Tale of the Tape
Yes, drink the green Kool-Aid, but be aware of what you're downing. Below, a comparison of the nutrients in one serving (know that each bottle contains two) of Juice Press' blended Green Giant and Pressed Juicery's cold-pressed Greens 3.
Green juices are generally okay, but fruit increases a drink's sugar content. Some have up to 48 grams of sugar (compared with a Snickers' 27 grams).
Cold-pressing removes fiber; backers say that eases digestion and nutrient osmosis. But without it, the drink isn't as filling and lacks gut-health benefits.
Because smoothies are made with thickeners like nut butters or dairy, they typically have more calories. Look for lower-calorie add-ins like coconut water.
Juices are dairy-free, but blending proponents claim that using a thickener enhances the nutritional value by adding protein, calcium, and potassium.
More produce is needed to make one cup of juice than one smoothie, increasing the number of fruit and vegetable servings you're drinking.
These power players of the elixir world have strong opinions about juicing—and aren't afraid to tell you how they really feel.
The Home Juice Bar
Each process has its own top-shelf machine, and both are fetishized. Or if you don't feel like reaching into the crisper, order in.
Norwalk Juicer Model 280 Stainless Steel
The hydraulic press wrings out all the sugars, vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and other vital elements and can juice a pound of carrots in less than a minute.
With blades that spin at up to 240 mph, this blender needs just 90 seconds to pulverize your produce.
For a sure-to-be-fresh bottle (getting on store shelves requires preservation, which some argue depletes micronutrients and live enzymes), cold-pressers should try Urban Remedy ($8; urbanremedy.com) while blenders will like Rawpothecary ($9; raw-pothecary.com).
From the WTF? Files: Juice Chewing
Q: Some experts say juice should be chewed—but it's a liquid. What does that mean?
A: "You don't have to actually masticate; just hold each sip in your mouth," says Donna Gates, nutritionist and author of The Body Ecology Diet.
Q: Why is this important?
A: "It slows down the assimilation [of the nutrients], so there's no sugar rush. When you drink a juice, the body can react the same way as it does when eating sweets if it's consumed too quickly."
Q: How much time should be spent "chewing?"
A: "It's not a matter of a certain amount of time, like 30 seconds. But make sure it mixes with your saliva."
Q: What if it's a blended juice, as opposed to a cold-pressed one?
A: "There's no need to chew blended juices," Gates says. "Those have fiber, which slows down the speed at which the nutrients leave your digestive tract and move into your bloodstream."