If you find yourself short on time during any part of the day, a bottled smoothie may seem like the smart choice to both fill up and stock up on nutrients. Most brands feed you claims of “organic” ingredients with “100 percent or more” of your daily vitamins, but what does all that really mean?
In actuality, these smoothies are often packed with sugar and suspicious ingredients, so we ranked five popular consumer brands based on what you’re really getting out of the bottle.
5. Naked Juice Smoothie
Naked Juice Smoothies are pretty popular, even after finding themselves in some pretty hot water a few years ago due to false labeling of “all natural” products. Maybe that’s why the seemingly “healthy” drink finds itself dead last on this list.
The Blue Machine is boosted with a ton of Vitamin B, giving you 190 percent of your daily recommended B6 and B12 intake. The smoothie is also packed with 190 percent Vitamin C, which, believe it or not, is possible to overdose on.
Calorie-wise, the Blue Machine delivers 320 calories in its 15.2 fluid ounces bottle, which is a little much for something that probably won’t fill you up for long.
The scariest part of the nutrition label, however, is the whopping 75 grams of carbohydrates and 55 grams of sugar. Most of that sugar is derived from the fruit ingredients, but that doesn’t matter to your body. Would you really eat over three apples in one sitting, plus a banana, and 27 blueberries? Most likely not.
These three copycat Naked smoothies are much cheaper and healthier than the store-bought versions, so drinking them can actually help you look good naked.
4. Odwalla 100% Juice Smoothie
Another popular bottled smoothie choice comes from Odwalla, which has everything from the fan-favorite Strawberry Banana to vitamin-packed Mo’ Beta. The Original Superfood is vegan and claims to have “no added sugar,” which seems like a smart choice until you take a peek at the label’s 51 grams of sugar.
The smoothie’s fine print states that the drink is “not a reduced calorie food,” which is an obvious statement coming from a drink with 240 calories. A grande Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks has about the same amount of calories with 18 less grams of sugar, so why not just drink that?
The juice base of Odwalla smoothies is not a real fruit juice, but a juice concentrate, which might negate the “no added sugar” claim. You’re also getting less than one gram of fiber, which is a nutrient most of us are severely missing out on.
3. Bolthouse Farms Fruit Smoothie
Just like Odwalla, Bolthouse Farms smoothies use a juice concentrate, which definitely contributes to the 42 grams of sugar in a 15.2 ounce serving. The bottle of Strawberry Banana boasts that there is “no high fructose corn syrup” but says nothing about added sugar (meaning there’s probably some in there).
The bottle has 247 calories, 100 percent of the daily recommended vitamin C, but no vitamin A. Because of the whole banana in the drink, you’re getting about 17 percent of your recommended potassium intake. Still, there are plenty of ways to get your potassium fix, like sweet potatoes or yogurt.
2. Innocent Pure Fruit Smoothie
Innocent is a European company, specializing in smoothies, juices, and charity. Still, their drinks aren’t as healthy as they like their shoppers to believe. The Kiwis, Apples & Limes variety still has 47 grams of sugar and around 230 calories.
The website simply says the drink “is a source of vitamin C,” which is a little too vague to be a highly beneficial feature. Out of the smoothies on this list, Innocent provides the most fiber – 6.6 grams – but the average person still needs around 30 grams each day.
1. Savse Nutritious Raw Smoothie
Savse is also found across the Atlantic, but is a little healthier than its “innocent” counterpart. The drink has only 188 calories and 36 grams of sugar, making it the lowest in both measures on the list.
While it only has 4.5 grams of fiber, the Super Purple variety is packed with beets and avocados, in addition to the usual fruits. Beets are awesome for maintaining a healthy heart and lowering blood pressure. If you’re an avocado lover, you already know them as the king of healthy fats, and they are even more fantastic blended into this creamy smoothie. If you’d rather make your smoothies so you actually know what’s going in them, we’d recommend one of these recipes.