Shakes vs Smoothies – Is One Healthier Than The Other

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Most health websites are jam-packed with healthy drink recipes designed to provide us with a boost of vitamins, nutrients, and proteins.

We’re often shown a wide range of shake and smoothie recipes that we can make at home.

While both of these beverages are generally pretty great, most of us are left wondering which ones are healthier. The fact you’ve landed here tells us you’re wondering the same thing. 

If you are, great, you’re where you’re meant to be. In today’s post, we’re going to look at shakes vs smoothies in more detail.

We’ll look at the main differences between the two drinks and explain why both types of drinks can be just as healthy as each other.

If you want to learn more about shakes and smoothies, make sure you stay tuned!

What’s The Difference Between Shakes And Smoothies?

Before we can start to understand which drink is healthier, we need to know the key differences between the two types of beverages.

This will help you better understand why one drink might be healthier than another.

It will also help you distinguish between the two as both drinks are very similar. The main differences between shakes and smoothies lie in the texture and amount of protein added to each drink.

Generally speaking, most smoothies have a super thick texture. On the other hand, shakes are usually a lot creamier. Shakes typically contain a large dosage of protein, while smoothies do not.

The flavors of each type of drink are usually very different too. Shakes typically have a chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, or vanilla flavor.

Smoothies on the other hand, usually have a fruit or vegetable flavor like mango, kiwi, strawberry, and pineapple.

We’ve outlined some of the main differences in more detail below!

Texture & Base

The texture & base of shakes and smoothies are typically where the biggest differences lie. A shake will normally have a much thicker texture than a smoothie does.

Most shakes are thick enough that you could drink them with a spoon if you wanted.

However, this is most commonly the case when shakes have been made with an ice cream base. Shakes made with a healthier base such as bananas, milk, or avocados might not be as thick.

Smoothies can sometimes be thick too but they tend to have a much creamier texture. Unlike most shakes, they usually feature a liquid base made from something like water or almond milk.

The Amount Of Protein?

Another key difference is the amount of protein in each drink. Smoothies don’t normally contain much protein if any at all.

On the other hand, most shakes contain a decent dosage of protein which is why they are so good after gym sessions.

Smoothies are better known for containing more carbohydrates. These carbs come from the fruit and vegetables used to make them.

Smoothies that do contain some protein usually get this dosage from chia seeds or butter.


The flavors in shakes and smoothies are usually very different too. While both smoothies can be sweet, this sweetness almost always comes from something different. 

Shakes tend to come in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and peanut butter. Meanwhile, most smoothies are made using fruits like mango, strawberry, and pineapple.

Smoothies made from vegetables like kale and spinach might even have a savory flavor and no sweetness. 

Which Is Healthier?

While we’d love nothing more than to give you a simple answer to this question, we just can’t!

Honestly, there isn’t one of these beverages that are conclusively healthier than the other. That’s because things ultimately come down to what each drink is made out of.

Take a fruit smoothie for example. A fruit smoothie made from various fruits and vegetables is going to be healthier than a strawberry shake made with an ice cream base.

This type of smoothie will be packed with healthy nutrients, while the shake will be high in fats and sugar.

However, if you have a protein shake made from natural ingredients and a healthier base, there isn’t going to be much difference between the two, if any.

The Purpose Of Drinking The Beverage Is Important Too!

The main reason you’re drinking one of these beverages plays a part too. If your main fitness goal is to build muscle, a protein shake is arguably a better and healthier option than a smoothie.

This is because shakes contain a higher amount of protein than smoothies. This extra protein is perfect for increasing muscle size and aiding muscle recovery after a workout.

Alternatively, if you need to bring more nutrients and minerals into your diet, smoothies are the healthiest option because they contain high levels of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. 

In the end, which drink is healthier comes down to the ingredients used to make each drink and what you need them for.

Making Shakes And Smoothies At Home Is Healthier!

One certain thing is that making your smoothies and shakes at home is healthier than buying one from a restaurant, supermarket, or gym.

Shakes vs Smoothies - What's Healthier?

By making your smoothies and shakes at home, you can control the ingredients that go into your drink.

This makes it much easier to avoid the intake of artificial sweeteners and flavors that some store-bought shakes and smoothies contain.

Unfortunately, some store-bought shakes and smoothies also contain hidden ingredients that aren’t healthy.

Some of the ingredients you can avoid by making your shakes and smoothies at home include:

  • Sugar-sweetened fruit juice
  • Whipped cream
  • Ice cream
  • Sherbet
  • Syrup
  • GMOs

The Best Ingredients You Can Use To Make Smoothies

If you want to make a delicious healthy smoothie at home, you’re going to want to know some of the best ingredients to put in it.

Below, we’ve listed some of the ingredients you should consider using.

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Apple
  • Carrot
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Almond milk

The Best Ingredients You Can Use To Make Shakes

Likewise, here’s a list of the best ingredients you can use if you want to make a more healthy shake at home.

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Coconut milk
  • Natural yogurt
  • Milk
  • Dark chocolate
  • Strawberries
  • Vanilla pods

Final Thoughts – Which Is Better?

In this post, we’ve told you everything you need to know about the differences between shakes and smoothies.

While both drinks vary in terms of ingredients and uses, they are both very similar when it comes to how healthy they are.

We would have to say that neither drink is healthier than the other. If both drinks are made using healthy ingredients, there is almost nothing to separate them.

However, a fruit and vegetable smoothie is healthier than a shake made from ice cream and syrups.

Ultimately, which drink you choose will come down to your specific needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Considered A Shake?

Generally, a drink that is considered to be a shake is a beverage that has a thick texture and high amounts of protein. Compared to smoothies, they are much thicker.

Is It Okay To Drink A Smoothie For Breakfast?

Yes, it is okay to drink a smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are also very filling.

Other Articles To Read

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