smoothie, shake

Smoothie, Shake, or Juice?

The answer lies on your own health needs and goals as each drink has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Until now, there is an ongoing debate on which is much better: a smoothie, a shake, or a juice? Ask any health professional or enthusiast and you’ll get different answers.

All three of them sound healthy. All three of them seem tasty. All of them could be your next item in your diet. But as in all comparisons, there are pros and cons for each drink.

But before you think of replacing your meal with one of these drinks, it’s better to know the difference between them and how could it help you.


Smoothie is a beverage of blended whole fruits or vegetables, either fresh or frozen, without any milk, yogurt, or dairy product. It may or may not include water or ice to help liquefy the blend.

Since it’s a whole fruit, the peel (if edible), seeds (again, if edible) and fibers are included in the mix. Therefore the nutrients are intact. In fact, a clinical study showed that blending a grapefruit provides more phytochemicals than juicing it.

Smoothie is considered as a good health drink because it provides fiber. Insoluble fibers are known to help in the digestion and clean our intestines. Also, the fibers in a smoothie keeps you feel full or satisfied. This makes smoothie much lighter than other foods that it becomes a quick meal replacement. No wonder, health buffs recommend a glass of smoothie after workout.

However, not everyone like the taste of smoothies because of its thickness. Also, the fibers can cause digestive upsets on others.

Warning: since many people take smoothies every now and then, they don’t realize that they’re consuming more calories than they could burn or consume more servings in a day than they should be.


Shake is similar to smoothie except that it contains dairy products like milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Most of the time, it comes with added syrups, fruits, powders, whipped cream, and toppings. This is what makes a shake unhealthy.

However, some health companies have created shakes that use protein powder as its base. This form has transformed shakes as meal replacements in diets.

Others who suffer from lactose intolerance or milk taste fatigue may not like drinking shakes. Also, for a smoothie to become a shake, one should not overdo the ingredients all together.


Juice is a beverage extracted from a fruit or vegetable leaving the peel and pulp behind. It is concentrated that a small amount can provide the required nutrient per serving of some fruits and vegetables. Not only that, the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the juice can be easily absorbed by the body.

People who hate vegetables may find juicing helpful. It provides an easy way to get the required nutrients without so much fuss.

However, since juice doesn’t contain fibers, it is much lighter than a smoothie or a shake but less filling. Fruit and vegetable juice may contain high amount of sugar which may cause your blood sugar to go up. Juice is not a meal replacement because it lacks protein and fat.

A centrifugal or masticating juicer is needed to obtain juices from fruits or vegetables. This makes juicing expensive. Not only that, you throw away much of the fruit or vegetable.


It is okay for us to occasionally replace a meal with a smoothie, shake, or juice, but not too often. The main difference lies on their ingredients and methods of preparation anyway. And no matter what healthy drink to prepare, the trick is to use the right ingredients in right amounts.

Issa Bacsa

Filipino freelance writer and author, Gen X mother to a Gen Z daughter, retrogamer, binge-watcher.