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Green Drinks: Body Cleanse or Sugar Overload?

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With lifestyles today trending towards healthier eating and drinking habits, many of us may find ourselves replacing those once stocked sodas in our refrigerators with juice bottles instead. But is your fridge (and your belly) really packing in a purer and leaner punch of hydrating goodness?

The reality is, not all options are as nutrient-packed as they may seem, and some can easily pack in a day’s worth of sugar, with more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger!

One of the trickiest items are green drinks. Juices can make for a simple and convenient way to incorporate more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into our diets, while also disguising the tastes of some highly beneficial produce that we may not necessarily like, such as beets and kale.

To help you filter out those green drinks that may not necessarily be as healthy on the inside as their label on the outside may suggest, below are some of my best and worst bets when it comes to store-bought green drinks!


  • BALANCE from The Green Fork: Per bottle: 120 calories, 20 grams sugar.
    Cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, beet, lime, ginger, celtic salt, spirulina.
  • Daily Greens PURITY: Per bottle: 45 calories, 9 grams sugar.
    Cucumber, celery, kale, broccoli, parsley, lemon, basil.
  • Evolution ESSENTIAL GREENS + LIME: Per bottle: 70 calories, 12 grams sugar.
    Celery, cucumber, spinach, romaine, kale, lime, parsley.
  • Suja TWELVE ESSENTIALS: Per bottle: 70 calories, 8 grams sugar.
    Celery, cucumber, collard greens, lemon, kale, green chard, parsley, ginger, romaine, green leaf lettuce, tea, peppermint tea, spearmint tea, spinach juice
  • Whole Foods Alternative Fuel: No nutrition facts label.
    Celery, romaine, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, cucumber, wheat grass.


  • Evolution Sweet Greens & Lemon: Per bottle: 100 calories, 20 grams sugar.
    Celery, apple juice, cucumber, spinach, romaine, kale, lime, lemon, parsley, wheat grass.
  • Suja Elements POWER GREENS Fruit & Vegetable Juice Drink (also available at Costco): Per bottle: 50 calories, 6 grams sugar.
    Cucumber, celery, grapefruit, green chard, greenleaf lettuce, lemon, kale, spinach, parsley, tea.
  • Temple TURMERIC MINERAL GREEN ELIXER: Per bottle: 45 calories, 9 grams sugar.
    Coconut nectar (sugar), turmeric, lemon, ginger, sea salt, spirulina, chlorella, barley, cinnamon, cayenne.


  • Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness: Per bottle: 280 cals, 60 grams sugar.
    Pineapple juice, apple juice, mango puree, banana puree, kiwi puree top the ingredient list, followed by spirulina, chlorella, green tea, spinach, broccoli, etc.
  • Evolution Fresh Super Green: Per bottle: 260 cals, 52 grams sugar.
    Orange juice, mango puree, apple juice, pineapple juice, raspberry puree top the ingredient list, ahead of spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, etc.
  • Naked GREEN MACHINE 100% Juice Smoothie: Per bottle: 560 cals, 112 grams sugar.
    Apple juice, mango puree, pineapple juice, banana puree, kiwi puree, spirulina, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, barley grass, wheat grass, parsley, ginger, kale, odorless garlic.
  • Odwalla SuperFood Drink: Per bottle: 240 calories, 51 grams sugar.
    Apple juice, peach, mango, strawberry and banana purees top the list.
  • Suja GREEN SUPREME: Per bottle: 220 calories, 42 grams sugar.
    juice, kale juice, lemon juice
  • Suja Elements EASY GREENS Fruit & Vegetable Smoothie: Per bottle: 540 calories, 102 grams sugar.
    juice, celery, cucumber juice, banana puree, mango puree, kale juice, collard green juice, lemon juice, ginger juice, spinach juice, chlorella, spirulina

For more details on this topic, watch Molly’s “Love it, Like it, Hate it” segment on WGNO New Orleans.

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