As Canada's self-proclaimed "original juice and smoothie bar," Booster Juice offers fresh smoothies, juices and specialty shots so you can take your fruits and veggies on the go. However, if you're looking for a healthy booster juice or smoothies, you'll probably have to customize your choice a bit.
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While the juices and smoothies contain loads of vitamins and minerals, most of the smoothies are made with a sweetened additive, like frozen yogurt, whey protein or honey that contributes a lot of sugar. The juices don't have added sugar, but the amount of fruit used to make them is more than you would likely eat in an entire day and all the fiber is removed.
While the juices and smoothies at Booster Juice have lots of vitamins and minerals, they're also loaded with sugar. If you want the healthiest drink at Booster Juice, you'll have to find one without a lot of added sugar that's made with mostly vegetables, like the Hail to the Kale, or customize your own.
Be Wary of Sugar
All of the smoothies at Booster Juice start out promising with a base of fresh fruit, but by the time they're finished, many of them have added whey protein, frozen yogurt and honey — ingredients that may make the smoothie taste good, but can also add a lot of sugar. According to Harvard Health Publishing, these added ingredients can also contain fruit syrups and artificial sweeteners.
For example, the Bananas-A-Whey smoothie has 55 grams of carbohydrates, 45 grams of which come from sugar. The Ripped Berry smoothie comes in at a whopping 64 grams of carbohydrates and almost all of those — or 59 grams — are in the form of sugar.
Read more: Juices with the Highest Sugar Content
The fruits and vegetables used in the smoothies and juices certainly pack a punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals (the Hail to the Kale juice contains vitamins A, K, C and B6, as well as the minerals manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium).
But the good might not be enough to outweigh the bad when it comes to determining whether or not these smoothies and juices are a good choice, since the Hail to the Kale juice also contains 25 grams of sugar.
While it's true that the sugar in the juices is natural and comes from the fruit, it's still a lot to consume in liquid form. Plus, when the juices are made, the fiber is removed from the juice so the sugar travels through your digestive system faster and can spike your blood sugar pretty significantly.
Healthy Booster Juice Smoothies
One of the other issues with the smoothies and juices at Booster Juice is their size. The smoothies are 24 ounces (and contain four to five servings of fruit) and the juices are 16 ounces.
Since smoothies and juice are so high in sugar and empty calories from that sugar, Harvard Health Publishing recommends limiting your intake of juice to no more than 4 ounces per day, if you're going to drink them. Cleveland Clinic adds that you only need two to three servings of fruit daily.
That doesn't mean that you have to stay away from Booster Juice forever, but it's a good idea to limit your intake and customize your drinks, whenever possible. If you're trying to put together some healthy Booster Juice smoothies, ask for a small amount of berries, a handful of kale and unsweetened milk. Skip the frozen yogurt, honey and whey protein (unless they have an unsweetened option).
If you're looking for a healthy juice, ask them to go easy on the fruit (just one apple should do) and add more green vegetables, like kale, celery and spinach. If possible, split the juice with a friend, so that you're not drinking the whole 16 ounces.
Make Your Own Smoothie
That being said, if your goal for drinking a smoothie or juice from Booster Juice is weight loss, you'll probably want to look elsewhere or make your own healthy smoothie at home. This will allow you to control the ingredients and the portion size, so you're not overdoing it. As an added bonus, you'll probably save some money too.
To make a healthy smoothie, Harvard Health Publishing recommends combining a base of water or an unsweetened milk alternative, like almond milk, coconut milk or hemp milk, with a small amount of fruit, one-half cup to a full cup of vegetables, protein and healthy fat.
Read more: 10 Irresistible Weight-Loss Smoothie Recipes
You can also mix in ingredients, like vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder, cinnamon, ginger, mint leaves and instant coffee powder to enhance the flavor (and boost the nutritional value) without adding any extra sugar.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Are Fresh Juice Drinks as Healthy as They Seem?"
- Booster Juice: "Menu: Hail to the Kale"
- Booster Juice: "Menu: Bananas-A-Whey"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Drink Your Fruits and Vegetables?"
- Booster Juice: "Menu: Ripped Berry"
- Cleveland Clinic: "5 Ways to Make a Super Healthy Smoothie (Infographic)"