Often times, people consider that juices, smoothies and shakes to be one and the same. Although the preparation process is similar, and you end up consuming your vegetables and fruit as a drink, there are some major differences between the three.
Juicing is where the liquid from what you are juicing is extracted leaving the pulp and fibre behind. Smoothies are when all the ingredients are blended together with liquid to form a thick drink. Whatever is put into the blender ends up in the drink. Shakes are very similar to smoothies but usually milk, yoghurt or even ice-cream is used as the main liquid ingredient.
Many people choose to drink Juices, Smoothies and Shakes for a variety of reasons such as:
- Weight Loss
- Weight Gain
- Muscle Gain,
- Nutritional Benefits
- Health Benefits
- Medicinal Reasons
- Wellness Promotion
Within this article, we will go further in depth of each of the three styles. We will examine in more detail the advantages and disadvantages of each, and look at which option may best suit your needs, depending on what you are looking to achieve from your nutritional drink.
It is imortant to choose the right drink supplement depending on your own circumstances. Sometimes we can do something because we have been led to believe that it is a “healthy” option, when in fact it could be actually be making our situation worse, or even dangerous.
By the end of this article, you should be more prepared with the facts to better decide which drink supplement will benefit you the most.
Juicing is doing exactly what it says. You are extracting the juice from what it is you wish to consume. To do this effectively and efficiently, you will need an electric juicer.
There are two main types of juicers, centrifugal and masticating. The centrifugal juicer removes the juice with a chopping and fast spinning motion whereas the masticating juicer uses a crushing and pressing motion to remove the juice.
Depending on what you are looking to juice and how much, depends on which machine would be better for you. Also, your budget will play a part in your decision making as some of the juicing machines can run into hundreds of dollars. Decide how much juicing you anticipate doing, and then buy a machine that fits that criteria so that you don't end up spending a fortune for something that far exceeds your requirements.
Masticating Juicers press and crush the juice out of the fruit and vegetables. These machines are generally quieter and result in more juice being extracted, however they are generally more expensive.
Centrifugal Juicers chop and spin the juice out of the fruit and vegetables. These machines are generally louder and quicker but result in less juice being extracted. They tend to be cheaper than masticating juicers.
Advantages of Juicing
There are advantages to juicing over smoothies and shakes, depending on what you require from your drink. Juicing allows you to get all the nutrients and mineral benefits from the fruit and vegetables in a realtively small drink. Due to the fact that the pulp and fibre is removed during the juicing process, you are left with an easily drinkable amount of liquid. This can be an advantage if you are looking at juicing as purely a way to increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetable nutrients and increase your 5 a day portions.
Disadvantages of Juicing
The drawbacks with juicing are also what are considered advantages to others. As mentioned, the removal of pulp during the juicing process means that you are missing out on much of the fibre goodness from the fruit and vegetables. This means that you will need to ensure you get your daily fibre intake from another source. Also, with the lack of fibre, and the relatively small amount of juice consumed, it is difficult to consider this a meal replacement unless your intention is to lose weight. This is another consideration for people who may have a medical condition, where further weight loss would prove to be detrimental to their health. This is covered further in our post “Is Juicing Good For Cancer Patients”
Juicing is a great way for you to increase your daily intake of nutrients and minerals without having to consume large amounts of fruit and vegetables. The juice boost can allow you to easily add to your 5 a day intake and promote the health benefits associated with doing so. Juicing also allows you to miss a meal as part of a balanced weight loss program, whilst still benefiting from the fruit and vegetable nutirents. However, people thinking of juicing should ensure that they are getting the daily fibre intake they require from other sources, and do not use juicing as a meal replacement if their health would suffer due to possible weight loss.
Smoothies are another great way for you to deliciously increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Unlike juicing where the juice is extracted from the fruit and vegetables used, smoothies are made in a blender. The blending process liquifies all of the ingredients placed into the blender, resulting in a much thicker drink. Again, there are a variety of blenders available on the market, and your budget and smoothie consumption will be a deciding factor on the type of machine you will require.
Advantages of Drinking Smoothies
Smoothies are a versatile way of increasing your daily nutrient intake, as well as replacing a meal if required. Due to the blending process, all of the fibre remains within the drink and so keeps you fuller for much longer than juicing.
The fruit and vegetable recipe combinations are endless and can be adjusted to fit any taste preferences. Also, with the many liquid options available to add to your smoothie, many digestive intolerances can be catered for.
Some of the popular liquid additions include:
- Dairy Milk
- Soya Milk
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
As well as the vast variety of fruits and vegetables that can be blended, other items such as nuts and seeds can be added, as well as powdered protein supplements.
Another tasty option to provide flavor and health benefits are herbs and spices. Click the links to see our lists of 10 healing herbs and spices that can add flavor and health benfits to your smoothies.
Disadvantages of Drinking Smoothies
Although smoothies allow all of the fruit and vegetable goodness to be consumed as a drink, there are some things that you need to be aware of.
Many fruits are high in natural sugars and can greatly increase the calories consumed within the drink. Many people drink smoothies as part of a weigh loss diet, not realising that they actually risk gaining weight if they are not careful about the ingredients that they use in their smoothies.
Also, if you are prone to digestive problems, the increase in fibre may irritate your system. The same could be said about the increase of dairy, depending on what you are using as a liquid in your smoothies.
Smoothies are a delicious and nutrituional drink when consumed in balance.
The fibre, nutrients and minerals allow you to replace a meal (or 2) as part of a well balances diet program, and offer versatile and endless flavor combinations. With the option to use any liquid of preference within the smoothie, many digestive and food intolerances can be catered to.
Care should be taken when deciding which ingredients to use so that the calorie content does not exceed daily requirements.
Shakes are very similar to smoothies in as much as they can be made with blended fruit, however unlike smoothies that can use any form of liquid, shakes usually use milk or ice-cream.
Parents will sometimes use this kind of shake as a way of getting more fruit into their children.
Another form of shake that has increased in popularity over the years is the protein shake and the weight loss shake.
This is where the milk or water is mixed with some sort of supplement powder to promote muscle growth, weight gain, weight loss etc.
Athletes and body builders will usually use a protein shake to replace protein lost from the body due to a rigorous fitness work-out. Slimmers will use supplements to help aid weight loss.
Advantages of Drinking Shakes
Again, shakes are very much like smoothies and carry the same benefits.
Depending on the type of shake you are drinking, and the supplemental powders you maybe using, will depend on the benefits.
Protein shakes are a useful way for athletes to quickly replace the protein in their body after a challenging fitness session. A different powder supplement may be added to promote weight gain or muscle. Equally, another supplement may be added to promote weight loss, or as a meal supplement.
A major contribution to the increasing popularity of these supplement shakes, is that they are now sold as a pre-made ‘ready to drink’ option. This allows the user to carry them around and consume as and when required. Many health shops and Gyms carry a wide selection of these products, eliminating the need to make them ahead of time at home.
All of these supplemental powders could just as easily be added to smoothies, however they are usually added to shakes due to the milk factor and the added protein benefit derived from using the dairy products.
Disadvantages of Drinking Shakes
Using shakes made with ice-cream as a way to get your child to eat more fruit, could come with a high calorie and sugar drawback.
Ready to drink protein shakes can sometimes carry unwanted additives and also high calories. It is important to check carefully the ingredients used in the pre-made drinks.
Slimming shakes also may be fine for replacing a meal, however not all of these shakes and supplements provide you with the required daily nutrients. You must be sure to use these products alongside a balanced intake of your daily needs.
Used correctly, adding shakes to your daily diet can be a good way for you to add protein and nutrients to your body.
Care should be taken when relying on “ready made” supplement drinks. Ensure you know exactly what has gone into the shake, as well as the calorie count and nutritional benefits.
If you are looking to follow one of the “Shake Weight Loss Plans”, be sure to check with a qualified dietitian or your medical practitioner prior to starting, to ensure that ther will not be any health issues.