Juicing vs Smoothies (Alkaline FAQ)

juicing vs blending
Article by ross

Alkaline Juices vs Smoothies – The Definitive Answer

To juice or to smoothie. It literally is the question!

It’s one of my top ten most asked alkaline diet questions and so I wanted to clear this up for you once and for all!

In this video I give you:

  • The Anatomy of a Juice & Smoothie
  • The Benefits of Juicing
  • The Benefits of Smoothies (Blending)
  • Which is Best, When and Why
  • Which is best for YOU

Juices vs Smoothies – The Guide

First up – juices and smoothies are BOTH incredibly beneficial. I am never recommending one over the other, and I do love to have them both. They do have differences and there are strengths that both have that make them ‘better’ than the other.

Let’s get into it all now, so you can understand which to use, when and how often!

Which is Best: a Green Juice or Smoothie

Juices and smoothies are similar in many ways, but the big difference is, of course, that a juice is made with a juicer, and a smoothie is made with a blender.

[SEE ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to the Alkaline Diet]

Difference #1: The Fibre

The biggest difference is that the juice does not contain the fibre. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

It is a benefit to the juice that it does not contain the fibre, because this means the nutrients can be much more efficiently and quickly delivered to your cells and everywhere they are needed in the body.

Consuming the foods WITH the fibre means that there is some waste, not all of the nutrients will be used, and also it’s a slower, more inefficient process for the body to utilise the nutrients.

However, of course, it means you’re not getting the fibre!

And one of the benefits of the smoothie is that it DOES contain the fibre too – which is so important for your digestive system, hormone balance and so much more.

This is why I recommend both, and of course eating a well balanced, alkaline diet (which is naturally very fibre-rich).

Difference #2: The Ingredients

Juices give you much more scope to use certain tougher vegetables like carrot and beets and more (ironically) fibrous vegetables like celery and wheatgrass.

Smoothies allow you to get, arguably, more creative with things like nuts, seeds, fats and oils, powders and supplement add-ins and so on. My smoothies will regularly contain things like almonds, cashews, chia, cacao, maca and softer ingredients like avocado (you can’t juice an avo!).

Generally speaking, you can’t blend carrots and celery too well, and too many leafy greens like kale don’t work as well in smoothies…and of course, juicing cacao powder, avocado or chia seeds isn’t really going to work either.

But all of those ingredients are beneficial and again, this is why I recommend you enjoy BOTH juices and smoothies in your lifestyle.

The Anatomy of a Juice

In general, an alkaline green juice/vegetable juice that I would have and recommend would include a base of:

Cucumber
Celery
Spinach
Kale
Lettuce

That alone would be fantastic…

But I will also often add a selection from:

Turmeric root
Ginger root
Carrot
Beetroot
Watercress
Cilantro / Coriander
Bell pepper / Capsicum
Tomato
Lemon
Lime
Grapefruit
Chinese greens
Basil
Parsley
Broccoli

And if you’re feeling funky, you can also add a little extra boost with something like:

A scoop of green powder
MCT oil powder
Maca
Ashwaghanda powder
Turmeric or ginger powder (if you’re not using fresh root)
Cinnamon
And so on…

And I always recommend watering it down a little with:

Simply some filtered water
Coconut water to make it sweeter
Almond or coconut milk to make it rather different to normal!

These combinations give you endless possibilities!

The Anatomy of a Smoothie

There are kinda two directions you can go with alkaline smoothies:

– green; or
– creamy/chocolatey!

You’ll see what I mean as we go through some of the ingredients!

For a ‘green smoothie’ I will generally start with a base of:

Avocado
Cucumber
Spinach

Then add other veggies such as:

Lettuce
Tomato
Bell Pepper/Capsicum
Cilantro/Coriander
Parsley
Lemon
Lime

And then my ‘liquid’ using something like one of:

Coconut milk
Coconut water
Filtered water
Almond milk

For a ‘creamy alkaline smoothie’, you can get a bit more funky and creative with things like:

A similar base of:

Avocado
Cucumber
Spinach…

And then ingredients like:

Almonds
Cashews
Almond or cashew butter
Plant-based protein powder
Chia seeds
Cacao
Oats

And then your liquid:

Coconut milk
Almond milk
Coconut water
Filtered water

There are so many options with these!

What NOT to Juice OR Smoothie

The biggest thing to highlight here is FRUIT!. Please don’t add fruit to your juice or smoothie!

Why?

I explain everything in a lot of depth in my Alkaline Fruits Guide here and my Guide to Sugars & Sweeteners here.

The short version is this:

Fruit, as delicious as it is, contains fructose. And fructose is be a problem.

While most types of sugar can be metabolised by practically every cell in the body, fructose can ONLY be metabolised by the liver. We were not designed to eat the vast volumes of fructose we now eat.

Regular sugars – table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar – these are all 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Don’t get me wrong, the glucose is acidic, oxidising, inflammatory and bad news – but if you’re moderately active, the body can use it.

Fructose cannot be used and it stresses the heck out of the liver, the pancreas and so much more.

People think of fructose as a ‘natural sugar’, ‘fruit sugar’ or ‘healthy sugar’ but this is just not the case. It’s not only as damaging as any other sugar, but in reality – it’s actually worse.

The direct effects of fructose metabolism include:

  • 100% of the fructose being stored as fat cells – leading to weight gain, fatty liver disease & insulin resistance (and thus Type 2 Diabetes)
  • Fructose being processed by the liver heavily interferes with our appetite hormones
  • When our appetite hormones are out of balance, this metabolic shift to puts us into ‘starvation mode’ causing the body to store _all _food as fat
  • Fructose raises the levels of our ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin and when ghrelin is elevated our brain sends the signal that we’re always hungry, no matter how much we eat.

In short, fructose causes inflammation, liver stress, oxidative stress, uric acid formation, it makes us gain weight, we can’t stop eating it, and it makes us want to keep eating more. Not good.

And fruit contains a LOT of fructose.

And when you juice it and blend it it’s so much worse. With juicing it’s the worst as you remove the fibre, so all the fructose hits your liver very quickly, instantly stressing it.

With smoothies, you at least have the fibre in there to slow the process, but it’s still not beneficial. You are still consuming it way quicker (and usually in bigger quantities) than you’d have if you were simply eating it.

Keep your fruit to food and keep it to 1-2 pieces per day.

I explain it all a little more in this video too:

Keep your fruit to something you love EATING, and keep it out of your drinks.

(Note: if you want a little help making your green drink even more tasty, check out my guide here: The Green Juice Hacks)

Equipment Suggestions: Which Juicer and Blender to Buy?

Finally, I want to cover this for you quickly, because a lot of people ask about my recommendations for juicers and blenders. I want to say outright, I have no commercial relationship with any juice or blender company. I have included no links to products because you can research in your country and find a special deal. They come up a lot! It’s worth shopping around.

The Ideal Choice of Blender & Juicer

My personal choice that I use at home are Hurom juicers and Vitamix blenders.

They are a little more expensive up-front, but they will last for years and years. Cheaper juicers and blenders are not only not as good, but they also tend to break pretty easily, especially if you’re using them daily.

The Best of the Rest

For juicers my experience has shown me that if you can’t stretch to a Hurom (or Kuvings, also good) right now, it’s not worth spending more than $150-200. The quality of juicers between $50-$200 is negligible. You may as well save now, and put that money towards a Hurom later.

The benefit of the Hurom is that it gets you huge yield from your vegetables (in essence more juice per veg, which saves you money every day), it keeps more nutrients intact, and it’s really quiet and really easy to clean. Juicing can be a pain, so it’s worth it just to make the juicing experience more enjoyable!

With blenders it’s similar, but it’s also worth noting that going the extra mile for a blender is worthwhile because the cheaper ones can’t handle nuts, seeds or harder vegetables well. I love my Vitamix because I can throw ANYTHING in there and it makes it super-smooth. Cheaper blenders can’t do this.

Again, if you can’t stretch to a Vitamix (Nutribullet is also good, not as good, but good), then it’s not worth spending in the mid-range. Get a cheaper one now and save up for a Vitamix!

The Most Important Thing is To GET STARTED!

Whether you have just a juicer, or just a blender – or neither – the most important thing is to not let any of the minor details prevent you from taking action.

Having a fresh juice or smoothie daily is possibly the most powerful thing you can do for your health – the impact it makes is almost immediate!

GO FORTH AND DO IT NOW!

Ross

Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You

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  1. Kassandra Reply

    Hi 👋🏾 This is Kassandra please send me info about the Juice challenge to my email I recently order your book , when will you come to Atlanta GA for a health similar a lot of people need to know about the alkaline diet you can saved a lot of people life . 🥦🥗🥬🥒🥑🥕🥥🍋🍆🍅🍠

    • ross Reply

      Hey Kassandra

      I do the Juice Challenge once a year usually, and the last was in September, so will probably roll again in a couple of months (maybe a little earlier this year? Perhaps June/July?)…

      Thank you for your kind words (and emojis) – I am happy you feel that I can achieve my goal to help people…at this stage though I feel like I’m helping more people by being here in Brisbane but reaching the world through online means than me travelling everywhere to meet them in smaller groups. Plus I have a young family so travel as little as possible 🙂

      If I come to Atlanta though I will let you know!

      Ross

  2. David clack Reply

    Hi Ross
    I make up 2lts of veg juice and make 1lt last 2 or 3 days while I freeze the second one Lt for later on. Does freezing cause any damage to the juice?
    Thanks
    David

  3. John Hale Reply

    Please give us a recipe for a green smoothie to start your morning on a daily basis. We have been using berries. figs and pineapple with coconut watet. coconut yogurt with chia seed but are afraid we are using too much fruit after reading your article.
    We like a smoothie to start our mornings but want to stay alkaline healthy.
    Any suggestion please?
    Thank you very much.

  4. Eduardo Aversano Reply

    I am having smoothies since 1993 had them every day for 10 years, now I skip some days.
    Being a healthcare professional I think it is important to be healthy yourself,. I am also a health food advocate: eating organic. I eat no red meat, dairy or sugar I eat some fish and chicken but mostly veggies and some fruits. Of course it is very important to exercise . I am 65 and in great shape no pains no health problems and no meds in the last 45 years, I thanks all of this to what I eat. Started eating healthy when 18 and the smoothies at around 40.
    I personally prefer smoothies over juices cause the are all including. It’s more the whole food, no a part,but that is my opinion.
    Thanks o\for your information on the subject

  5. dianellasloan Reply

    What is better and easier to juice or to make smoothies for ra arthitis

  6. Ronnie Lowry Reply

    Hi Ross
    Started taking wheatgrass last month and thinking about growing it In West of Ireland. Would it be as nutricious as what comes from Utah or wherever?
    I’m using Wheatgrass juice powder at moment,got it in health shop but if buying on line(maybe cheaper) what would I look out for in buying PURE organic w/grass.
    Looking forward to hearing from u
    Ronnie

  7. gigi Reply

    You mention that there are a few juice/smoothie recipes… where are they?

  8. Marnie Kent Reply

    Hi Ross, I am looking to alkaline my body not to loose weight but to keep cancer at bay. I have just had a lumpectomy and want to eat alkaline foods as cancer cant thrive in an alkaline environment. You mention many time about losing weight, I dont need to loose weight. Do you have advice for cancer sufferers?

  9. tony church Reply

    Ross,how often should i take the kidney clense,i took it once already. tony

  10. Linda Reply

    Are Kombuchu drinks alkaline?
    Is Macadamia nut oil a good, alkaline oil?

  11. caroline L Reply

    Hello Ross,

    Thanks for all the info you provide!

    My question pertains to my morning “drink” as I would not necessarely call it a smoothie nor a juce (I use a NutriBullet)

    Here it goes:
    300ml of filtered water
    30drops of chlorophyle
    1.5 cup of organic baby spinach
    1 to 2 organic kiwis
    1.5 inch of fresh organic ginger
    1 inch of fresh organic tumeric
    1 teaspoon of morenga powder
    2 tablespoon of raw organic pea and sprouted grains vegan protein (is this enough protein??)

    what do you think?
    also, how much protein should one eat per day?

    I work out 45 min (30 cardio, 15 toning)
    I usually eat 1 meal of legumes 1 meal of poultry, fish or seafood a day (from fairly good to organic sources).

    Thanks for your feedback

    Caroline L.

  12. Ana Reply

    Hello Ross.

    I have been dissecting your site for the last 2 months as I have been going through a total health transformation after dealing with digestive issues, low energy and overall a lackluster health (mental and physical) for most of my 20s (I’m 30 now!). Thank-you so much for all the information and resources you provide … you really have given me a boost in the right direction!

    My question is… I read in one of your articles (I don’t remember which one and I can’t find the info) you mentioned the dangerous of mixing fruits in your smoothies/juices. You mentioned something about a spike in sugar levels and how it had a detrimental impact on your body(I can be totally wrong!). Can you elaborate on that point or just link the page in which you mention it. Sometimes with all the available information online, it’s confusing and a bit discouraging.

    Thanks again for everything you do!

    – Ana.

  13. Joanie Reply

    Really enjoy reading about your diet. I have always been fit, but took gobs of antibiotics for sinus problems, loved coffee and sugar.

    Ate too much good yogurt, salmon in large portions, loved nonfat milk. Have now made adjustments.

    2 questions: I juice once a day, carrots, one beet, celety, raw curcurim and an apple. Is this good???

    What kind of water should we drink. I work out at the gym regularly, am approaching 60. Bottled water for years. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

    Would love hearing your thoughts.

    Thank you much,

    Joanie

    • ross Reply

      Hey Joanie

      The juice sounds great – add a little leafy greens and it will be 1000% awesome.

      For the water, don’t overcomplicate for now – just get a decent filter to get the toxins, fluoride, chlorine etc out.

      Ross

  14. Joyce Reply

    Ross can you give me any information on the topic of “popcorn”
    I pop organic popcorn in grape seed oil and put many different oils on it (not butter) and “real salt”. I heard corn in general is bad and is popcorn worse? Want to know what effect on my system it has. Thank you.
    Joyce

  15. RICK COLLINS Reply

    The majority of nutrients are contained in the skin of a lot of vegetables, which are lost to the pulp chute when juiced. I have been told that when veggies are juiced , the juice is less alkaline. My question is, are both these statements true?

  16. Brian Bonnar Reply

    When making a juice, it is easier to make enough juice for say, 2-3 days ( 12 fluid ounces per day). What is never mentioned in all the footage, is whether the juice stays ‘good’ if kept in a fridge for this period of time, without the use of special air-tight containers? There have been inferences in the literature I have read, that once the juice is made and exposed to oxygen, the enzymes and nutrition are destroyed………what is the case?

    • Energise Ross Reply

      Hi

      When making a juice, I have found that it will tend to keep for around 6 hours in the fridge before the taste starts to change.

      Keep it in an air tight container to help lock the taste in for longer.

  17. Pingback: Get 7.25 Serves of Alkaline Vegetables in 6.34 Minutes

  18. Rosemary Reply

    Hi Ross,
    really enjoying the weekly emails and the book.
    I don’t know if you can buy Quorn in Australia (we went to Spain and could only buy it from an English freezer shop) It is a great substitute for meat especially when you have an allergy to soya. I just wondered what your take on it would be and if it would fit in with the alkaline diet as we really enjoy it in all it’s forms.
    Rosemary

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