Smoothie VS Everything: What are the Differences?

Although many of us might consume juice for dinner and breakfast on a regular basis, very few individuals are aware of the benefits provided by smoothies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in case you don’t know the benefits of drinking smoothies. However, in this article, we will focus on what makes smoothies different from other drinks such as shakes and slushies.

A smoothie can be considered to be a drink prepared from pureed raw vegetables and/or fruits, usually by making use of a blender. Typically using raw veggies and fruits, smoothies consist of dietary fiber (for example, skin, pulp, and seeds), and are therefore thicker as compared to fruit juice often having a consistency like that of a milkshake.

Smoothies, especially “green smoothies“, which comprise green vegetables are popular among those people who are health-conscious and are considered to be healthier than shakes, milkshakes, slushies, or even Frappes.

That being said let us look at the differences between smoothies and other popular drinks.

Smoothie VS Milkshake

There are very few people who don’t like smoothies and milkshakes. On most occasions, these 2 drinks are considered the same. Nevertheless, there are some differences between them when it comes to consistency as well as preparation. Milkshakes are actually dairy-based and are mostly prepared using various fruits, flavored syrups, and ice cream.

On the other hand, smoothies are prepared from mainly fruits and veggies and usually include ingredients such as yogurt, seeds, and a liquid base (milk, water, juice, etc…).

Smoothies are packed with vitamins and minerals and thus they can be consumed as meal replacements, However, one cannot consume milkshakes as a meal. In case you would like to know the differences between the two, we have mentioned several of them below.


As suggested by its name, milkshakes have a dairy base and they typically use fruits, ice creams, and flavored syrups. As compared to a smoothie, its texture is thick, creamy, and frothy. This is due to the presence of ice cream and milk in the milkshake.

This drink is sweetened by the inclusion of flavored syrups like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and so forth. It likewise comes with lots of toppings on it such as whipped cream, candies, and fruits which help to make the drink rich in the content of sugar and fat.

Unlike smoothies, milkshakes cannot be considered to be meal replacements in spite of being loaded with protein and calcium. However, this can be easily changed by you to make it healthier in case you prepare the milkshake at your own residence.


A smoothie is mainly prepared using fruits and veggies along with other ingredients such as milk, seeds, fruit juice, or yogurt. Individuals who are intolerant to lactose can consume smoothies as an alternative option for milkshakes. Smoothies mainly use fruits such as berries and kiwis.

In fact, smoothie got this name due to its smooth texture. It is easily digestible and is extremely filling. Its texture is quite thick due to the vegetable and fruit pulp. The preparation of smoothies is done by blending fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts with a liquid base. On some occasions, individuals who like to shed pounds can consume smoothies as an alternative for meals.

Since not much dairy product is used in smoothies, these are low in the content of fat and rich in carbs. Smoothies are considered to be healthier as compared to milkshakes since their primary ingredients are vegetables and fruits. Grains and oats can also be added to smoothies for increasing their nutrient value.

Smoothie VS Shake

You will come across lots of health websites that are full of drink recipes intended to make you appear plus feel healthier. Although green smoothies and protein shakes are the 2 most common topics, what are the differences between them?

These 2 drinks appear almost similar when you look at them at first. Even though these are virtually interchangeable, there are some fundamental differences between them which I have mentioned in the following paragraphs.

The bottom line:

  • Shakes make use of creamier ingredients, while smoothies contain mainly vegetables and fruits and are thicker.
  • On most occasions, shakes consist of lots of protein, unlike smoothies.
  • While the common shake flavors are chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and caramel, the typical smoothie flavors are mango, strawberry, kiwi, green veggies, and pineapple.
  • Shakes and smoothies are both healthy so long as they are prepared by you at your home.
  • While shakes are ideal for post-workout, smoothies will be appropriate for pre-workout.

Texture and base

As compared to smoothies, shakes come with a creamier texture. For example, milkshakes; you can even make use of a spoon while consuming them because of their thickness. Right now, we will be referring only to shakes instead of milkshakes.

Shakes are usually prepared from ingredients that are health-friendly. On the other hand, milkshakes are typically based on ice cream. Shakes make use of ingredients that are healthier than ice cream – coconut milk, avocado, and frozen banana are some ingredients which are usually added to a shake.

This is not the same as smoothies which sometimes don’t come with a creamy texture. Since they consist of vegetable and fruit pulp, they could be thick as well. Although thickness can be added by frozen fruit, it cannot make the smoothie creamy.

The liquid base for the shakes is similar to the smoothie liquid base – coconut milk, milk, yogurt, or water.

Content of protein

It is the content of protein that mainly helps to differentiate shakes from smoothies.

It is possible for smoothies not to contain any protein whatsoever. On most occasions, the ingredients of the smoothies are restricted to veggies and fruits along with some nut butter or hemp seeds for increasing the content of protein.

Shakes usually consist of some sort of protein powder which will result in a creamy texture. On most occasions, shakes are designed as replacements for meals, and therefore, their nutrient proportion is more comprehensive.

That being said, protein powder can always be added to a smoothie if you like to increase its protein content. This will help the green smoothie to be converted into a protein shake very easily.

Flavor combinations

While thinking of a smoothie, a drink that is brightly colored comes to the minds of most people. The most well-known fruit smoothie flavors consist of kiwi/strawberry, pineapple/mango, orange/berry, as well as other fresh and sweet ingredients. The most well-known ingredients for green smoothies consist of spinach, cucumber, kale, romaine lettuce, and, of course, celery.

On the contrary, shakes are actually based on fat-based ingredients that are healthy. Well-known shake flavors consist of chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and caramel. The base of a shake is usually a creamy ingredient such as plant-based milk, milk, or water.

Which one is healthier – shake or smoothie?

At this point, you must be wondering which one is better for you, a smoothie or a shake? The answer to this question will depend on what you have included in the recipe and what is your purpose for consuming it.

It will be a good idea to have a smoothie that consists of mainly vegetable and fruit ingredients as a pre-workout drink. This type of recipe will be full of carbohydrates which can be burned by your body as fuel while working out. As compared to protein and fat, it is quite easy and quick to digest carbs.

On the other hand, shakes consist of lots of protein and they are considered better in the form of a post-workout drink. It is imperative to select your post-workout fuel sensibly since the recovery of your muscles is going to depend on protein to a great extent. Shakes, which consist of some carbs as well, are considered to be a proper combination for getting the desired results from your workout.

In case you’d like to find something that will be able to replace your meal, it will be sensible to make use of a shake or go for a smoothie recipe containing lots of protein and healthy fats. On many occasions, individuals will be consuming a blender loaded with spinach, almond milk, and strawberries, and then think why they are hungry after 30 minutes or so.

It will not be a sensible idea to consume one bowl of strawberries and hope that it will keep you full all afternoon; you should think of smoothies in the same manner. It would be possible to elevate the smoothie which you are consuming to the same level as that of a shake when it comes to nutritional value by including some peanut butter, hemp seeds, or protein powder.

Should you prepare your own shakes and smoothies?

It is important to bear in mind that the shakes and smoothies which are prepared by you at your own residence are healthier as compared to what you will purchase on-the-go.

What Should You Choose At a Smoothie Bar or Restaurant?

While placing an order for a shake or a smoothie, always make sure that you are receiving a natural product without any added sugar. It will be possible to find out whether it is healthy by asking these queries:

  • Is frozen yogurt or ice cream included in the recipe?
  • Is the fruit from concentrate, fresh or frozen?
  • Is any syrup used for adding color or flavor to the drink?
  • Is it possible to have information regarding nutrition for this particular drink?

If possible, try to obtain a listing of ingredients as well as an overview of the information regarding nutrition. It is imperative for the majority of the smoothie bar chains to supply this information to the customers.

Try to place an order for drinks containing less than 1.5 ounces of carbohydrates as well as the least possible amount of sugar. However, it is essential for all the sugar to be derived from fruits, and not from added sweeteners.

Shake vs. Smoothie: the verdict

Shakes, as well as smoothies, are both healthy alternatives depending on your nutritional requirements as long as they are prepared by yourself at your own residence. When it comes to exercise nutrition, smoothies will be the best option for pre-workout while shakes will be fantastic for post-workout. While placing an order for these drinks at any eatery, make it a point to ask queries and make sure that you are not served a milkshake instead of a smoothie!

Smoothie vs Juice

It is a fact that most of the residents of the US do not receive adequate vegetables and fruits in their everyday diet. One particular study revealed that just 14% of the individuals are actually fulfilling their daily food recommendation of 1.5 cups and only 9% are meeting their daily vegetable recommendation of 2 to 3 cups.

One typical method by which individuals make an attempt to increase their intake of veggies and fruits will be to just purchase a green juice from an outlet or consume a smoothie. However, the question is whether smoothies and juices will be the ideal option for upping your consumption of vegetables and fruits.


Juicing implies that you are going to discard the fiber while extracting the water and the nutrients from a vegetable or fruit. When selected meticulously, juices will be a good option for adding nutrients from the vegetables and fruits into your daily diet.

Nevertheless, it will not be a good idea to depend only on juice for satisfying the day-to-day recommendation since they lack the content of fiber and are not very filling. Try to avoid or at least limit the regular consumption of fruit juice since it is packed with lots of sugar.

Instead, make sure to go for juices that are vegetable-based that can be prepared by you at your own residence. Moreover, be aware of the juice “cleanses”. You need not depend on juice to detox for 3 to 7 days, and instead, include a green juice a couple of times every week which is focused on unprocessed food items into your balanced diet.

The pros: Juices, which are made from fresh vegetables, are loaded with minerals and vitamins just like a smoothie. Green juice can be perceived as a means to supplement a balanced diet with additional nutrients.

Juices can be digested easily and quickly since they are devoid of protein and fiber, and for this reason, it is essential to restrict an excessive amount of sugar in your juice in order to maintain your blood sugar levels.

The cons: It is a fact that juices are devoid of protein and fiber. In case you are not careful, juices can also add plenty of sugar to your diet, and therefore, try to include a higher amount of vegetables as compared to fruits within your juice.

In fact, approximately 80% veggies and 20% fruits will be ideal in a typical juice. Moreover, juices can prove to be somewhat more costly as compared to smoothies since it is imperative to use a higher amount of produce in a juice. One should likewise consume fresh juice almost immediately after preparation since it might lose some nutrients over time because of oxidation.


It will be possible to include more vegetables and fruits into your daily diet with the help of smoothies. You will be able to consume healthy fiber from the smoothie since everything will be simply pureed.

In case you are not careful it is possible for smoothies to be packed with sugar just like juices. You can use smoothies as an alternative for your meal since they can be filling as compared to juices which will only be able to supplement a breakfast.

The pros: It is possible to maintain all the fiber from vegetables and fruits which can help with satiety. On most occasions, smoothies will be able to provide you with adequate protein as compared to juices given that you will be able to include yogurt, milk, peanut butter, and so on.

For those individuals who do not prefer the taste of vegetables, it will be a sensible option to add greens to any smoothie since it will be able to conceal the bitter taste.

The cons: An excessive amount of sugary ingredients in the smoothie might turn into an unhealthy option in the long run. Make certain to include some vegetables and protein (in the form of yogurt) in the smoothie instead of including plenty of fruit juice or fruits.

Bottom line

Go for a smoothie in case you are looking to consume a healthy meal that you will be able to take along with you on-the-go. Green juice should be incorporated into your breakfast a couple of times every week for receiving the benefits of additional minerals and vitamins.

However, you should not rely on smoothies and healthy juices for fixing an unhealthy diet. They are going to work in case you use them for supplementing a healthy diet.

For more information about this topic, read my article – Is smoothie better than juice?

Smoothie vs Slushie

The most notable difference is that a smoothie is usually thicker as compared to a slushie. Smoothies are typically blended beverages with milk or yogurt, fruits, as well as juices.

On the other hand, slushies are more ice-based, which consist of reconstituted fruit juice that has been frozen to the preferred consistency.

Smoothie vs Frappe

Honestly speaking, there is a lot of difference between a smoothie and a frappe. A frappe is almost like a milkshake and it is made from milk, ice cream, ice cubes, as well as coffee.

Although it is possible to prepare a frappe manually, you will also come across some machines which will be able to get the job done as well. A frappe will be your ideal option in case you would like to receive a quick boost of energy on a hot summer day.

On the contrary, although a smoothie might be having the identical consistency as that of a milkshake, it is different in several ways. A smoothie will be your ideal choice in case you like to go for a healthy lifestyle since most of them are prepared with fruits and vegetables along with some extras such as nuts, seeds, or plant-based milk.

In spite of having an almost identical consistency as that of frappe, smoothies are typically prepared using a food processor or a blender. While it is possible to prepare frappes only in a few ways, there is no limit when it comes to preparing smoothies.