%
Equal in Water - 86.2
8% 90%
Protein: 1.22 g
Fats: 0 g
Carbs: 8.16 g
Water: 90.28 g
Other: 0.34 g
13% 86%
Protein: 0.2 g
Fats: 0 g
Carbs: 13.41 g
Water: 86.2 g
Other: 0.19 g
Contains more Protein +510%
Contains more Other +78.9%
Contains more Carbs +64.3%
Equal in Water - 86.2

Calories

A 100-gram serving of juice contains 54 calories. The caloric value for the same amount of smoothie is 37. Subsequently, one cup of juice contains 134 calories, while one cup of smoothie has 91 calories.  

Protein and Fats 

Both are not particularly rich in proteins or fats; however, a smoothie is slightly higher in protein. Smoothies and juices are low in all essential amino acids.

Carbohydrates

Juice has a slightly higher carbohydrate content. A 100-gram serving of juice contains 13.2 grams of carbohydrates, while the same smoothie serving has 8.1 grams. The carbohydrate content in juice and smoothies comprises 70-90% sugar. There is 0.2g of fiber in 100g of juice and 0g in 100g of smoothie.

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
:
0
Juice

Vitamins

It loses many of its vitamins while processing fruit into juice or smoothies. However, both juice and smoothie are high in vitamin C,15mg and 24.5 mg, respectively. Juice contains a decent amount of vitamins B1B2B5, and folate

Smoothies have nine times more vitamin A and 0.24 mg of vitamin B12. At the same time, juice has six times more vitamins B3 and B6.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
8
Juice
Contains more Vitamin A +827.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +63.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +512.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +509.8%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 25% 0% 0% 82% 0% 0% 16% 0% 19% 0% 30% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 3% 1% 0% 50% 96% 100% 94% 4% 116% 3% 0% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +827.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +63.3%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +512.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +509.8%

Minerals

Orange juice is 3.5 times richer in copper and two times richer in potassium. Although in lower quantities, the juice is also slightly richer in magnesiumphosphoruszinccopper, and manganese. Smoothies are more prosperous in calcium and sodium, containing 41 and 21 grams of minerals, respectively. Both contain the same amount of iron.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
8
Juice
Contains more Calcium +1950%
Contains more Iron +36.4%
Contains more Potassium +75%
Contains less Sodium -93.1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 13% 6% 0% 0% 3% 4% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 1% 5% 3% 2% 4% 1% 1% 6% 1% 0%
Contains more Calcium +1950%
Contains more Iron +36.4%
Contains more Potassium +75%
Contains less Sodium -93.1%

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of juice is 50, whereas the glycemic index of smoothies is 44. Both are considered to have low glycemic index values.

Acidity

With a pH value between 3.30 and 4.19, juice is naturally acidic. With pHs of 3.91 and 4.45, smoothies have similar acidity. The PRAL values for juice and smoothies have been calculated to be -0.7 and -0.4, respectively. This demonstrates that juice is more alkalizing than smoothies.

Weight Loss and Diets

While 100% fruit and sugar-sweetened juices may not significantly impact satiety due to their low fiber and protein content, they are not associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, unlike sugar-sweetened juices (1, 2). On the other hand, smoothies, often marketed as a weight-loss tool, can effectively maintain a calorie deficit if they align with daily energy requirements (3, 4). However, the calorie content varies, and it's crucial to choose nutrient-dense ingredientscontrol portion sizes, and be mindful of calorie-packed additives like syrups for effective weight management.

Health Impact

Juices and smoothies both offer health benefits attributed to their rich content of mineralsantioxidants, and vitamins. Orange juice, for instance, is recognized for its vitamin Cfolatecarotenoids, and polyphenols, which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties(5). Long-term consumption may positively impact inflammationcancer riskcardiovascular healthneuroprotection, and cognitive performance, with potential benefits for Alzheimer's diseasecognitive declinediabetes, and gut health (6,7,8,9).On the other hand, smoothies, made from fresh or frozen produce, are a nutritious addition, supplying essential nutrients and fiber from diverse fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients. The smoothies' nutrients may improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of chronic diseases like osteoporosis, heart diseaseobesity, and age-related mental decline (10,11,12). 

Diabetes

A meta-analysis suggests that 100% fruit juice consumption is not correlated with a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In contrast, the intake of sugar-sweetened juice is associated with an increased risk (13,14). This insight aligns with considerations for commercially prepared smoothies and homemade alternatives. Commercially prepared smoothies, especially those featuring added sugars such as flavored yogurt and sweetened juices, may contribute to a higher risk of diabetes due to their increased added sugar content. On the other hand, homemade smoothies with minimal added sugar, particularly those incorporating whole fruits for natural sweetness, offer a healthier option, paralleling the findings related to fruit juice(15).

Digestive Health

Smoothies and juice differ significantly in their impact on digestion. Soluble fiber, present in fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, peas, green beans, and citrus fruits, dissolves in water, slowing digestion and aiding blood sugar management (16).In contrast, insoluble fiber in vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower,  and dark leafy greens adds bulk to stoolpromoting regular bowel movements (17). Smoothies, containing more fiber than juice, have an advantage in supporting gut health by fostering a diverse microbiome and preventing constipation(11). The smoothie fiber contributes to satiation by slowing nutrient absorption and maintaining steady blood sugar levels. In terms of digestion, smoothies are often considered more fillingsatiating, and conducive to overall gut health than juice.

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Anthocyanins are chemical compounds found in strawberries, bananas, and oranges that have been proven to lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel elasticity. This means that consuming a smoothie or juice made with these fruits can positively impact the cardiovascular system. So, incorporating these fruits into your diet can be a healthy choice (18,19,20).

Smoothies are better than juices as they contain more dietary fiber, which may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. On the other hand, consuming 500ml of orange juice daily may also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your bloodstream (21,22).

Take control of your health and start incorporating orange juice and smoothies into your daily routine. This simple change will enhance your overall well-being. 

Taste and Use

Juice tends to have a concentrated, intense flavor as it extracts the liquid from fruits or vegetables, leaving behind the pulp and fiber. The taste is often refreshing and sweet, but the absence of fiber may result in a less complex flavor profile. Juices are commonly consumed as standalone beverages, providing a quick burst of vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, smoothies have a more blended and well-rounded taste due to the inclusion of whole fruitsvegetables, and additional ingredients like Greek yogurtavocadonut butterchia seeds, or protein powder. The presence of fiber contributes to a smoother and creamier texture. Smoothies are versatile and can serve as complete meals or snacks, offering a balance of nutrients.

Article author photo Erna Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: April 16, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Smoothie vs Juice infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Smoothie Juice
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in Saturated Fat Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Smoothie Juice Opinion
Net carbs 8.16g 13.21g Juice
Protein 1.22g 0.2g Smoothie
Carbs 8.16g 13.41g Juice
Calories 37kcal 54kcal Juice
Sugar 7.35g 9.36g Smoothie
Fiber 0g 0.2g Juice
Calcium 41mg 2mg Smoothie
Iron 0.15mg 0.11mg Smoothie
Magnesium 3mg Juice
Phosphorus 4mg Juice
Potassium 24mg 42mg Juice
Sodium 29mg 2mg Juice
Zinc 0.02mg Juice
Copper 0.018mg Juice
Manganese 0.007mg Juice
Vitamin A 408IU 44IU Smoothie
Vitamin A RAE 2µg Juice
Vitamin E 0.02mg Juice
Vitamin C 24.5mg 15mg Smoothie
Vitamin B1 0.38mg Juice
Vitamin B2 0.43mg Juice
Vitamin B3 0.816mg 5mg Juice
Vitamin B5 0.06mg Juice
Vitamin B6 0.082mg 0.5mg Juice
Folate 4µg Juice
Vitamin B12 0.24µg 0µg Smoothie
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g Juice
Polyunsaturated fat 0.01g Juice

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Smoothie Juice
Low Fats diet Equal
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
13%
Smoothie
36%
Juice
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
2%
Smoothie
2%
Juice

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Smoothie
Smoothie is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.01g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Smoothie
Smoothie is lower in glycemic index (difference - 6)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Juice
Juice contains less Sodium (difference - 27mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Juice
Juice is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Juice
Juice is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food contains less Saturated Fat?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Saturated Fat (0 g)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Smoothie - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174829/nutrients
  2. Juice - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169044/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.