You’ve surely seen them before: the army of green-filled cups, marching along their morning commutes. These are the juice freaks — the smoothie brigade. There's no denying that liquid, green breakfasts are having a (long) moment. But are they actually as healthy as promised? Even if they are, can we call them an adequate meal?
Related: 10 Super Greens to Add to Smoothies
Before even ordering, be sure to choose wisely between a juice and a smoothie: Juices pack more nutrients per ounce, but smoothies contain more fiber (they use the whole fruit and vegetable) and have the option of blending in creamy and filling ingredients like avocado, oats, and nut butter. So, if you’re shooting for breakfast, a smoothie is the way to go; if you’re looking for a vitamin-packed pick-me-up, juice is your drink.
Related: Ask the Diet Doctor: Green Powders vs. Green Juices
With the green stuff comes (often sneakily) major sugar overload. And with great sugar consumption comes a spike in energy — and that infamous crash soon after. Pro tip: Avoid fruits and veggie add-ins with high glycemic loads, as they can aid in the sugar high/crash. Tropical fruits (mangoes, papayas) and root vegetables (beets, carrots) are a notable few. Just remember: A no-fail recipe should be heavy on the signature green veggies — like kale, spinach, cucumber, and mint — and light on (but not devoid of) tasty fruit.
Click through to Shape for more on the green-cup phenomenon. (Shape)
Related: 14 Super Smoothie Boosters