Coffee Vs. Smoothie: What’s The Right Choice?

Trying to make up your mind on coffee vs. smoothie as a healthy drink option? There are many factors to consider, and this article will help clear things up.

Coffee vs. Smoothie. Three different flavored smoothies with fruits and leafy vegetables are on the table.
Explore to know which option is right for you

Whether you’re looking for a quick morning beverage to help you wake up or an afternoon drink to get you through to the end of the day, the two options that come up for most are coffee and smoothies. But how do you know which is right for you? A quick comparison and a little exploration will give you the answer you seek!

What is Coffee? What are Smoothies?

While coffee and smoothies are both very popular and tend to be consumed during the same times of the day, they are very different creatures. Coffee is a drink brewed from the dried, roasted, and ground seeds of the coffee cherry, while a smoothie is a cold drink made from a mixture of fruit, liquid, ice, and other optional ingredients like yogurt or milk.

The two drinks are both very popular, and both promise a variety of benefits. It’s clear that the two are very different from each other. The real question is which is the best choice, based on what you’re looking to get from your drink.

What Do Coffee and Smoothies Have In Common?

Apart from the fact that both beverages share times of day when people prefer to drink them, there are a few different ways in which they are similar. Both tout a lot of health benefits, some of which have been confirmed by science.

Smoothies, mostly made from whole fruit, boast the benefits of the ingredients that make them up. Coffee has water-soluble polyphenols, and caffeine seems to help maintain brain health, making it a healthy option in moderation.

Coffee vs. Smoothie: The Differences

A wooden container containing green apple, avocado, red tomatoes, orange bell pepper.
Smoothies are made from fruits that are consumed as part of the drink

The differences between coffee and smoothies are pretty profound. They are made differently and generally use different ingredients.

Coffee beans do come from a fruit, but they are the seeds of the fruit and generally aren’t actually consumed as part of the finished drink. The important factor in this question, though, is how they differ in terms of health and nutrition.

Coffee Smoothies
5 calories per serving for black coffeeHigher calories, average 90 per 8 oz serving
40-100mg caffeine per servingNo caffeine unless coffee or caffeine powder added
Low sugar by defaultHigh in sugar due to fruit and other ingredients

What’s Better About Coffee?

Coffee is a low-calorie drink with proven health benefits from the polyphenols and caffeine in the roasted beans. Of course, you can make it higher in calories by adding milk, sugar, butter, and other ingredients, but black coffee is a healthy drink that may help manage blood glucose levels and help dieters keep active.

What’s Better About Smoothies?

Smoothies have more substance and more nutrients than coffee. Most smoothies are made from fruit or a combination of fruit/vegetables/dairy and sometimes supplements as well.

While they are higher in calories than black coffee, they can pack a nutritional punch depending on the ingredients, and because the whole fruit is used, much of the fiber remains intact. While coffee won’t replace a meal, a smoothie can definitely be used for that purpose.

Who Should Get Coffee?

Holding a cup of coffee beside a laptop.
Low-calorie coffee helps perk you up and stay alert

If you’re looking for a low-calorie, quick pick-me-up, coffee is what you should choose. Coffee won’t add a lot of calories to your daily allowance unless you add other ingredients to it, and the caffeine does a great job of perking you up and helping you stay alert.

Some studies also suggest that caffeine can help manage your blood sugar for a longer period of time, allowing you to last longer between meals without a ton of snacks.

Who Should Choose a Smoothie?

If you don’t want to make yourself jittery from the caffeine stimulant and you’re feeling hungry, a smoothie is the better option for you. Consider adding spinach or other nutrient-rich veggies into the blender with your tasty fruit to add a boost of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meal replacement. 

For the best results, try to avoid smoothies with added sugars and other caloric and fatty ingredients unless you need the added bulk. All in all, if you’re looking more for a snack or a meal replacement than just a quick boost, a smoothie may be the healthier option and the one that will make you happier.

Author

  • Savannah is a coffee lover who took her appreciation of the brew to the next level starting in college, becoming a barista before combining her love of writing with her affection for a good brew. She has written for several publications including Cracked.com and TopTenz, and also works as a ghostwriter.