Smoothies are much more than a fruit or vegetable drink. They can be a thing of incredible health and nutritional might, or they can be a sugary mess. It all depends on how you make them.
Smoothies are so versatile you can whip up hundreds of delicious combinations. You can use fruit, vegetable, or a combination of both. Each smoothie will give you energy for a different amount of time, so it’s about timing your smoothie for the time you need.
Here´s some information on the best times to drink smoothies to get the most out of your daily intake.
There are no hard and fast rules about when to drink smoothies. However, most people think breakfast is the best time to drink smoothies.
Drinking a smoothie first thing in the morning also helps kickstart your metabolism. The body burns more calories digesting food than just sitting around doing nothing. They are also rich in protein, which is essential for healthy diets. The fiber content in smoothies fills you up and prevents you from overeating at other meals or snacking throughout the day.
Before a Workout
Smoothies are a great option if you’re looking for a pre-workout energy boost. The carbs in fruit can help fuel your body with energy for exercise. Plus, most fruits are high in potassium, which helps muscles contract.
After a Workout
Your body repairs itself after exercise by producing new tissue and repairing damaged tissue (muscle breakdown). This process takes time and energy — so if you have a workout scheduled later that day or the next day, drinking something with protein is important post-workout to help fuel your body’s recovery efforts.
At Midday, to Reduce Cravings
Lunch smoothies can help curb cravings because they give you a quick dose of nutrients without weighing you down like a big meal would. And since they’re usually high in protein, they can also help keep you full until your next meal — making it less likely that you’ll reach for unhealthy snacks later in the day.
Drink your smoothie after dinner if you want it to help you sleep better at night. The calcium and magnesium found in dairy products like yogurt can help relax muscles and reduce stress levels, so it’s easier for stressed people at work or school to fall asleep at night.
When you’re sick
The best time to drink smoothies is when you’re sick. That’s because they’re easy to chew, which is important when your throat hurts. Smoothies are also packed with vitamins and minerals to help prevent illness or fight infection.
When are smoothies bad?
Many of us consume smoothies daily to get the nutrients we need. A smoothie is typically a combination of fruit, juice, yogurt, or protein powder. However, some of us still need to clarify whether they are healthy. If you’re careful about what’s in them, smoothies can be a good choice for your health.
Here are some times when smoothies are not the best choice:
When It’s Loaded With Sugar
Smoothies often contain fruit juice and added sugar, making them high in calories and difficult to digest. These ingredients also tend to spike blood sugar levels, which may make you feel hungry again soon after eating your smoothie — even before you’ve finished drinking it! If you want a healthy alternative to soda or juice, consider diluting 100 percent fruit juice with water instead of adding extra sweeteners or flavorings like honey or agave syrup that add additional calories but little else besides the sweetness.
When It’s Made up Primarily of Empty Calories
A typical smoothie contains hundreds of calories and very few nutrients. If you drink one daily for lunch or dinner, it will take only a few weeks for your weight to start creeping up. Smoothies should be used as an occasional treat rather than an everyday meal replacement.
When They Have Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are linked to weight gain, headaches, depression, and more. They’re also concentrated sources of highly refined carbohydrates that can cause spikes in blood sugar, leading to insulin resistance and other health problems.
If you must drink a smoothie with artificial sweeteners, at least try to use natural sweeteners like honey or stevia if possible. These natural sweeteners have fewer side effects than artificial ones do.
You’re using too much juice as a base
A good rule of thumb is that the liquid content should be at most 50% of the total volume of your drink. If you have a glassful of juice and then add some fruit, it’s not really a smoothie anymore, but just fruit juice with some chopped-up bits floating around.
You’ve added ice cubes or crushed ice instead of frozen fruit or yogurt
Ice cubes are made from purified water, which has no nutritional value. They will dilute your smoothie by lowering its temperature, flavor, and texture (since they melt faster than whole frozen fruits). Crushed ice is even worse because it requires extra processing compared to whole frozen fruits — one more step that can affect the nutritional quality of your drink.
Smoothies are generally a healthy and delicious treat, but there are some things you should consider before you indulge. Also, try to vary your smoothie ingredients as far as possible because switching up the fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients will keep your body from getting too much of one vitamin or mineral at once. Ultimately smoothie lovers should be concerned with their ingredients and know the best times to drink them.