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Can you use water for smoothies?

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular way to get a nutritious breakfast or snack on the go. Blending together fruits, vegetables, yogurt, milk, juice, protein powder, and other ingredients can create a delicious and refreshing drink packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more. But one question that often comes up is whether you can use water in smoothies instead of juice, milk, or other liquids.

The role of liquid in smoothies

First, let’s look at why smoothies contain liquid ingredients in the first place. The main purposes are:

  • To blend all the ingredients together into a drinkable consistency
  • To provide moisture and creaminess
  • To enhance the flavor
  • To contribute nutrients like electrolytes, protein, probiotics, etc.

Many common smoothie liquids like fruit juice, nut milk, yogurt, and cow’s milk serve all these functions. So when deciding whether you can use water in a smoothie, it’s important to consider whether it can also perform these roles.

Using water in smoothies

Water is a neutral, calorie-free liquid that can help blend ingredients smoothly. But since it lacks flavor, nutrients, and creaminess, using only water may result in a thin, watery smoothie. Here are some tips for using water in smoothies:

  • Use sparingly or combine with juice/milk – A small amount of water, like 1/4-1/2 cup, can help blend a thick smoothie without thinning it too much. Or use half water, half juice or nut milk.
  • Focus on creamy ingredients – Avocado, banana, Greek yogurt, silken tofu, and nut butters can all create creaminess that water lacks.
  • Boost flavor and nutrition – Consider adding vanilla, cocoa powder, cinnamon, protein powder, chia seeds, ground flax, or nut butter for extra nutrients and flavor.
  • Use frozen ingredients – Frozen fruits and vegetables blend up thicker than fresh ones, which can compensate for the thinner consistency of water.
  • Blend well – Blend your smoothie on high speed for 1-2 minutes to fully break down ingredients and incorporate air for a creamy, smooth texture.

Best ingredients to use with water

Certain fruits and vegetables have high water content or freeze well, making them ideal smoothie ingredients to use with water:

Fruits Vegetables
Melons Cucumbers
Berries Spinach
Pineapple Zucchini
Mango Kale
Peach Beets
Banana Carrots

These fruits and veggies have high water content to help achieve a smooth, drinkable texture. Berries, pineapple, peaches, and bananas also freeze exceptionally well. Simply freeze them ahead of time, then add to your smoothie with water for delicious flavor and thickness.

Sample smoothie recipes with water

Here are a few tasty sample smoothies that use water as part of the liquid component:

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut water (or orange juice)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp shredded coconut

Green Power Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Feel free to get creative and tailor these smoothies to your tastes! The key is using fruits and veggies with enough creaminess and flavors to balance out the water.

Benefits of using water

Here are some of the advantages of using water in smoothies:

  • Low in calories – Water adds volume without any extra calories, sugars, or fat. This can help create a nutrition smoothie that’s lower in calories than juice or milk-based versions.
  • Hydrating – The extra fluid from water makes smoothies more hydrating and thirst-quenching.
  • Reduced cost – Using water is very inexpensive compared to fruit juice, almond milk, etc. Making your own smoothies with water makes them affordable.
  • Diet-friendly – The ability to cut calories while still getting lots of nutrients makes water-based smoothies ideal for diets like weight loss plans.
  • Kid-approved – Many kids love fruit smoothies. Using water can provide volume and creaminess with less sweetness from juice.

Potential drawbacks

However, there are a few potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Less creamy and smooth – Without fat or creaminess from dairy, smoothies made only with water may be thinner and less velvety.
  • Less flavor – Water doesn’t contribute any sweetness or flavor. Juice and milk provide both, so smoothies with just water will be more diluted in taste.
  • Less nutritious – Many common smoothie liquids like milk and juice boost the vitamin, mineral, and protein content. Water doesn’t offer these bonuses.
  • Can be bland – Without added sweeteners, flavors, or creamy ingredients, watery smoothies may end up bland or boring.

However, these drawbacks can often be mitigated by using frozen fruits, avocado, banana, nut butters, cocoa, protein powder, and other mix-ins to ensure your smoothies are still delicious and nutritious even when made with water.


Water may not be the first liquid that comes to mind when making smoothies. However, used strategically in combination with other ingredients, water can be an excellent low-calorie, budget-friendly base for smoothies. Focus on fruits and vegetables with creaminess and freeze them for the best texture. Boost nutrition and flavors with mix-ins like peanut butter, yogurt, and cocoa powder. Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment with water in your smoothie rotation!