Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables. By extracting the juice from produce, you can easily consume far more than you would typically eat in one sitting. However, with the fiber removed, juicing concentrates calories and sugar. This has led many people to wonder just how many calories are in a typical juice.
In this article, we’ll take a look at calorie counts for some popular juicing combinations. We’ll also discuss how calories can vary based on which fruits and vegetables you use. Read on to learn more about the calories in juiced produce.
Calories in Common Juice Combinations
Here is a look at the calories found in some typical juicing recipes (per 8 oz serving):
|Green Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Kale
|Beet, Carrot, Apple
|Grapefruit, Carrot, Ginger
As you can see, calories can vary quite a bit depending on the produce used. Fruits generally contain more calories than vegetables due to their higher natural sugar content.
For example, a straight apple juice will clock in at 114 calories per 8 oz serving. Carrot juice has about half that at 52 calories. Lower calorie options include cucumber juice with 24 calories and celery juice with just 18 calories.
When you combine produce, you get a mixture of flavors and nutrients. But the calories still depend largely on the ingredients. A juice made with green apple, cucumber, celery and kale contains a modest 67 calories. Whereas a blend of beets, carrots and apple delivers 136 calories.
So while juicing can pack tons of antioxidants and vitamins into one beverage, the calories can also add up quickly if you use high sugar fruits.
Calories by Type of Produce
To understand how many calories are in a typical juice, it helps to look at estimates for different raw fruits and vegetables.
Here are the average calories found in 8 oz of select produce when juiced (1):
As you can see, calories in fruit juice can range from 31 per 8 oz for lemon juice to 134 for banana juice. Berries, melon and citrus fruits tend to be lower in calories, while tropical fruits and grapes are higher.
Now let’s look at veggies:
Vegetable juices are generally lower in calories than fruit juices. Ranging from 18 calories in 8 oz of lettuce or celery juice up to 180 calories in sweet potato juice. Leafy greens, cruciferous veggies and non-starchy options are your best low cal bets.
As a general rule, expect fruit juices to average 100-120 calories per 8 oz serving. While veggie varieties land under 50 calories for the same amount. But there can be plenty of variation within each category.
Factors Impacting Calories in Juice
There are a few key factors that determine the number of calories in a juice:
Type of Produce
As the charts above illustrate, calories vary greatly based on the fruits and veggies used. Juices made from grapes, bananas, and pomegranates will be higher than those using lemons, strawberries, or cucumbers.
The more juice you drink, the more calories you’ll consume. Pay attention to serving sizes when tracking calories. A typical juicing recipe may make 16-24 oz, which would equal 2-3 standard 8 oz servings.
Many people add natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to juices for extra flavor. However, these can tack on additional calories. For example, 1 tablespoon of honey adds 64 calories (2). Keep sweetener additions minimal if watching your calorie intake.
Using more vegetables and fewer fruits will generally result in a lower calorie beverage. Aim for a higher proportion of low cal veggies like cucumber, celery, spinach and kale. And try to limit high sugar fruits.
Juicing removes the fiber content from whole fruits and vegetables. If you were to blend these foods instead, the fiber would help fill you up faster and balance out blood sugar response. The lack of fiber concentrates the calories in juice.
Some juices include extra mix-ins like chia seeds, protein powder or coconut water. These additions will raise the calorie count, so factor them into your totals. Ingredients like ginger, mint and basil contain minimal calories.
Calorie Differences Between Juicing and Blending
Juicing extracts the liquid content from produce, while removing the solid fiber portion. Blending pulverizes the entire fruit or vegetable, providing both the liquid and fiber.
This fiber content makes blending more filling than traditional juicing. The satiating effect of fiber means you may drink less of a blended beverage.
For example, here’s a look at the calorie difference between juicing and blending one apple (3):
– 8 oz apple juice: 114 calories
– 8 oz blended apple: 80 calories
Since an entire apple is used in both cases, the total calories are the same. But blending leaves some of the fiber intact, meaning you get fewer calories per ounce.
This isn’t a huge difference with a single apple. However, a 24 oz juice made with 4 apples would provide around 456 calories without fiber. The blended version would have 320 calories with fiber.
Over an entire day or several days of juicing, the calorie difference could be significant. Just keep this in mind if you plan to swap blended smoothies for juice.
Low Calorie Juicing Ideas
If you want to keep calories in check while juicing, here are some tips:
– Use mostly non-starchy vegetables like kale, cucumber, celery and carrots. They are low in sugar.
– Add just one low glycemic fruit like berries or grapefruit. Limit high sugar fruits like mangos or grapes.
– Increase nutrients without calories by adding ginger, turmeric, mint and basil.
– Skip added sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Even natural sweeteners increase calories.
– Dilute higher calorie juices with sparkling water or ice to make them last longer.
– Focus on serving size — drink only 8-12 oz at a time and avoid overconsuming calories.
– Combine juice with a source of protein, healthy fat or fiber to make a meal. This prevents blood sugar spikes.
Here are some ideas for lower calorie juice recipes:
Low Sugar Green Juice
2 cups spinach
4 stalks celery
1 inch ginger
1 cup water
Antioxidant Immunity Booster
1⁄2 inch turmeric
1 inch ginger
Calming Cucumber Mint
1 cup pineapple
1⁄2 cup mint
Mixed Berry & Greens
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
1 cup strawberries
1⁄2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp almond butter
1 cup almond milk
Should You Be Concerned About Juicing Calories?
For most healthy adults, the calories from a reasonable juice intake are not a big concern. Juicing can be included as part of a balanced diet.
However, there are a few considerations regarding juicing calories:
– It’s easy to over-consume calories from juice, especially with fruit-heavy blends. Measure servings and don’t overdo it.
– Too much fruit juice spikes blood sugar. Focus on veggie juices for low glycemic options.
– Juice lacks protein, fiber and healthy fats to balance out calories. Combine it with solid food.
– People managing their weight or diabetes need to track juice calories and portions.
– Juicing is not recommended for children under 4 years old due to risk of consuming excess calories and inadequate fiber intake (4).
– Speak to your doctor before adding juicing if you have any medical conditions affected by diet.
Moderation and variety are key when juicing. While produce-packed juices can be nutritious, they are not a magic bullet for health or weight loss. Pay attention to calories and enjoy juicing as part of an overall healthy pattern of eating.
The Bottom Line
When you remove the fiber by juicing fruits and vegetables, you concentrate the calories into a delicious liquid form that goes down easy. The calories in juice can range from about 25-180 per 8 oz serving depending on the produce used.
In general, fruit juices will average 100-120 calories while veggie varieties land under 50 calories per 8 oz serving. But there is wide variation within each category. Low calorie juicing is possible by using non-starchy veggies, mint, herbs and few low sugar fruits.
Pay attention to serving sizes and combine juice with solid food for balanced nutrition. As part of a healthy diet, juice can provide a major dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from wholesome, natural ingredients.