I am a busy mom of three, and I make smoothies every day. However, this morning, while my 7-year old was eating breakfast before school, she asked me, “do smoothies lose nutrients overnight?” This may sound like a silly question, but it deserved to dig deeper to find out the truth.
This is a question that many people have asked, and it seems to be an age-old debate. Some say no, while others affirm yes. The primary reason why this has been debated so much could be because the complex answer can’t be summarized in just Yes or No.
It’s difficult to find any research on this topic outside of some US government agencies saying “yes/no,” so we will have to do some digging.
Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get healthy food into your diet. They are a great way to create a healthy breakfast, snack, lunch, or dinner. Smoothies are typically made up of some fruit, vegetables, and other ingredients that provide an excellent balance.
So, Do you have to drink a smoothie right away?
The short answer is No; you don’t have to drink a smoothie right away. You can keep your smoothie unrefrigerated for a few hours, you can store it in the fridge for up to 48 hours and enjoy it cold, or you can also store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do Smoothies Lose Nutrients Overnight?
Smoothies are an excellent method to get the minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, and iron your body needs.
Once smoothies are exposed to oxygen, they begin the oxidation process. Oxidation is a rapid process that will lead to the breakdown of a significant amount of nutrients in the smoothie.
Unfortunately, Smoothies lose some of their nutrients overnight. This is because the healthy smoothies are made out of the freshest contents. The fact is fruits and vegetables start losing their nutrients and vitamins as soon as they are harvested. So, Whether you use nuts to give your smoothie a rich texture, green vegetables to make it much healthier, or frozen fruits to make lovely flavors, all these are generally recommended to eat immediately. So, smoothies will spoil if left unconsumed for a long time.
It is essential to understand why smoothies lose nutrients so you can follow the logic behind adequately storing. Fundamentally, when the nuts, fruits, vegetables, or other food substances you use in preparing your smoothies are exposed to air, the oxidization happens.
When blending fresh vegetables and fruits, their cells are cut open. Therefore they are exposed to air. Oxygen is the main cause of the oxidation process. Being exposed to oxygen causes the cells of fruit or vegetable to break down, which leads to loss of nutrients and in foods. Therefore the smoothies lose their nutritional value as well.
While oxygen does affect the smoothie and will lose plenty of its nutritional values if kept overnight, the positive thing here is that not all minerals, vitamins, and nutrients will be lost overnight.
So, according to the different ingredients utilized to produce a smoothie, the oxidization process will span over different periods. As a result, some may be faster than others.
Any food that includes citric acid will reduce the pH of the smoothie. This slows down the enzymes that cause spoiling. Pineapple and Citrus fruits are good examples of this.
Adding some lime juice, lemon juice (or other citrus fruit juice) will help extend the shelf life of your smoothie. But, it is necessary that acidic foods could be harsh when consumed on an empty stomach.
However, it is better to drink a green smoothie right after making it to avoid separation. You will see that the green smoothie quickly begins to lose its taste, even if stored properly. In addition, green smoothies with kale can begin to become very gelatinous and dense after an hour or two.
Tips for Maintaining the Smoothies Healthy & Fresh with Optimum Nutrients
Below are some tips to keep the smoothies fresh with maximum nutrients. All the following tips are helpful to decrease the loss of vitamins and nutrients. They help to maintain the smoothie healthily & fresh.
Container Is the Key
The primary essential tip to not lose nutrients of smoothies overnight is all about the container where you keep your smoothie. You need to ensure you fill the container to the brim with a smoothie so there is no air entry in the. By doing this, you will slow the oxidation process. Consequently, there are fewer possibilities of an oxidization in the container. Hence, A glass container is the most effective type of container that includes an airtight cover. Also, make sure that the container you are using for storing your smoothie comes with BPA-free plastic lids. So, choosing the proper container is important store smoothies and maintain its optimum nutritional values.
The containers with quality airtight are the most appropriate for saving your smoothies overnight. The smoothie will remain with maximum nutrition.
An additional advantage of storing your smoothies in glass containers is that you can easily see your smoothie anytime. You will quickly find out if the color of smoothies changes or separates.
Refrigeration Is a Good Idea
The following important tip is the refrigeration of smoothies. If you need to keep your smoothie overnight for the next day’s, please put it in the refrigerator. This will lengthen the quality of your smoothie until 24-48 hours, which isn’t that bad.
When storing your smoothies in a fridge, try adding some gum thickeners that can keep the integrity of the ingredients, reducing the chances of separating contents. The oxidization process becomes slower by putting the smoothie container in the fridge. Therefore, it will keep nutritional values remain in the smoothie. Also, the process of spoilage decelerates.
Put More Vitamin C
The last significant tip is adding lemon or lime to your drink. Citrus is the most significant ingredient to keep the smoothies healthy & fresh with maximum nutrients. When you put more amount of vitamin C, which is anti-oxidative, preserving the nutrients fresh for a long time, and will protect against the process of oxidization.
The Benefits of Drinking Smoothies
The benefits of drinking smoothies are vast. Smoothies can be a great source of nutrients and antioxidants that help boost your immune system. They also provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein so that you will feel energized all day long.
The benefits of drinking smoothies include weight loss from consuming fewer calories during breakfast because it is easy on digestion and provides sustained energy throughout the day, and prevention against obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Smoothies are an ideal way to consume healthy fats while consuming less sugar than most other beverages like juice or soda, which may negatively impact blood sugar levels in some people.
Below are some of the most important benefits of drinking fresh smoothies:
- Helps You Lose Weight
- Balances Hormonal Functioning.
- Reduces Chances of Cancer.
- Keeps Blood Sugar In Check.
- Prevents Heart Disorders.
- Improves Bone Health.
- Provides a Good Amount of Fiber.
- Checks the Growth of Carcinogens.
- Supplies Calcium.
- Fights Depression.
- Controls Mood Swings.
- Boosts Brain Power.
- Detoxifies the Body.
- Provides Liquid Food Benefits.
- Improves Skin.
- Curbs Sleep Disorders.
- Enhances Immunity.
- Source of Antioxidants.
- Aid In Digestion.
- Makes You Feel Full.
- Controls Cravings.
- Prevents Dehydration.
How Long Do Smoothies Last at Room Temperature?
Since smoothies generally include dairy products blended with organic produce, they are extremely attractive to bacterial and fungal lifeforms.
Although smoothies often last longer than fresh juice, they will expire rapidly at room temperature. Combining smoothies with an environment that can be very conducive to growth for bacterias would eventually cause spoilage of this perfect food source. A smoothie’s shelf-life is decided by some factors, from the ingredients to the storage place, to the storage container. With home smoothies, you get an average of 3 to 4 hours to retain their keep in hot summers. Smoothies can last for approximately 12 hours in winters.
In order to let the smoothie keep safe to eat with some of its nutritional values for as long as it can, it is recommended to store the smoothie in a cold and dark corner of your kitchen away from direct sources of light and heat.
How Long Can you Freeze Smoothies?
Freezing your smoothies is a great way to keep them fresh and save their nutritional values as much as possible. There are several different options for how long you can freeze your smoothies, and it all depends on what type of storage container you have. For example, Mason jars and airtight containers with seals last for three months, but freezer bags will only keep them for one month.
Tips to Freeze Smoothies Properly
Freezing smoothies is a way to preserve nutrients and keep them fresh. Therefore, it’s important to freeze smoothies properly to reduce the loss of nutrients and keep the drink fresh, healthy, and delicious!. Next, I share one of the best techniques I use to freeze smoothies with you.
- Make sure your freezer has enough room to hold all of your frozen smoothies so they can freeze adequately.
- Get an empty muffin pan. Then cut squares of Press and Seal large enough to fit in each muffin cup and hang over the edge.
- Pour your smoothie into each cup. Make sure not to overfill them.
- Don’t fold them over yet. Place them in the freezer.
- Please wait for a few hours until they are set up and firm.
- Take out each smoothie puck and firmly wrap the extra Press and Seal around it.
- Place the wrapped pucks in a Glad Freezer Zipper bag.
- Seal the bag and stash them in the freezer.
How to Increase the Nutrient Benefits of Smoothies?
Whole foods like fresh vegetables, yogurt, and nuts are generally the healthiest ingredients to make a smoothie because they contain more nutrients than processed food items such as fruit juices or packaged products. However, some nutrient boosters add healthy proteins, fats, and nutrients to your smoothies. I usually stick to 1-2 nutrient boosters per smoothie.
Below are some of my favorites:
- 1 tablespoon nut butter.
- 1 tablespoon of this coconut oil.
- ¼ of an avocado.
- 1 teaspoon of this matcha powder.
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt.
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed.
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts.
- 1 tablespoon goji berries.
Below are some of the most asked questions about smoothies and their nutritional benefits, shelf life, and more.
Is it okay to Freeze Green Smoothies?
A green smoothie is a healthy and nutritious drink made from blended raw fruits and vegetables. It is difficult to freeze green smoothies because they are typically very thick and can be clumpy without ice. Thicker smoothies are harder to freeze because they will not freeze as easily and will take longer to thaw again.
My Smoothie is Separated. Is It a Sign of Nutrient Loss?
The primary reason for this separation is oxidation since the smoothie is exposed to oxygen. This will cause the elements in the smoothie to separate, leaving a light or clear liquid at the bottom. Luckily, this separation is not an indication of nutrient loss or spoilage. All you have to do is stir or shake your smoothie to mix it up again.
Green smoothies do not need to be frozen, but if you are looking for a refreshing drink to share with friends, freezing them will make them last longer.
Can I Drink A 3-day Old Unrefrigerated Smoothie?
No, you can’t drink a smoothie that’s been sitting around for three days.
Can You Drink Cranberry Juice Left Out Overnight?
Yes, cranberry juice will not spoil if it is left out overnight.
Does Blending Destroy Fiber Of Ingredients?
Actually, blending causes the loss of some nutrients including fibers. So it is not healthful to substitute your entire meals with smoothies. It is preferable to ingest smoothies as a side snack or drink instead of substituting them as alternative options for dinner, lunch, or breakfast.
Why Did My Smoothie Turn Brown?
The browning of the smoothie is due to oxidation. Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules react with chemical compounds, such as sugars and proteins in foods that are exposed to air. The resulting chemical compounds are called free radicals. Oxidation can also occur when the food is exposed to heat or light, and in some cases, it might be due to natural processes like aging.
Is It Okay to Refreeze Smoothies?
Refreezing smoothies isn’t advised. When it’s thawed and frozen many times, the formation and texture will be changed. You will probably see that the taste is not the same when you thaw it for the second time.
Do Juices Last Longer Than Smoothies?
Juicing and blending are very similar, but their products can feel and taste completely different. Juices are often softer and don’t get that dense texture. Also, because juicing doesn’t break up the vegetables and fruits in the same manner as smoothies, they don’t oxidize as much – which means juices can last longer than smoothies.
Is It Bad To Have A Smoothie At Night?
Although smoothies can be an excellent alternative for breakfast, it is not wrong to consume them at night. Smoothies have just plenty of benefits at night as they do in the morning. Smoothies can offer great help for people who face sleep issues. It is not recommended to have a smoothie just after your meal as it can be quite heavy.
Is it a Good Idea to Store The smoothie in a Blender Pitcher?
Storing your smoothie in your blender pitcher, even for a few minutes, is not a good idea. Storing smoothies and other food in the blender pitcher may damage the seal on the pitcher. It may result in leaking. It will also make the pitcher needs more effort to clean.
What Is The Best Time To Drink Smoothies?
A smoothie is usually used as an alternative for a meal as they are very nutritious. Preferably, they should be drunk on an empty stomach, especially if they are vegetable or fruit smoothies. Taking in a smoothie on an empty stomach can help you get the optimum nutrients offered through a smoothie.
Scientists even suggest that afternoon smoothies should include bananas, oranges, and pineapples as they are rich in vitamins and minerals, and our bodies might need these after a half-day of work. While they recommend smoothies made from green, leafy vegetables are best for the mornings.
Smoothies have a lot of valuable benefits; they can better our overall health and provide us with the minerals, vitamins, and fibers we need every day. But, unfortunately, time is the biggest enemy to healthy smoothies. A lot of people ask, “do smoothies lose nutrients overnight?” The answer is yes. Some smoothies can lose some of their nutrients overnight. The other (such as green smoothies) may lose all nutrients overnight. So, if you are making a smoothie for later use, make sure to put it in the right container pop it in the fridge.