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Juice vs. Smoothie: Key Differences and How to Get Inspired in Your Kitchen

Posted by Lisa Consiglio Ryan on

Juice vs. Smoothie

What is the difference between a juice and a smoothie?

Since we sell juices and cleanses, plus a few blended smoothies at the RASA juice shop, I get asked this and other questions on a regular basis. Which one is better? What should I get?

The answer is always unique to each individual but here are a few guidelines you can follow.


Juicing Definition

A juice is the liquid part of the veggie, fruit or green, with all of the fiber removed.

Juices are healing and you get the nutrient-rich enzymes straight into your bloodstream and your cells quickly. It’s like getting a vitamin and mineral infusion… you can feel the energy and balance immediately. Since your body doesn’t have to deal with the breakdown of the fiber, your digestive system gets a break and your body is able to absorb the juicy nutrients directly into your blood stream.  

You can juice any plant that has juice to extract.  Fruits, vegetables and herbs are the most common juice ingredients.


What is a Smoothie?

A smoothie is a drink composed of blended foods such as banana, kale, nut butter, and even protein powder. You are getting fiber in a smoothie, however, which is different than a juice. Your body will still have to do some digestive work to fully digest your smoothie.  

Smoothies are a bit easier to make because you can use a lot of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, super foods and supplements even spices!

I always tell my clients that smoothies are more like a meal and juice is more like a snack where you might need to eat about 1-2 hours after drinking one.


What are the different health benefits?

Juices are extremely healing.  Juices are particularly beneficial for people who have IBS or SIBO or any digestive issue. This is due to the fact that removing the fiber releases all of the nutrients from those plants, without your body having to do any work.

Juices are also used in a juicing detox when you want to cleanse your body. Since your body won’t have to put much effort into digestion, all the energy can be directed to ridding the body of built up waste and toxins. Juicing allows the body to focus on healing while still providing nutrients to your body that would not be present during a water fast.  

Juices are also awesome for supporting the healing of a damaged gut, and tons of other health issues.


Smoothies are great if you need a quick meal after a workout or don’t have time to sit down and eat. Smoothies aren’t heavy so you won’t feel weighed down but substantial so you won’t feel hungry in 20 minutes.

Smoothies are also great for those who are coming off of a detox since they help re-introduce your body to fiber and solid food.  Smoothies also help cleanse out your colon, because they contains the fiber that will help to “sweep” out your intestinal tract. These fibers will bind to toxins and usher them out of your system.

Smoothies are a quick and easy way for those who want to start eating healthier.


Juicer vs. Blender

How do you juice?

To make juice, you will need a juicer. You can try making juice with your blender but you will end up with pulp and the process doesn’t allow the extraction of the fiber.

Juicers can be expensive so think of your lifestyle.

You can get a Centrifuge juicer, which will have a blade or disk that spins at high speeds, grating your fruits and veggies, and then straining them through a fine sieve in order to extract the juice, or a masticating juicer which uses a slower pressing action to extract your juice.  Using a centrifuge juicer is faster but you end up with a lot of pulp and you won’t get all the enzymes from the ingredients.

Dark leafy greens are best juiced through a masticating juicer because the slower extraction process allows for more nutrients to be separated from the fiber in the plant than with a centrifugal juicer.

Juicing greens is important because our bodies do not have the enzymes needed to break down the cell walls found in greens.  This means that by juicing your greens you will gain access to the nutrients locked inside those cells by removing those fibers.  

Check out this complete list of juicer brands and pick one that fits your lifestyle.


How Do You Blend?

We recommend that you get a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendec if you are going to be making smoothies on a regular basis and also if you are wanting to break down the fibers properly.  A blender with less horsepower will take longer to blend your smoothie and will not break down the fibers as well as a high-speed blender will.  This will introduce more oxygen into your smoothie, increasing the oxidation rate, which means you get less nutrition from your smoothie.

Blending with a high-speed blender will ensure that you get the least amount of oxidative damage and better taste.

Juicing vs. blending… it will all depend on your nutritional goals. A good rule of thumb is to drink a juice and a smoothie every day to ensure a well-balanced nutritional plan.

You can find delicious and easy smoothie recipes here. New to making your own smoothies? Learn how, step-by-step here.

Here's a yummy juice recipe to help you sleep.

Also, check out my Go Clean, Sexy You cookbook which includes healthy juice and smoothie recipes, as well as our juice cleanses and juice 6 pack.


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