It’s difficult to know what’s best in a world of bullets, ninjas, blenders and juicers. What to add, how much, how often, when, why and even if any of these are good for our health or just loaded with calories! I bet you have one of them? We all have gadgets sitting some place in our kitchens gathering dust. Usually an impulsive buy that we convince ourselves is going to transform our health, give us an amazing body, kick-start our drive to a healthier, happier, leaner, more beautiful self. There are questions about them and how to use them, so here is the inside scoop on the blenders, shakes and juicers, when to use them, what to put into them and how to utilize them best to get great results.

Shakes

Shakes and blended smoothies are really in the same category but I will differentiate them as follows;

Shakes – this include all supplements like protein powders, aminos, creatine and any other powdered supplement which is mixed with water, milk and juice. These shakes do not contain any blended food and can be made up in hand held shakers.

Pros

  • These are quick to make up and can be thrown into your gym bag before you go to the gym. Very mobile and handy
  • No plugging in of machines, just add water, milk or juice, shake and go.
  • Mix any number of different things from pre-workout to protein and everything else.

Cons

  • Don not forget about them or you will stink the whole place. It’s probably easier to buy a new shaker than clean up that mess. Can be stinky.
  • Lack the Nutritional complexity of a juice or blended smoothie.
  • Taste -these may not taste the best as ingredients are limited.

Take Home

You definitely need a hand-held shaker, even if you are just using it for juice or water, these things are very handy. They are useful for making up several different drinks if you are away from home as well. Make sure you clean it out!

Blended Smoothies

These are the ninjas and the bullets. These are powerful blenders which are capable of turning any food into complete liquid. So, if you are squeamish about eating your greens or having bits in soups, you can blend the hell out of your vegetables and fruit and simply drink. You can add virtually any combination of foods, liquids and even ice into these things and it will liquify them. They have their uses but don’t think, the more the better here.

Pros

  • Great to get vegetables and nutrients into you that you would not normally eat
  • Very handy way to supplement if you miss a meal -typically you can blend up a fairly good breakfast and have it on the go.
  • For those wishing to bulk up or just get a lot of calories into their body – this will really help. It is way easier to drink calories than eat them.
  • You are keeping all the fibre, skin and nutrients of the vegetables and fruit
  • Taste -you can create some amazingly tasty combos

Cons

  • You are taking the work way from your body by mechanically breaking down the fruit and vegetables. What that means is, your body can absorb all those calories much quicker because fibre is not slowing down absorption. This can cause insulin spikes which will have you store excess energy as fat!
  • Calories -I know I had it as an advantage but it can be viewed as a disadvantage. Be careful with the quantities you consume. I would only have 1 per day as more than one will really increase calorie count.
  • A pain to clean out with the blades.

Take Home

They are worth getting if you are going to use them. They would suit a family with fussy eaters and a person with a busy lifestyle. Use them wisely and sparingly. You are much better ramping up the amount of vegetables you consume as well. Vegetables are much lower in sugar than fruit. Create a few quality recipes which aren’t loaded with calories and enjoy the benefits.

Juicers

I am including centrifugal juicers, masticators, slow juicers and twin gear juicers! The basic idea is that the juicer extracts the juice from the fruit or vegetable by ripping up or tearing the flesh and pressing it against a mesh which separates the pulp and fibre from the liquid part of the vegetable, fruit or leaf. There are many things to watch out for if you opt for a juicer. One thing which I feel is important for people to understand is that – when you juice something, you essentially take out practically all the fibre, the skin and most of the vitamins and minerals. You are left with some phytonutrients, water and naturally occurring sugars. In many cases the skin of a fruit or vegetable contains 10 times the vitamins of the flesh.

Pros

  • Juices are digested and absorbed very quickly. As the fibre is removed, this will allow much faster absorption of vitamins and minerals. This may also be a con but it will depend on what you juice. Leafy greens vs. apple!
  • Great for really fussy eaters who would never consider eating a veg. You can juice leafy greens and mix with apple juice to disguise the taste.
  • Handy way to get rid of a fruit build up in the house! Some people love buying fruit and then forget about it. You can always throw it in the juicer.

Cons

  • It’s messy. Who likes dismantling and then having to clean out the juicer. Pulp is welded into every corner and the mesh can be tricky to clean.
  • Expensive -if you follow a regime of fresh juice daily, it can be a very expensive habit, especially if you decide to go organic.
  • Nutrients & Calories. When you juice, you leave most of the great fibre, skin and nutrient rich pulp in the bin! You end up drinking the energy which is very easily absorbed.

Take Home

If you are going to juice, then include a lot of vegetables. A good ration is about 75% vegetable juice and 25% fruit. The reason is, fruit is higher in sugar. It can be a great way to get lots of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) into you without having to eat loads. You must remember it is not there to replace eating vegetables either as fibre is crucial for gut health as well as cardiac health.

Last words of advice

Often, we start with great intentions and buy these pieces of equipment and end up not using them. If you are going to use them, then go for it. Use you skaers for hydration and protein shakes, use your blenders for quick on the go drinks packed with healthy fruit and fibre and the jucier is best used for vegetables and wheatgrass shots which will boost immunity and improve performance. Do not overuse any of them. You should be glowing with health and bursting with energy. If you really want to find some nice recipes and aren’t sure how to start, follow mynutiritonireland across social media and we will give you simple, delicious recipes.