One of the most popular ways of losing weight is through a liquid diet. The concept behind it simple – eat less and drink more fluids to supplement your nutritional needs. This is where the matter of healthy beverages like juices, shakes, and smoothies come in. Surprisingly, however, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to the smoothie vs. shake debate. A lot of people still use these terms interchangeably as they fail to realize that these are two wholly different drinks.
This article will take a good look at how these two drinks differ. It will also explore the different aspects of the drink so you can better understand what sets them apart. It also provides a breakdown of the things you need to remember when making your drink. Hopefully, this should help you down the road.
Smoothie Vs Shake: Overview
Smoothies and shakes bear a lot of similarities. They may even look identical to the untrained eye. After all, they are both thick and colorful drinks. In some cases, they even have the same consistency. Of course, a major source of confusion stems from the similar process used to make these drinks – as both smoothies and shakes are made by blending their ingredients. However, this is where the similarities end.
One of the crucial, and most important, differences between these two drinks lie in the ingredients themselves. Smoothies, for instance, are typically made with blended fruits. Additional ingredients like grain, seeds, oatmeal, and vegetables can also be added to increase the nutritional value. Some even go so far as to use protein powders to create interesting taste combinations.
On the other hand, most shakes make full use of a dairy base. They are typically made from milk or ice cream – hence the name milkshake. Added to this base is an assortment of syrups, powders and artificial sweeteners to get their flavor. Some shakes also make use of whipped cream and candy to add more garnish.
As you have probably noticed, the purpose of these drinks is completely different. Shakes are more of a snack to give you more fuel in the middle of the day. Smoothies, on the other hand, are usually consumed as a meal replacement. The latest fitness trends dictate that the most common of time to drink smoothies is in the morning as the number of nutrients it packs makes it suitable as a breakfast replacement.
Smoothie Vs Shake – Which is Healthier?
Now, the question you are probably asking is: which of these is the healthier option? Of course, the answer to that isn’t so straightforward. After all, it is the specific ingredients and their combination that ultimately decides the food’s nutritional value. Needless to say, the same principle applies to shakes and smoothies.
It is worth stating, however, that smoothies typically have a lower calorie content. This is why most people think that smoothies are a healthy alternative to shakes. Real fruit, after all, is packed with protein and all sorts of nutrients. Though smoothies are usually rich in carbs, they make up for it by having lower fat content. It should go without saying that this does not apply to smoothies that make use of high-fat ingredients like peanut butter, sherbets, and syrups.
Conversely, shakes, usually contain large amounts of saturated fat. They are also known to have a higher calorie content compared to most smoothies. However, because of their dairy base, most shakes also contain great amounts of calcium and protein.
Now, it should come as no surprise that both of these drinks can be seamlessly integrated into your health and fitness routine. For instance, other than being great meal replacements, smoothies can work as great pre-workout snacks. The fact that they are rich in carbs makes them an effective source of fuel for your body. For this purpose, I highly recommend that you make use of a smoothie that contains lots of fruit and vegetables.
Meanwhile, you can also use shakes as post-workout snacks. Just be sure to go easy on the fatty elements and focus on using ingredients rich in protein. Keep in mind that muscle recovery depends primarily on the amounts of protein in your diet. That said, adding things like chia seeds would be great. Also, you can never go wrong with having some protein powder into the mix.
Making Healthy And Tasty Drinks
Needless to say, both smoothies and shakes make for tasty drinks. However, as explained above, their nutritional value depends on the specific recipe being used. That said, I’ve come up with a handy guide on how you can consistently make healthy and tasty beverages at home. All you need is to keep these principles in mind.
- Always Go For The Healthy Option – Whether you are making shakes or smoothies, you must take a good look at your list of ingredients and check if you are using the healthiest options. For instance, instead of using full-cream milk for your shake, why not try making use of low-fat or almond milk instead?
- Cut Down the Sugar Levels – If you are looking to make healthier shakes, then you should consider cutting down on the sugar content. It would certainly help if you left out the whipped cream, sprinkles, and candy garnish.
- Liquid Options – Feel free to explore and broaden your horizons when making smoothies. While the most common liquid used is cold water, you can experiment and play around using different liquids for its base. For instance, you can try using lemon or orange juice if you want some tanginess in your smoothie. You can also even use non-conventional materials like coconut water and coconut milk.
- No Ice for Smoothies – Using ice for smoothies is inadvisable as it will dilute the flavor of your drink. Instead, make sure to use frozen fruit to ensure the best results.
- Remember the Golden Ratio – Remember, making the perfect smoothies is all about finding that best fruit to liquid ratio. That said, we highly recommend that you follow the 2-1 rule. That’s 2 cups of frozen fruit per 1 cup of liquid.
Smoothies and shakes may appear similar and they’re both made in a blender, yet the subtle differences set them apart. However, they can both be turned into healthy snacks with the right recipe. So, be sure to keep that in mind as you follow your fitness journey.