Smoothie King is a personal favorite of mine, but I know that not every menu item is exactly healthy. While the chain definitely offers some good options, not all smoothies served are as nutritious as you would think. After scouring the Smoothie King nutritional information page, here are the four healthiest options I found for when you just need a pick me up.


Slim-N-Trim Orange Vanilla

This smoothie has 208 calories for a small (20 oz) size, and only 1 gram of fat. However, according to the restaurant’s website, the drink does have 36 grams of sugar, so it’s definitely a good idea to think of this more as a treat than as a staple in your diet.

Pure Recharge—Mango Strawberry

For a small, this flavor has only 210 calories. Again, these smoothies do tend to have a lot of sugar (this one has 50 grams), so I wouldn’t recommend them as an everyday food. But this drink does have 0 grams of fat and a small amount of fiber, which helps it to become one of the slightly healthier options on the menu.

Berry Carrot Dream

While this may not sound like the most appetizing smoothie on the menu, it definitely is one of the healthiest. While it has slightly more calories for a 20-oz portion than the ones listed above (278 calories), it definitely packs the most nutrients.

This smoothie contains carrots, strawberries, and bananas, as well as various fruit juices. Drinking carrots may not seem totally normal, but I can personally attest to the fact that you won’t taste them at all. Beware, however, that the fruit juices do have added sugars, bringing this drink to a whopping 58 grams of sugar in total.

Carrots also contain lots of Vitamin A, which is good for eyesight, so I would definitely recommend trying this variation at least once for a fun way to get some nutrients into your diet.

Gladiator—Strawberry, Chocolate, or Vanilla

After scouring through the Smoothie King nutrition facts pages, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Gladiator smoothies are definitely the best option if you’re looking for something low in calories and sugar.

For a 20-oz cup, all three flavors have only 180 calories and 0 grams of sugar. While all other smoothies contain juices that have added sugars, these smoothies don’t, making them your healthiest option by far. Additionally, they all have a huge amount of protein (45 grams), which will keep you full long after drinking them.

They are made from protein powder and your choice of two fruits, so you have the opportunity to make a slightly different smoothie each time.

The Takeaway

While Smoothie King definitely isn’t the healthiest place, it’s great for a treat every once in a while. For the most part, the smoothies tend to have a lot of sugar, but there are definitely some lower-calorie options that will help make up for it.

My personal favorite is the Gladiator Strawberry smoothie, which I make using strawberries and bananas. Next time you’re in the store, try to pick up one of these for a healthier treat that will leave you totally satisfied.

Smoothie King Review – 17 Things You Need to Know

  • User Comments
  • 10 Answered Questions

Who doesn’t love a smoothie? It has all the deliciousness of ice cream, but it doesn’t carry with it any of the guilt. Right? That’s what we used to think anyway. We decided to look into the ingredients, side effects, and clinical research surrounding this treat. We also read through hundreds of reviews to see what real people were saying. Then, we narrowed it all down to give you the bottom line.

Smoothie King can be purchased through their .

Smoothie King Readers: Noom is offering our readers a 14-day trial, for a limited time. for this special offer! Overview

What is Smoothie King?

Smoothie King is a privately owned franchise company that offers consumers smoothies and other nutritional products, including energy bars, herbs, sports beverages, healthy snacks, supplements, and more.

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×Explanation of Price

This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.

  • = Initial product cost is less than $5
  • = Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
  • = Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
  • = Initial product cost is $151 or more


Smoothie King Claims

Smoothie King claims to assist users in toning, muscle building, increased energy, and fast recovery.

These claims are hinged on the product’s ingredients such as creatine monohydrate, taurine, amino acids, and L-glutamine.

Though the company didn’t present any scientific research to back this claim, studies confirm the effectiveness of L-glutamine and amino acids for brain function. Taurine is a protein booster and so helps build muscles as claimed.

Slim enhancers help to burn fat and carbohydrates. This is Smoothie King’s claim on fat burning and weight loss.

The company analyzed the formula’s composition – green tea increases fat metabolism, muscle mass, and reduces fatigue and the formula gets a boost from L-carnitine while 5 HTP decreases the appetite and fiber slows down digestion to increase fullness.

No doubt, according to MedicalNewsToday, green tea has a connection to weight loss as shown by multiple studies.

Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.


Smoothie King Ingredients

Smoothie King Ingredients differ according to the various blends. For instance, high protein smoothies may contain nuts and peanut butter while lighter smoothies may consist of only fruit.

Generally, Smoothie King Ingredients are classified into fruits, nuts, protein, and vegetables.

On the Cleaner Blend tab of the website, Smoothie King’s choice of ingredients include:

  • Whole bananas
  • Whole mangoes
  • Whole carrots
  • Whole kale
  • Whole almonds
  • Raw plant-based protein
  • Whole wild blueberries

A sample recipe for the Activator Chocolate Blend includes:

  • Coconut water
  • Bananas
  • Protein blend
  • Gladiator
  • 100% cocoa

The company also lists stevia-based sweetener and oikos greek Yogurt as featured ingredients.

Does Smoothie King Work?

The nutritional facts about calorie content are just too high in some smoothies to be suitable for weight loss and fitness needs.

For instance, the hulk strawberry has a calorie content of 910 with many others counting close to that.

To burn fat, get slim, and build muscles should need something much less. The various ingredients in each formula contribute to how efficient the particular smoothie can be.

All fruit smoothies may not be that beneficial to health.


Smoothie King Benefits And Results

Smoothie King offers both health and business benefits to customers. On the richness of the company’s smoothies, Smoothie King offers

  • Real fruit blends
  • Make up for nutrient deficiencies in the body
  • Help build lean muscles
  • Aid weight loss
  • Help Keep fit and maintain wellness
  • Provides the franchise opportunity

Smoothie King and Weight Loss

Smoothie King’s weight loss strategy is based on eating healthy. The various flavors of Slim-N- Blueberry, and Lean1 formula, among others, are the company’s methods by smoothie for weight loss and weight gain prevention.

Lean1 is a meal replacement drink formulated with fiber, lactose-free protein, probiotics, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins to facilitate weight loss and maintenance.

Protein helps build muscles and fiber when taking in the right amount has a positive effect on weight reduction.

One of the smoothies, Lean1 Pineapple Mango, is a trademarked smoothie packed with ingredients for this purpose. The ingredients include mango, pineapples, pineapple Mango juice blends, and lean protein.

Diet Down and super Crain’s are recommended enhancers along with the drink for the best results.

The core nutritional facts of lean1 Pineapple Mango contain calories of 340 and other vital ingredients such as 17 grams protein and 29mg sodium and 8 grams fiber, but users can customize the smoothie to meet their requirements.

There are many other approaches and guidance by Smoothie King for weight loss.

You can find lots of experiences on the official blog of the company’s website.

How To Use Smoothie King

Smoothie King Smoothies are made to order for customers at Smoothie King Locations.

Side Effects

Potential Smoothie King Side Effects

Smoothie King Recipes and blends are made from real fruit according to the manufacturer. Some potential side effects include:

  • Gallstones
  • Sugar spike
  • Digestive issues
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Product Warnings

Smoothie King Product Warnings

Like most health items, Smoothie King comes with a set of warning labels.

The most important labels include that users who are pregnant should avoid drinking these smoothies unless approved by a physician.

Smoothie King Alternatives

There are many alternatives to Smoothie King smoothies, as many smoothie retailers have enough healthy choices. Some of the most popular include:

  • Jamba Juice
  • Tropical Smoothie Café
  • Clean Juice


Smoothie King Prices

Smoothie King Prices appear to be hidden somewhere on the official website. Perhaps the company wants to leave that to independent franchise owners to decide.

As seen in the past, smoothie retailers can be a little pricey. This sometimes has to do with the price of their ingredients, which in Smoothie King’s case, includes vitamins, green tea, ginseng, proteins, and other beneficial items.

Smoothie King Locations

Smoothie King has grown to be an international food retailer offering a variety of services. The company has many locations across the United States.

Internationally, you can find Smoothie King in Korea, Grand Cayman, and Trinidad, among others.

Smoothie King Smoothie Categories

Smoothies are the company’s main focus. The smoothies are classified according to their purpose, such as:


The fitness blend helps consumers to get toned, recover faster, and build muscle. The smoothies come in a variety of flavors and fruit mix.


Slim blends are for customers who are looking to burn fat, lose weight, reduce calories, and get lean.


The common saying is, “health is wealth.” If your purpose is to boost and strengthen your immunity and increase your intake of minerals and vitamins, the wellness blend is the best option.

Take a Break

This blend does exactly what it says. Users who are looking for a way to relax and enjoy some downtime, this is the smoothie for you.

Kid’s Cup

Your kids are not left out of the goodies offered by Smoothie King and ensure that kiddos will enjoy their products just the same.


Smoothie King Nutrition Goals

To ensure cleaner blends, the right ingredients are added while the wrong ones are eliminated from their production. All real ingredients of whole mangoes, whole carrots, whole bananas, whole kale, whole almonds, wild blueberries, and raw plant-based protein are added to the formula.

For a healthy drink, gluten trans-fat, NSF banned substances, hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup is taken out of the various blends.

Smoothie King claims not to stop here but continuously work to eliminate artificial flavors, GMO fruits, veggies, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives.

The company claims the goal is having smoothies that are low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and are dairy-free.

Smoothie King Loyalty Programs

The company offers a free loyalty program known as Healthy Rewards.

As a member of the program, you’ll earn $1 for every $10 you spend on Smoothie King Products. You only need to scan every purchase with your mobile app to get this reward.

For joining, the company offers a free $2, and you also receive special offers from the company.

“So happy I came by today. Was provided a great recommendation to try the Mango Kale vegan smoothie and boy, did it not disappoint!! How is this thing healthy?! In and out quickly despite the woman in front of the line ordering about 6 modifications to her smoothie. Shoutout to the staff for staying patient and providing great service (with a smile). I will be back!”

“The lady who took my order was very very rude, I wish I still had my receipt so I knew her name. Did not smile was looked at me like she was annoyed with the fact that she had a customer, and I got a mango kale smoothie. I’ve had it probably a dozen times and she didn’t take her time blending it or something, because I was getting chunks of mango and kale in my mouth, the flavors weren’t properly mixed and it was kind of gross. Honestly, this experience has ruined smoothie king for me.”

“Service was bad (they were very rude), long wait for smoothie (saw the car in front of me leave) with only 3 cars in drive through. 2 stars because smoothie was good.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Smoothie King

There are many frozen dessert franchises out there–Dairy Queen, Braum’s, Yogurt Mountain–and all things being considered; Smoothie King isn’t a bad choice when compared to those other establishments. If you are genuinely looking for a healthy meal-replacement smoothie or something to help you stay slim, however, the heavy dose of fat, calories, and sugar in the products makes that task pretty futile.

If you’re trying to incorporate healthier lifestyle choices to lose weight, we suggest using an app that’s unlike any other on the market.

Among the best weight-loss apps we’ve seen is one called Noom. It’s the combination of personalized tools and resources and human coaching that sets this app apart from the competition.

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Pre-workout, post-workout, breakfast, lunch, or snack—you love your smoothies (we do too!). They’re a quick and easy way to get your fruit and veggie fix and to sneak in some extra nutrients and superfoods. And for the times when your fridge isn’t stocked or you need to grab a drink and go, enter Smoothie King.

But smoothies can be tricky business. It’s easy to overload your blender with fruit and fixings. The result? A frozen drink bloated with calories and sugar that’s more milkshake than healthy drink.

The good news? Smoothie King announced in late 2017 that it’s eliminating added sugar from more than 50 of its smoothies and will remove artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives as well. Plus, its blended concoctions don’t contain high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats, according to their website.

While that’s a step in the right direction, you should still check out the nutritional facts for your smoothie before placing your order. “Choose options that contain less than 40 grams of sugar,” says Rebecca Ditkoff, R.D., founder of Nutrition by RD. But remember, moderation is key: “It’s still a lot of sugar to consume in one sitting, especially if consumed regularly,” Ditkoff adds.

You can also boost the nutritional profile of your smoothie. “Order kale as an add-in for any smoothie,” says Lindsey Pine, R.D.N. “You’ll get an extra boost of folic acid, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. The smoothies have so much flavor from the other ingredients so won’t even taste the kale!”

Another pro tip? Ask for two cups. “Size does matter—especially when it comes to smoothies. Large portions can lead to an excess consumption of calories as well as sugar, which can be detrimental to our waistline and overall health,” says Ditkoff. “Either share with a friend or bring it home and place it in the freezer for another day,” she says.

We asked three nutritionists to examine the Smoothie King menu for you and find the good-for-you choices. Here are their top picks:

Original High-Protein Banana

Smoothie King

If you’re looking for a breakfast smoothie, try this. “It’s a good combo of carbs from potassium-rich bananas, protein (28 grams) from whey protein, and healthy fats from almonds,” says Pine. “It even has five grams of fiber, which is super important for good gut health.”

Related: 9 Foods You Should Never Eat For Lunch

The Shredder Chocolate

Smoothie King

If you’re looking for a higher protein smoothie, registered dietitian Jodi Danen recommends this chocolatey sensation packed with 33 grams of muscle-building protein. Bonus: It also has six grams of fiber (helping to keep your full longer) and is lower in sugar (21 grams).

Making smoothies at home? This swap will make them so much more filling:

​ ​


Smoothie King

Along with chocolate and vanilla, this smoothie comes in strawberry and blueberry flavors, “providing health benefits from the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber found in the berries, which are found first on the ingredient list,” says Ditkoff. While the strawberry only has 240 calories and the blueberry has 260, this smoothie still sports 38 grams of sugar so be sure to watch your intake of the sweet stuff the rest of the day.

Related: What’s Worse For Your Bod: Sugar Or Salt?

Gladiator Chocolate

Smoothie King

Okay, this smoothie may feel like it’s a treat but it’s a solid choice. “The 20-ounce version contains only three grams of sugar and a whooping 45 grams of protein, which should help to increase satiety,” say Pine. She recommends opting for strawberries and wild blueberries for your two added fruits because they’re packed with antioxidants and good for brain health too. “Add in some kale for additional nutrients like folic acid and fiber,” she says.

Related: ‘I Drank Matcha Tea Instead of Coffee Every Morning for a Week—Here’s What Happened’

Lean Vanilla

Smoothie King

This smoothie lives up to its name. A 20-ounce serving is just 290 calories and sports eight grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. Danen likes its moderate sugar content (16 grams), making it a smart and satisfying choice.

Christine Yu Christine Yu is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and avid runner who regularly covers health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness for outlets like Well + Good, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and Outside.

Design-Your-Own Fruit Smoothie

One of my favorite combinations for this smoothie is vanilla low-fat yogurt with V8 Fusion Light (Pomegranate Blueberry) for the juice and frozen blackberries or blueberries for the fruit.


6 ounces (3/4 cup) any light or low-fat yogurt or plain yogurt

6 ounces (3/4 cup) any 100% fruit juice

1 cup any frozen or fresh fruit

1 cup crushed ice

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed


  1. Add ingredients to blender or food processor and pulse until mixture is blended and smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Makes 1 serving

Vanilla Chai Smoothie


1/2 cup vanilla light soymilk (such as Silk brand)

1/2 cup vanilla light or low-fat yogurt

2/3 cup frozen banana slices

1/2 cup crushed ice

2 pinches ground cinnamon

2 pinches ground ginger

1 pinch ground cloves


  1. Add ingredients to blender or food processor and pulse until mixture is blended and smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Makes 1 serving

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie


1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk (or 1/2 cup 1% or nonfat milk plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons natural-style smooth peanut butter

2/3 cup frozen banana slices

1 packet Splenda or other alternative sweetener of your choice (optional)

2/3 cup crushed ice


  1. Add ingredients to blender or food processor and pulse until mixture is blended and smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Planet Smoothie Kicks Off the New Year with Three New Smoothies

Just in time for cold and flu season, the Immune Defense smoothie is blended with ingredients that have essential vitamins as well as an added Immunity Blast. Made with orange juice, pineapple, strawberries and an Immunity Blast, this smoothie will help defend against those pesky germs.

To round out the Blasted with Benefits smoothies’ trio is the protein-packed Power Protein smoothie. Blended with blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, frozen yogurt, nonfat milk, and a Whey Protein Blast, this smoothie features 26g of total protein in just a 22oz. size.

“Planet Smoothie is your one stop shop this New Year to enjoy some delicious smoothies that also have some serious benefits,” said Nicole Butcher, director of marketing at Kahala Brands™, parent company of Planet Smoothie. “Whether your goal is to bulk up, slim down, or fight off a winter cold, Planet Smoothie has the smoothie for you!”

In addition to the three promotional Blast supplements, Planet Smoothie also offers three more Blast supplements that can be added to any smoothie on the menu to enhance your smoothie creation!

The new Blasted with Benefits smoothies are available until April 28.

Promotional Smoothies:

  • Fat Burner Fit – cocoa, cayenne, almond milk, bananas, frozen yogurt, nonfat milk, and a Fat Burner Blast
  • Immune Defense – orange juice, pineapple, strawberries and an Immunity Blast
  • Power Protein – blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, frozen yogurt, nonfat milk, and a Whey Protein Blast

About Planet Smoothie

Planet Smoothie®, intent on redefining the smoothie category, is among the country’s top smoothie concepts. The brand appeals to a demographic of loyal, active and occasion-driven customers who want to live a healthier lifestyle. Planet Smoothie offers real fruit smoothies with lower calorie, lower sugar, and higher protein options, giving customers a quick, portable snack or meal replacement. The brand’s menu is organized into lifestyle categories to assist customers in finding the smoothie that helps them to achieve their personal goals, including protein, energy, and Planet Lite™ categories. The Planet Smoothie brand operates approximately 130 locations in over 20 states. In 2015, Planet Smoothie was acquired by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Kahala Brands™, one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the world with a portfolio of 27 quick-service restaurant brands and approximately 2900 locations in 28 countries.

For more information about Planet Smoothie, Please visit:

For more information about Kahala Brands, please visit:

SOURCE Planet Smoothie

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Planet Smoothie Launches Low-Calorie Line

Planet Smoothie has launched PLANET LITE – a new line of 10 smoothies with fewer than 300 calories.

“Smoothies are one of the largest and fastest growing beverage segments, so we’re thrilled to announce the addition of our PLANET LITE line to our permanent menu for consumers who want great tasting, lower calorie options,” says Donna Smith, VP of Marketing at Planet Smoothie. “We know the calories in these delicious drinks can add up. With PLANET LITE, we have answered Americans’ craving for low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol, on-the-go meals and snacks that taste great with real ingredients for a healthier lifestyle.”

All of the new PLANET LITE 22—ounce smoothies are sweetened with the company’s proprietary LeanLeaf sweetener, made from a blend of agave and stevia, two of the sweetest plants on the planet. The sweetener is anywhere from 40 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose, the chief component of sugar.

Consumers can also request add-ins to the PLANET LITE line with ingredients like leafy greens (Swiss chard, kale and spinach) and/or supplements of vitamins and proteins to increase energy and burn fat.

“Some people don’t come near the suggested daily requirements of fruits and veggies each day because they don’t like them, or they don’t have time to shop for and cook with them,” says Smith. “The PLANET LITE line and the add-ins are an easy way to improve your diet in a delicious tasting drink that doesn’t require much effort or planning.”


· 2 Piece Bikini – strawberries, bananas, vanilla, nonfat milk and fat burner blast supplement

· Crazy Bee – mangos, strawberries, honey and a multivitamin supplement

· Leapin’ Lizard – peaches, strawberries and fat burner blast supplement

· Lunar Lemonade – strawberry or raspberry, lemonade, bananas and fat burner blast supplement

· Mediterranean Monster – strawberries, bananas, splash of orange juice and fat burner blast supplement

· Pina Colada – banana or strawberry, coconut, pineapples, nonfat milk, vanilla, fat burner blast supplement

· Strawberry Aphrodite – strawberries, bananas, Greek yogurt

· Screamsicle – pineapples, peaches, orange juice, frozen yogurt, orange sherbet, multivitamin or immunity supplement

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Eleven-dollar cold-pressed juice may be a status symbol in some places, but nutritionists (and some celebrity trainers) think smoothies are a far better option. Pressed juices gives you multiple servings of produce in a chuggable format, which is good, but they don’t help keep you full because there is next to no fiber left after the ingredients have been pulverized. Smoothies, on the other hand, can stave off hunger longer. But is drinking calories in any format a good thing? Can you really have a smoothie every day and not gain weight?

It depends on what’s in it, says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, a nutritionist in Atlanta. A fruit-only smoothie isn’t that much better than a cold-pressed juice, but a smoothie with fruit, vegetables, and a source of protein is a different story.

Here’s the problem with fruit: “A lot of people love the flavor of a fruit smoothie so they’ll add bananas and pineapple and peaches and mango — all those things on their own are very healthy,” says Moore. “But if it’s just fruit, it’s digested very quickly and that usually leads us to feel hungry a lot quicker. Then mid-morning you might find yourself at the vending machine.” Or ravaging the office birthday cake later.

You don’t have to avoid fruit, but you should treat it as a sweetener — it should not occupy the majority of the space in your blender, Moore says. Ripened bananas are convenient for smoothies because, by that time, they’re sweeter than normal and if you have a bunch sitting around you can cut them up and keep them in the freezer. If you hate bananas or don’t have any, Moore suggests frozen grapes. You do not need honey or agave: Those are straight-up extra calories.

Moore encourages people to make or buy smoothies with a source of protein like nut butter or yogurt (Greek or regular) for satiety, alongside the standard fruit, but veggies should really be in there, too. They’ll help make the mixture substantial enough to keep hunger at bay without being a calorie bomb. She likes greens with a mild taste, like spinach, chard, and Lacinato kale, a.k.a. Tuscan kale. (And, yes, even a handful of spinach will change the color to a weird green-gray, but whatever, just drink it.)

If you’re having a smoothie for breakfast, some extra healthy fat is a great addition. I think you know what that means: avocado. “Avocado is a perfect way to add creaminess to a smoothie, and of course it’s going to help you feel fuller for longer,” she says. Speaking of breakfast, if you’re the type of person who didn’t use to eat in the morning but now you drink a solid, balanced smoothie, that will only help with weight management.

For times when you’re ordering at a smoothie bar rather than firing up a blender, just consider the ingredients listed. If there’s no protein in the blend you want, ask for some peanut or almond butter. But there are other times when you might be in a smoothie-bar desert when a craving strikes. Dare you purchase a pre-made blend at the grocery store? You need to look at the ingredient list.

“On the front it might say ‘green whatever’ but the first ingredient is apple juice. That just tells me that that product is primarily fruit juice and it may not be providing you with the nutrition that you’re looking for.”

These drinks do also have fruit purée, but remember that ingredients are listed in order of weight so there’s more juice than fruit in them. And there’s usually very little protein, unless you pick up one of the protein formulas which often taste like chalk.

Overall, the right blend can help you get your produce without making you feel starving. And while it’s not a chic bottle of green juice, it looks a hell of a lot better than a SlimFast.

11 Unhealthiest Restaurant Smoothies in America

If you think you’re making the smart choice by ordering a smoothie, think again. Even the healthiest smoothies at major chains contain a worrisome amount of sugar. Starbucks, for example, offers one of the healthiest options, but their offerings contain 41 grams of sugar. Most of that sugar comes from real fruit, but be aware: The World Health Organization recommends that we eat no more than 25 grams per day for optimal health, while The USDA recommends that we eat no more than 50 grams. Keep an eye out for the smooth criminals below and trade them in for the 150+ delicious drinks in Zero Belly Smoothies!


Dairy Queen Tripleberry Premium Fruit Smoothie

Courtesy of Dairy Queen

Large, 24 oz: 460 calories, 1 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 110 g carbs (2 g fiber, 106 g sugar), 8 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 26.5 packets

Somehow the ice cream Queen managed to swell this smoothie with 106 grams of sugar, making it one of the sweetest sips on this list. And since there’s hardly any protein or sugar to counteract the effects, you’re bound to suffer a major crash soon after you finish slurping.

Although the Strawberry Banana Julius would be a relatively good swap as it has the least amount of sugar per serving, it also has the least amount of real food ingredients: It’s mostly “unflavored base water,” dextrose, citric acid, salt, and sodium carboxymethylcellulose.

To slash 50 grams of the sweet stuff from your order (the equivalent added sugar count of what the USDA recommends you have in an entire day) while still getting real fruit and some probiotics, opt for a smaller version of the Mango Pineapple Premium Fruit Smoothie. Curious how all of your other favorite DQ treats stack up? Check out our special report Every Dairy Queen Blizzard—Ranked!!

Drink This Instead:
Mango Pineapple Premium Fruit Smoothie
Small, 8 oz: 250 calories, 0 g fat, 95 mg sodium, 95 g carbs (1 g fiber, 56 g sugar), 4 g protein


Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d Smoothie

Courtesy of Jamba Juice

Large, 28 oz: 980 calories, 29 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 620 mg sodium, 152 g carbs (6 g fiber, 131 g sugar), 26 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 32.75 packets

Yes, we could have chosen to show the medium-size beverage that has a similar volume to all our other picks, but we chose to showcase the absurdity of this large. We’re shocked that Jamba Juice even allows people to buy a smoothie that’s nearly 1,000 calories and 131 grams of sugar. This sip gets such high levels of macros by tossing peanut butter, bananas, vanilla frozen yogurt, and chocolate milk into a blender. If you wouldn’t pound three-and-a-half cans of soda in one sitting, you should be skipping out on this waist-expanding smoothie. Sorry, but you can get more protein for significantly fewer calories and the exact same peanut buttery flavor profile with our Drink This! pick.

Drink This Instead:
PB & Banana Protein Smoothie with Whey Protein
Large, 28 oz: 740 calories, 33 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 390 mg sodium, 76 g carbs (6 g fiber, 64 g sugar), 39 g protein


Cold Stone Mango Pineapple

Courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery

20 oz: 600 calories, 8 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 133 g carbs (1 g fiber, 112 g sugar), 1 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 25.75 packets

Made with “real pineapple,” mango juice, and their “Lifestyle smoothie mix,” which sounds suspiciously like sugar syrup, this is not the kind of lifestyle we’re aspiring to. With 112! grams of sugar, you’d be drinking the liquid equivalent of four Kit Kat bars.

Instead, order the Strawberry Banana flavor—or lose more weight with one of these low sugar fruits. To increase the staying power of your pineapple blueberry smoothie and slow down the absorption of the sugar, ask for a small side of peanuts. (They have them on hand as an ice cream topper.) With 4 grams of protein for just 90 calories per half-ounce, they’re just the addition this drink needs to keep you satiated for hours to come.

Drink This Instead:
Strawberry Banana
20 oz: 480 calories, 9 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 101 g carbs (6 g fiber, 66 g sugar), 2 g protein


Smoothie King ‘The Hulk’ Strawberry

Courtesy of Smoothie King

Large, 40 oz: 1,680 calories, 47 g fat (32 g saturated fat), 810 mg sodium, 272 g carbs (67 g fiber, 230 g sugar), 54 g protein

The USDA recommends that we eat no more than 50 grams of sugar a day. Out of 230 grams of sugar in this smoothie, Smoothie King tells us 154 are added sugars, which means that this smoothie breaks through that barrier over three times! Plus, liquid calories are absorbed more quickly than solid calories, because the digestion process is quicker. That’s a sugar rush that will send you flying! Not only will switching to Lean1 Strawberry eliminate nearly 700 calories from your order, it also reels in the sugar count to a far more respectable amount. For even more ways to cut back on the white granular stuff, check out these easy ways to cut back on sugar!

Eat This Instead!
Greek Yogurt Strawberry Blueberry Lean1 Smoothie
20 oz: 320 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), <5 mg sodium, 70 g carbs (7 g fiber, 57 g sugar), 12 g protein


Red Mango Pomegranate Smoothie

Courtesy of Red Mango

24 oz: 400 calories, 1 g fat (0 g trans fat), 320 mg sodium, 93 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 90 g sugar), 6 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 22.5 packets

Yes, this smoothie has probiotics, but that’s no reason to order it. This smoothie has the sugar equivalent of 10 Fudgsicle Pops. We just have one question: Why does Red Mango add stevia—an all-natural zero-calorie sweetener—to a smoothie with 90 grams of sugar? Do people want it to taste even sweeter? If that’s the case, cut back on the actual sugar count and increase the stevia. (Curious what other “healthy” noms will expand your waistline? We’ve got you covered in our report, 14 “Health” Foods Worse Than a Donut.)

If you simply must order a pomegranate flavor, you’re better off going with “The Pomegranate Protector” off the “Body Balance” menu, which has 400 calories, 76 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein in a 24-ounce cup. But our favorite pick comes from the “Fruit Harmony” menu, which comes with the lowest sugar count of all the smoothies on the menu.

Drink This Instead:
The Strawberry Sonata
24 oz: 230 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (5 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 3 g protein


Baskin Robbins Mango Banana Smoothie

Courtesy of Baskin Robbins

16 oz: 450 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 107 g carbs (3 g fiber, 96 g sugar), 5 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 32 packets

The second ingredient in this healthy sounding sip is sugar, which explains why it contains more of the sweet stuff than five York Peppermint Patties. (Various forms of sugar are also listed as the ninth and tenth most used ingredients in this drink. ) While we typically like to make swap suggestions that have a more reasonable nutritional profile, in this case, we couldn’t swing it. The only other smoothie option at Baskin Robbins is our swap and takes the cake as healthiest smoothie at Baskin Robbins because it’s slightly better than the Mango Banana flavor. Get the Strawberry Banana Smoothie and size down to the 12-ounce cup to keep your love handles from tripling in size.


Planet Smoothie PBJ


22 oz: 610 calories, 24 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 89 g carbs (9 g fiber, 53 g sugar), 18 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 13.25 packets

The list of ingredients in this smoothie starts out well (peanut butter—we can get behind that for the protein) and turns sinister (frozen yogurt—what is this, a dessert?). The result is a caloric punch that’s 70 calories more than a Big Mac—and nearly as much sugar as you’d find in a snack size McFlurry with M&M’s candies. It gets even worse if you upgrade to the 44-ounce version. (Also, Planet Smoothie: Why do you offer a size this big?!) Doing so means you’ll consume 1,230 calories (that’s two whole Big Macs), 49 grams of fat (also almost the equivalent of two Big Macs), and 107 grams of sugar (that’s nearly seven McDonald’s Baked Apple Pies).

Ditch the froyo and go with the Chocolate Elvis. It might sound counterintuitive, but you’ll enjoy dessert flavors at a fraction of the calories and sugar if you choose this protein-packed smoothie instead. For more calorie-saving swaps, check out these 25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories.

Drink This Instead:
Planet Smoothie Chocolate Elvis
22 oz: 400 calories, 17 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 78 g carbs (6 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 15 g protein


Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine

Courtesy of Jamba Juice

Medium, 21 oz: 470 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 103 g carbs (1 g fiber, 97 g sugar),10 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 24.25 packets

Perhaps the “dream” in the name is induced by the sugar crash you have shortly after riding this Machine. Built on a base of orange juice, orange sherbet, and nonfat frozen yogurt, this smoothie is a calamitous collision of sugars.

The somewhat similar, but very different, Orange Carrot Karma cuts the calories and sugars significantly, and adds 4 grams of fiber, by swapping whole bananas and mangoes into the mix and using carrot juice as a liquid rather than sugary sherbert. This is one of the lowest-sugar, healthiest smoothie options you can find on the Jamba Juice menu.

Drink This Instead:
Jamba Juice Orange Carrot Karma Smoothie
Medium, 21 oz: 270 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (4 g fiber, 57 g sugar), 4 g protein


Red Mango The Banana PB Protein

Courtesy of Red Mango

24 oz: 620 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 520 mg sodium, 94 g carbs (6 g fiber, 72 g sugar), 20 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 18 packets

Aside from the fro-yo, this smoothie sounds like it would be pretty healthy, as it calls for things like banana, peanut butter, flax seeds, granola, and protein powder to round out its flavor profile. But don’t get it twisted; this drink is a prime example of a fraud. A mere half-cup of Red Mango’s frozen yogurt has 12 grams of sugar, and far more than that goes into this drink. Not to mention, granola is one of the most sugary add-ins in smoothie land.

By ordering the Skinny Strawberry option instead, you’re cutting the calorie count over half and getting more naturally occurring sugars in your drink, and less of the added kind, making it the better pick. Plus, you’ll still get a hefty amount of protein. For even more healthy A.M. picks, check out these healthy overnight oats recipes.

Drink This Instead:
Skinny Strawberry
24 oz: 240 calories, 15 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (4 g fiber, 35 g sugar), 12 g protein


Planet Smoothie Grape Ape


22 oz: 480 calories, 0 g fat, 55 mg sodium, 120 g carbs (3 g fiber, 94 g sugar), 0 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 23.5

Taking the cake for highest sugar count per fluid ounce at Planet Smoothie is the “energizing” Grape Ape. Although it has an “energy blast” ingredient, this smoothie will leave you nothing but sluggish after your blood sugar spikes and then crashes after digesting 94 grams of sugar in the 22-ounce cup or a whopping 187 grams of sugar in the 44-ounce version. If you’re looking for a drink to give you long-lasting energy, opt for one with a high fiber, healthy fat, and protein count, like the Nutty Brazilian. And speaking of snacking smart, be sure to stock up on some of these delicious best foods for energy.


Red Mango Mango Melange

Courtesy of Red Mango

24 oz: 410 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 97 g carbs (5 g fiber, 87 g sugar), 6 g protein

Sugar equivalent: 21.75 packets

Drinking this smoothie is the sugar equivalent (technically—it has 7 grams more) of taking down an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla. That’s probably because Red Mango’s nonfat yogurt is ingredient number one. The fruit-based Citrus Mango Greens smoothie only uses mango, spinach, banana, and orange juice to create a slightly more balanced sip—plus it has a serving of leafy greens!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published June 27, 2016, and has since been updated to reflect current nutritional values.

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Bad News: That Smoothie You’re Ordering Probably Isn’t Healthy at All

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Stopping at your favorite smoothie chain may seem like a healthier choice than a fast-food drive-thru, but is it? Most of these smoothie shops boast fresh, healthy smoothies, but the ingredients and nutrition facts of many menu items say otherwise. Here, we break down what to look out for and what to order instead.

They’re not using real fruit.

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Most smoothie chains don’t advertise that they use whole, blended fruit in their smoothies, but the average consumer probably wouldn’t expect something labeled as a “fresh fruit smoothie” to be made with fruit syrups, purees, and juices from concentrate instead. Some smoothie chains even use fruit sherbert in place of actual fruit but don’t list it on their in-store menu. If they do tout using whole fruit in their smoothies, it’s often only one ingredient (such as bananas).

Jamba Juice recently came under fire for its use of these processed fruit products, as a major health-advocacy group filled a class-action lawsuit against the company for deceptive marketing schemes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest claims Jamba Juice is tricking its consumers by advertising “whole fruit and vegetable smoothies,” when in reality, many of them aren’t made with any whole produce at all.

Checking a smoothie chain’s website for a list of ingredients, rather than scanning an in-store menu, is the best way to determine if your favorite smoothie is actually made with real, whole fruit or should just be considered dessert instead.

There’s a ton of added sugar.

Image zoom Kelsey Hansen

Besides all the sugar-laden syrups, purees, and juices used by many chains, additional sugar is also on the ingredient list. Sugar is typically one of the first ingredients listed for many smoothies, and it is often referred to as Turbinado. Turbinado is considered a more natural form of brown sugar, but is still sugar nonetheless. The popular Orange Julius chain even has an “Orange Julius Sweetener” added to many of their menu items, and it’s made with high fructose corn syrup.

You can usually ask for your smoothie without added sugar or Turbinado, but it really shouldn’t be there in the first place if the company boasts serving healthy smoothies. The yogurt used by many smoothie chains is also often a secret sugar-bomb, and it is worth asking if there’s a plain or lower-sugar option.

Watch out for the added dairy.

Image zoom Anastasia Smanyuk

Most people blend their fruit smoothies with some milk-based product at home, but many smoothie chains use much less nutritious forms of milk in their smoothies. Besides the previously mentioned high-sugar yogurt products used, frozen yogurt and sherbert are popular ingredients, and Smoothie King even uses ice cream in some menu items.

The first ingredient listed for a strawberry flavor of The Hulk, a Smoothie King menu item listed under “Fitness Blends,” is butter pecan ice cream, and additional sweeteners are still added here, with turbinado sugar listed as the fourth ingredient. An unsuspecting consumer might order this “Fitness Blend” smoothie, thinking it’s healthy, when really they would be better off ordering a strawberry milkshake from Chick-Fil-A as an occasional treat.

If possible, ask for your smoothie to be blended with milk and frozen bananas, or plain yogurt rather than frozen yogurt, for a healthier option that’s still just as creamy.

What to Order Instead

We searched the menus and nutrition facts to find the healthiest options and worst offenders on the menus of five popular smoothie chains. Here are our picks:

Orange Julius

What to Order: Triple Berry Light (160 Calories; 38g Sugar for a Small)

While none of the chain’s smoothies are impressive by our health standards, ordering a “Light” version of one of their fruit smoothies is the healthiest option at Orange Julius. This flavor doesn’t have the additional sweeteners, but it’s worth noting it’s not made with real fruit.

What to Avoid: The Julius Original line

These blended drinks have tons of additives and over double the calories of the light fruit smoothies. You’d honestly be better off having a scoop of ice cream as a treat.

Jamba Juice

What to Order: Kale-Ribbean Breeze (320 Calories; 48g Sugar for a Small)

The Whole-Food Nutrition and Fruit & Veggie lines of smoothies are the healthiest items on Jamba Juice’s menu. While a sugary juice blend is the first ingredient in this smoothie, the rest of the ingredients—such as kale, mango, nonfat greek yogurt, and chia seeds—are wholesome.

What to Avoid: Strawberry Surf Rider

While you can probably guess the “Creamy Treats” line and flavors like “Cookies & Creme” don’t stack up nutritionally, this smoothie is a sneaky sugar bomb. It is made with both lemonade and sherbet, packing 70 grams of sugar in a small.

Smoothie King

What to Order: The Activator Strawberry Banana (270 Calories, 32g Sugar for a Small) Strawberries, bananas, coconut water, and a protein blend are the only ingredients listed in this smoothie, making it an impressively healthy option. It is also lower in sugar than many other fast-food smoothie options.

What to Avoid: ALL of The Hulk smoothies should be avoided.

Some of these flavors have over 100 grams of sugar and over 600 calories for a small size. Even if you are looking to bulk up or gain weight, eating whole foods is a much healthier way to go.

Interested in making your own smoothies at home?

  • Our Best Green Smoothie Recipes
  • Healthy Smoothie Recipes
  • Smoothies Under 250 Calories

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

What to Order: Detox Island Green (180 Calories; 29g Sugar for a Small)

Ask for this smoothie without added sugar, with dates, or with extra banana for a more nutritious sweetener. While we aren’t able to determine how much whole fruit is used in Tropical Smoothie’s menu items, this is definitely the healthiest option.

What to Avoid: Bahama Mama (500 Calories: 110g Sugar for a Small)

This item may look like your ordinary fruit smoothie, but for some reason, white chocolate is one of the ingredients. This smoothie has more than triple the recommended daily limit for sugar intake. Yikes.

Planet Smoothie

What to Order: Nutty Brazilian (350 Calories; 23g Sugar for a Small)

With three ingredients—acai, bananas, and peanut butter—this is a healthy option to order, and it packs in some protein to keep you full. There are even seven grams of fiber in this smoothie, which is better than most fast-food options. Most items from their “Protein” line also stack up well for those looking for a post-workout meal.

What to Avoid: The “Planet Favorites” line.

These smoothies do stack up better than most chains when it comes to sugar content, however, they are all made with either sherbet and frozen yogurt and should be seen as a treat.

The Bottom Line

Image zoom Photo: Rachel Johnson

We’re not telling you to ditch your smoothie habit—especially if you would choose fast food or nothing to eat otherwise. However, we are encouraging you to do some investigating on your favorite menu items and find the healthiest option for yourself.

You will also save calories, sugar, and money by making your own smoothies at home. You can add smoothie prep into your weekly meal prep session or whip up the Ultimate Healthy Breakfast Smoothie whenever you want to boost your nutrition for the day.

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