Best Liquid For Smoothies 2023 | And Which Ones You Should Choose

John Newbranch
Post date 04.19.2023

In this article I have gathered the best liquids for smoothies based on research and many years of testing.

I spent a couple weeks researching, and a whole lifetime testing different liquids for my smoothies. I have looked at everything from milk to kombucha to give you the best liquid for any application.

There are about a thousand liquids you can use in your smoothie. Some are good for weight gain, some are great for weight loss and some just taste amazing.

So I wrote this article to answer all your questions around the topic and hopefully give you the best liquid  to use in your smoothie. 

What This Article Will Cover

So let’s get into what smoothie liquids fit you best and why.


List of Best Liquids For Smoothies


Best for weight loss

Water 

This one comes as no surprise, water is probably the most common liquid in weight loss smoothies, and for good reason.

Lowest calories of all the liquids

This means that you can pour as much or as little of it in your smoothie as you like without worry. Some studies have even shown that drinking more water burns more calories. 

Basically free

Compared to other liquids, water is super cheap and always at hand.

But if you are going for a good taste and texture then maybe water isn’t the best option. Too much water tends to make the smoothie less tasty and well… more watery. 


Vegetable Soups

This might not be a super obvious one, but with the right ingredients vegetable soup smoothies taste amazing.

Great health benefits

Vegetable soups are a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. 

cheap and easy to make in bulk

Vegetables tend to be cheaper than fruits and can easily be made in large batches. 

Nice variety

There are dozens and dozens of vegetable soups so there is certainly something for everyone. And you can easily change up the consistency if you want a more or less dense smoothie.


Low Fat Milk 

(almond milk is a great option to regular milk, see below)

Protein, calcium and a bunch of other important nutrients as well as great tasting. Low fat milk can be a great choice for you.

High protein

Even though losing weight might be your main goal you still need to fill your protein intake, especially if you are training as well. 

Great taste and texture

Milk in general is one of the more popular choices for smoothies. And even though I prefer whole milk since it gives better taste and texture, low fat milk is not far behind. 

A downside to low fat milk is that it has by far the most calories of the weight loss liquids so you need to use it with moderation. A tip can be to add a bit of milk just for taste and feel instead of as your main liquid.


 

Tea

If you are into tea then this is probably your best choice. Even if you’re not a fan of tea it is definitely worth giving it a try.

Many flavors to choose from

Tea comes in many shapes and sizes. everything from regular earl gray to expensive japanese green tea. So won’t have any issue finding something that fits your taste.

Packed with antioxidants

If you want a great source of antioxidants then look no further. Which tea you pick doesn’t really matter, you are getting a great dose of antioxidants either way.

A nice energy boost

To some people’s surprise, tea such as earl gray contain a comparable amount of caffeine to coffee. So pouring some tea into your morning smoothie will give you that little extra energy boost. Tea without caffeine is of course also available such as green tea.

A downside to pouring tea into your smoothie is that you might not get the best consistency. As with water, too much tea tends to water down your smoothie so keep that in mind when making your smoothie.


Best for Weight Gain


Whole milk

Probably the most common ingredient in weight gain smoothies, whole milk has many great qualities.

Packed with calories

Whole milk is one of the easiest ways of adding calories to your smoothie. Milk is not only packed with calories but also full of protein and calcium.

Great taste and texture

The reason whole milk is so popular is because it gives one of the best texture and taste of any of the options when mixed with berries or protein powder. It is hard to find a more creamy and tasty smoothie base.

Healthy

Whole milk is a great source of many nutrients that are needed for a healthy diet. I try to stick to organic milk for the best possible health benefits.


Chocolate Milk

Perfect for replenishing your muscles after a workout and giving you that calorie boost you are looking for… Or just making your smoothie even more delicious.

Great taste booster

Nothing makes your Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie go from good to great like adding some chocolate milk into the mix.

Has all the nutrients of milk plus the extra calories

Since chocolate milk still is mostly milk you will get the protein and calcium from chocolate milk as well. On top of that a bunch of extra calories.

Something to look out for is that chocolate milk contains a lot of sugar. And even though sugar is great, just especially before or after a workout, you want to consume it with moderation. 


Juice

Fruit juice is perfect for making smoothies. Packed with vitamins and energy as well as tasting great they are one of my favorite alternatives.

Perfect sweetness booster

There is no better way of sweetening your smoothie than adding your favorite fruits to the mix.

Endless variety

Whether you want to add simple apple juice or want to spice it up with passion fruit, there are no limits. You also have the option of making your own juice for that extra satisfying feeling.

Even though juices are packed with great stuff for your body, they are also full of sugar, especially store bought juice. So consume with moderation, just as with chocolate milk.


Yogurt

Yogurt is what truly makes smoothies delicious in my opinion. They add a lot of creamyness and just a bit of sour sting. 

Large variety to fit your liking

Even though my favorite is plain greek yogurt you can add whatever your heart desires. Flavored or unflavored, high fat or low fat, Greek or regular and so on… Something for everyone.

Gives the perfect consistency

If you want a creamier smoothie then adding yogurt is your best option, the fattier it is the better. 

Great addition of protein and fats

Yogurt is great for high calorie smoothies since it adds a good amount of calories and protein as well as a bit of fat. Even more than whole milk if you pick the right one.

Keep in mind that yogurt alone might make the smoothie a bit heavy. So try and combine the yogurt with either milk or water.


Best for Gut Health


Kefir

If you don’t know what kefir is, it is made out of fermented milk, traditionally cow or goat. It has a taste that resembles yogurt but with a bit more of a sourness and sweetness.

Packed with probiotics

Probiotics are basically good bacteria and eating them is a great way of restoring balance in your gut. Kefir is the perfect source of probiotics even though yogurt does contain them as well.

Gives a great and unique taste

Thanks to the distinct taste of kefir you can get some unique taste combinations when making smoothies with this stuff. 

If you do not enjoy the kefir taste it can be wise to mix it up with the yogurt or milk to make it go down a bit easier. 


Best Plant Based Milk Substitutes


Almond Milk

The go-to non dairy milk, almond milk is on the same level as dairy when it comes to making your smoothies tasty and creamy.

Great taste and texture

Almond milk is a great substitute for dairy milk since it has both great taste and consistency. 

Healthier for a lot of people

There is an argument to be made that almond milk (and non dairy milk in general) is healthier than regular milk. Since almond milk doesn’t contain saturated fats for example.

Good for weight loss

If you want that milky feel but you want to avoid the saturated fats or just prefer a non dairy alternative, then almond milk is a great choice.

In some places almond milk can be a bit more expensive than regular milk. But you will find that the health benefits are definitely worth the extra cash.


Oat Milk

Another great non-dairy option. A nice fatty milk with a touch of sweetness, this is in my opinion one of the best tasting milks.

Great for oat or peanut butter smoothies

The oaty taste and the sweetness of the milk make a great base for oat and/or peanut butter smoothies.

High in fibers and vitamins

So oat milk is great for both your bone strength and your gut health. But it is not only high in fibers and vitamins, it is also low in fat.

Compared to other options like almond milk, oat milk has a lot more calories and sugar. So it is probably not the best option for weight loss.


Soy Milk

This creamy option to regular milk is packed with taste and nutrients in a healthy package.

Rich in healthy fats

Soy milk is packed with great things for your body. One of them is omega-3 fatty acids which your body needs and can not make on its own.

Nice creamy consistency

My favorite way of creaming up a smoothie without milk or yogurt is to add some soy protein. 

More protein than any other milk

Soy milk has the most protein of any vegan options. And depending on the brand, soy milk has even more protein than regular milk.

Soy has gotten a bad reputation historically as increasing cancer for example. But this is a misconception based on faulty science. Soy milk is actually a healthier option in a lot of ways than regular milk.


Hemp Milk

This somewhat underrated milk is packed full of protein and offers a great source of vitamins.

Packed with vitamins and minerals

Hemp milk is a good source of vitamin A, B12, D and even a great source of calcium and iron.

Contains all the essential amino acids

Out of the 20 amino acids you need to build protein your body can create 11, the other nine you get from your diet. And hemp milk has them all and all you need to do is pour it into the smoothie and enjoy.

A downside I have found is that hemp milk is kind of hard to find and expensive. Luckily you have the option of making it yourself to get down the cost.


Pea Milk 

One of the best milks for smoothies in terms of protein content.

Packed with protein

Some brands of pea milk have 8 grams of protein per cup which is basically the same as regular milk. A great option if you are working out a lot,

Tastes a lot like regular milk

If you choose the right brand, pea milk actually tastes eerily similar to regular milk. The most famous case of this is NotMilk. 

Great for the environment

Peas are very easy to produce and do not require a lot of resources to make. Making pea milk a great environmentally friendly option.

Pea milk can be a bit more expensive for the moment compared to other options. The taste of pure pea milk can be a bit less neutral than other options.


Rice Milk

Rice is an amazing food that can do anything, milk included.

Good for your health

Low in saturated fats and cholesterol as well as promoting cardiovascular disease are just a few of the reasons rice milk is a great alternative.

Doesn’t ruin the taste of the smoothie

In my experience I have an easier time masking the taste of rice milk than for example regular pea milk.

A downside to rice milk is the relatively low protein content, not that big of a problem if you just add a bit of protein powder to compensate.


Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is actually more of a substitute to yogurt than to milk but it is worth mentioning nonetheless.

Better fat than dairy sources

Coconut milk is rich in short and medium chain triglycerides that are considered to be healthy fats. It does however contain saturated fats so do consume with some moderation.

Makes the smoothie creamy and smooth

Coconut milk has a very high fat content. this makes it a great base for a creamy smoothie.

Be aware that coconut milk has quite high calories. Making it great for weight gain smoothies but not the best option for weight loss. If weight loss is your goal I suggest half and half with another milk.


Best for Energy and Vitamin Boost


Coffee

Throwing that delicious morning brew into your smoothie might seem like a crime to some. I thought the same at first but trust me a coffee smoothie is the best way of starting your day.

Great energy boost

If you are a slow waker then the caffeine and sugar will get you up and the carbs, fats and proteins will keep you going. 

packed with antioxidants

It is no secret that coffee is packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants may help against cancer and heart disease for example. So pouring a cup into your morning smoothie will not only get you up quicker it might actually make you live longer. 

tastes great

I really enjoy the taste of coffee so I am obviously biased here. But coffee, especially with oat milk or dairy milk, will make a great addition to any of the thicker smoothies. Like peanut butter or oat based ones.


Kombucha

You can think of this drink as a “mushroom” that floats in sweet tea and turns that tea into kombucha.

Health Benefits

There are a lot of health benefit claims about the magic of kombucha. I have heard everything from the reduction of heart disease to reverting baldness and solving world hunger. 

Obviously, most of these claims have no real science to back them up. What science does tell us however is that during the fermentation probiotics are created. These are great for gut health.

When kombucha is made from tea you also get the tea’s benefits. Such as antioxidants which may help against things such as heart disease and cancer.

Be aware that kombucha has a very distinct taste so be careful when making your first smoothie so you don’t overdo it. Kombucha works best with lighter fruit smoothies.


Coconut Water – Best for Exercise

Coconut water is a perfect substitute for water in your smoothies if you are looking for a bit more taste and a few benefits to your workout.

Low in calories

This makes the coconut water great for substituting with water in your smoothie since you get that extra taste pop without too many calories added.

Packed with electrolytes

Just like sports drinks coconut water is packed with things like magnesium and potassium. These electrolytes are what makes it the perfect drink for working out.


Q&A

Best liquid for smoothies for weight loss

Water, tea or vegetable soup are all great options. They are low calorie and cheap, the tea and vegetable soups are also packed with a bunch of health benefits like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

What is the healthiest liquid to put in a smoothie

Water is the healthiest liquid to put in your smoothie generally speaking. It is cheaper and contains less sugar and additives than any other options.

Is water good in smoothies

Yes water is great in smoothies as long as you use the right amount. Otherwise you might water down the taste and texture.

Is coconut water good in smoothies

Yes. Coconut water has a nice taste and has a bunch of added health benefits like recovery thanks to magnesium and potassium. Great for exercising.

What is the best base for a smoothie?

It all depends on what you want. Milk (vegan or dairy) is my go-to liquid base. Banana and greek yogurt would be my go-to non liquid base.

What is a good substitute for milk in a smoothie?

Milk alternatives for smoothie:

Non dairy options:

  • almond milk
  • oat milk
  • pea milk
  • soy milk
  • hemp milk 
  • rice milk

dairy options:

  • kefir
  • yogurt

What liquid base is the most common in a smoothie?

Water and Milk is by far the most common and versatile liquid in a smoothie.

Is milk good for smoothies

Yes, milk is great for smoothies. Check out all the milk variations and alternatives in the article above.

low calorie juice for smoothies

Tomato juice has the lowest calories at 14 calories per 100ml. 

Do you put juice in smoothies

Yes, juice is great for smoothies. It tastes great and is packed with healthy ingredients. I usually stick to using juice when I am trying to put on weight however since it is packed with calories.

Which plant based milk has the most protein

Soy milk has the most protein out of all the options at around 7 grams per. After that you have pea milk and oat milk at around 4 grams.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

John has been in the game of blending and brewing for years now. Originally from Sweden, he has worked as a barista at coffee shops in the US and as a bar manager at a smoothie and juice bar in Paris. Now he is the main editor for Blend Brew Enjoy where he puts all his passion and effort into helping people find their love for coffee and smoothies.

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