While we may all like to get our green juices from a trendy juice bar on the West Coast, it's hard to justify a cross-country flight for juice that'll probably cost you $8 a pop. As a born and raised west coaster, I've noticed that the West Coast is significantly ahead of the East Coast in terms of health foods, specifically juice bars. If you're one of the many people who's town doesn't support their green juice addiction, you might have to go elsewhere to get your fix.
When choosing a green juice, you have to be careful—just because it's green doesn't mean it's healthy. Most generic green juices have as many as 36 grams of sugar per bottle. It's important to understand where this sugar is coming from. Here are some good and not so good options to get your juice on.
Naked Juice: Kale Blazer
Although we see the rainbow of juices in most supermarkets, some Naked Juices aren't actually that good for you. There's almost 200 calories for the standard 15.2 fl oz size and 34 grams of sugar. While they list the "goodness inside," they don't specify what "natural flavors" mean on the ingredients list.Natural flavors are chemicals added to food products in order to produce a uniform taste throughout products. By "natural," they really mean the chemical equivalent of whatever food it is you think you're tasting. There are definitely better options out there.
Bolthouse Farms: Daily Green
You can always find Bolthouse Farms in giant containers in the produce sections of grocery stores. Before you commit to the 52oz bottle, you should read the label. The roughly 150 calories and 30 grams of sugar per 15.2oz bottle aren't too bad, but they sneak in some unknown ingredients. These also include "natural flavors." When you see this in stores, don't be tempted by the spirulina, you can do better.
Suja juice is quickly becoming one of the most popular juices out there. They use wholesome ingredients and are USDA organic certified. Rather than pumping their juice with a bunch of fruit juices to add sweetness (and sugar), they use organic tea to cut the bitterness. While $8 may seem steep, this stuff is the real deal.
Odwalla: Groovin' Greens Juice
Unlike some of their other products, Odwalla's Groovin' Greens Juice is low-calorie with only 150 calories for the entire 15 oz. bottle. Although the sugar content of 36g is high, this comes from the four fruit juices included: pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and apple. This juice also has no sugar added and no fruit from concentrate, which makes it a great substitute for freshly made green juice
BluePrint: Arugula Kale
BluePrint juices can be found at almost every Whole Foods out there. Their new Arugula Kale juice has 130 calories, 25 grams of sugar, and is 100% real juice. Plus it has ginger in it, which will give your body that extra boost.
Evolution Fresh: Sweet Greens
We've all waited in the mile-long Starbucks line and picked up some of these bad boys to look at. They have only 100 calories per bottle and 20 grams of natural sugar (a.k.a. no sugar added). Next time you're trying to be healthy at Starbucks, think about picking up one of these.
O2living: Green Vitality
O2living's green juice has to take the cake. Their 16 oz bottle of Green Vitality juice has 140 calories and only 6 grams of sugar. They don't use any fruit juices as sweeteners, which keeps the sugar content low. If you're looking for the healthiest juice in the grocery store, you've met your match.
While the rainbow of options can be overwhelming, it's important to look past the pretty colors and shiny labels. Reading the labels can save you the calories and sugar you could've blown on some ice cream. As much as you may like it, no one wants to be drinking green stuff without some health benefits.