How many calories in a detox green smoothie?

A detox green smoothie is a nutrient-dense beverage made primarily from leafy greens, fruits, and water. It’s a popular choice for those looking to cleanse, detox, or get an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. But are green smoothies low in calories, or can they pack a surprising caloric punch? Here’s a detailed look at the calories in a typical detox smoothie.

What Goes Into a Green Smoothie?

While recipes can vary, most detox green smoothies contain a similar base of ingredients:

  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc.
  • Fruits like bananas, berries, pineapple, mango, etc.
  • Liquid like water, almond milk, coconut water, etc.
  • Extras like seeds, nut butter, protein powder, etc. (optional)

The specific fruits and veggies used will impact the calorie content. In general, smoothies heavy on low-calorie greens and plant-based liquids will be lower in calories than versions with more high-sugar fruits and mix-ins.

Calories in Common Detox Smoothie Ingredients

Here’s how many calories are found in 1 cup of typical detox smoothie ingredients:

Ingredient Calories (per 1 cup)
Spinach 7
Kale 8
Swiss chard 7
Romaine lettuce 8
Baby spinach 7
Strawberries 49
Blueberries 84
Banana 105
Pineapple 82
Mango 107
Apple 77
Water 0
Unsweetened almond milk 39
Coconut water 46

As you can see, calories in fruits and higher-calorie liquids can add up quickly. On the flip side, leafy greens and water provide an ultra low-calorie base.

How Many Calories are in a Typical Green Smoothie?

There’s no single calorie count that fits all green smoothies. The number of calories per serving depends entirely on the specific ingredients and portions used.

As a general guideline, here’s the calorie range for different types of green smoothies:

  • Lower-calorie: 100-300 calories per 16-24 oz serving
  • Medium-calorie: 300-500 calories per 16-24 oz serving
  • Higher-calorie: 500-800+ calories per 16-24 oz serving

A lower-calorie smoothie might contain spinach, cucumber, lemon, ginger, apples, and water. One on the higher-calorie end may include bananas, mangos, avocados, coconut milk, protein powder, nut butter, and seeds.

What Impacts the Calories in a Green Smoothie?

As a general rule, the more greens versus fruits, the fewer calories. But many other factors influence the calorie content, including:

  • Leafy greens: Lowest in calories. Spinach, kale, chard, lettuces.
  • Fruits: Wide range of calories. Berries and citrus fruits are lower, while bananas and mangos are higher.
  • Liquids: Water has zero calories. Plant milks, juices, and coconut water add more.
  • Portion size: More ounces = more calories.
  • Mix-ins: Nuts, seeds, nut butters, oils, and protein powders boost calories.
  • Sweeteners: Sugar, honey, syrups, etc. significantly increase calories.

Prioritizing low-calorie fruits and veggies, keeping portions in check, and limiting high-calorie mix-ins is key to keeping green smoothies slim. Loading up on nutritious greens provides vitamins, minerals, and fiber without excess calories.

Tips for Creating Low-Calorie Green Smoothies

Here are some useful tips for keeping your green smoothies light and low-calorie:

  • Use water or unsweetened almond milk as the liquid base.
  • Focus on leafy greens vs. fruit for the majority of the volume.
  • When adding fruits, opt for lower-sugar choices like berries.
  • Limit bananas and tropical fruits like mangos, papayas, etc.
  • Avoid adding sweeteners like honey, syrups, or sugar.
  • Steer clear of calorie-dense mix-ins like avocados, nut butters, coconut, etc.
  • Go easy on seeds and nuts, which are high in fat and calories.
  • Use ice to thicken instead of bananas or avocados.
  • Keep portions in the 12-16 oz range.

Sample Recipes for Low-Calorie Green Smoothies

Here are a few delicious green smoothie recipes to try under 200 calories per serving:

Slim Green Smoothie

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Calories: Around 130 per 16 oz

Detox Green Smoothie

  • 2 cups kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1⁄4 avocado
  • 1⁄2 banana
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Calories: Around 175 per 16 oz

Lean Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup strawberries
  • 1⁄4 medium cucumber
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1⁄2 lime, juiced
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Calories: Around 90 per 16 oz

Should You Have a Green Smoothie for Weight Loss?

While green smoothies can be a healthy weight loss aid, their efficacy depends largely on the specific ingredients and portion size. Some smoothies are high in natural sugars and calories, while others provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber with minimal calories.

Drinking low-calorie green smoothies in place of higher-calorie beverages and meals may help increase your vegetable intake, reduce calorie consumption, and lead to weight loss over time. But smoothies should not completely replace whole foods, which provide fiber that helps you feel satisfied.

For weight loss, experts recommend keeping smoothies under 400 calories and pairing them with healthy whole food meals and snacks. Avoid loading them up with high-sugar fruits and calorie-dense add-ins. Focus mostly on greens and unsweetened liquids for a slimming effect.

Health Benefits of Low-Calorie Green Smoothies

When made with primarily leafy greens and healthy ingredients, low-calorie green smoothies provide an array of benefits beyond potential weight loss. These include:

  • Hydration from their high liquid content
  • Fiber for digestion and heart health
  • Phytonutrients like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories
  • Vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, K, potassium, etc.
  • Enzymes for improved digestion
  • Chlorophyll from leafy greens for detoxing
  • Protein when made with nuts, seeds, protein powder, etc.

Aim for smoothies with at least 60% greens to maximize nutrients and health benefits. Fruits add flavor and sweetness, but too much can spike blood sugar.

Potential Downsides of Green Smoothies

While nutritious, green smoothies do come with some potential cons, including:

  • High in natural sugars if loaded with fruits
  • Can be high in calories when ingredients like nut butters, oils, and avocados are added
  • Not as satiating as whole foods due to lack of fiber
  • Nutrient loss from blending produce
  • Quickly spoil due to lack of preservatives
  • Possible additives and contaminants in powders added for protein, greens, etc.

Being mindful of ingredients, avoiding additives, and pairing smoothies with fiber-rich whole foods can help mitigate these downsides.

Smoothie Tips for Weight Loss

Here are some final tips for making green smoothies an effective weight loss aid:

  • Focus on leafy greens for low calories and nutrients.
  • Limit bananas and tropical fruits.
  • Choose lower sugar berries like raspberries and blackberries.
  • Use water or unsweetened almond milk for liquid.
  • Avoid added sugars, syrups, and sweeteners.
  • Don’t overdo oils, nut butters, coconut, chia seeds, etc.
  • Steer clear of mass gainers marketed for weight lifting.
  • Keep calories in the 100-400 range.
  • Drink smoothies slow and mindfully.
  • Eat fiber-rich whole foods in addition to smoothies.


Detox green smoothies can run the gamut from very low to quite high in calories depending on specific ingredients used. For weight loss, it’s best to focus on leafy greens vs. high-sugar fruits, limit calorie-dense add-ins, watch your portions, and stick to 100-400 calories. Paired with whole foods and exercise, low-calorie green smoothies can be a healthy part of a balanced weight loss diet.

Leave a Comment