Is the Strawberry Banana Smoothie from Smoothie King healthy?

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular way for people to get more fruits and vegetables into their diets. Smoothie King is one of the most well-known smoothie chains, with locations across the United States. One of their most popular offerings is the Strawberry Banana smoothie. But is this sweet drink actually good for you?

Nutritional Information

Let’s start by looking at the basic nutritional information for a small, 20 ounce Strawberry Banana smoothie from Smoothie King:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 230
Total Fat 0.5 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Total Carbohydrate 57 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 44 g
Protein 3 g

At first glance, the smoothie looks relatively healthy – it’s low in fat, has no cholesterol, and provides some fiber and protein. However, half of the carbohydrates come from sugars. The 44 grams of sugar is equal to about 11 teaspoons of sugar in one smoothie.

Ingredient Breakdown

To get a better sense of how healthy the Strawberry Banana smoothie is, let’s look at its ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Apple juice
  • Nonfat yogurt
  • Ice
  • Whey protein

The primary ingredients are strawberries and bananas, which are nutrient-dense fruits. Strawberries provide vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber. These fruits contribute beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the smoothie.

Apple juice adds sweetness, but doesn’t provide much nutritional value other than a dose of vitamin C. Nonfat yogurt contributes protein and some calcium, though the protein amount is likely small in a 20 oz smoothie. Whey protein boosts the protein content. Overall, the macro and micronutrient amounts are reasonable, if a bit heavy on the sugar content.

Sugar and Calorie Content

One concern with the Strawberry Banana smoothie is the high amount of natural and added sugars. The 44 grams accounts for 88% of the recommended daily allowance for added sugars for adult women (25 grams), and 112% for adult men (36 grams).

While the sugars are from natural sources like fruit and apple juice, consuming this amount in one sitting can spike blood sugar levels. The resulting crash a few hours later may lead to cravings, overeating, and fatigue.

The 230 calories in a small size is reasonable for a meal replacement or snack. However, those who are watching their calorie intake may want to be mindful of portion size or how often they indulge in the smoothie.

Added Ingredients and Customizations

Smoothie King allows customers to customize smoothies with supplements and ingredients like vitamins, protein, fiber, and “fat burner” pills. Some additions can enhance the nutritional value, like whey protein powder or fiber. However, other supplements are not necessarily healthy or beneficial. Customers should be wary of adding pills and powders without understanding what they do.

The smoothie can also be customized with mix-ins like peanut butter, chocolate, or additional fruits. These add extra calories, sugars, and fat. Going overboard with mix-ins can quickly turn an otherwise reasonably healthy smoothie into a high calorie sugar bomb.

Health Benefits

Despite some concerns, the Strawberry Banana smoothie does offer some health benefits:

  • Provides 2 servings of fruit: the strawberries and bananas contribute toward the recommended 2-4 servings of fruit per day.
  • Good source of vitamin C and manganese: strawberries in particular provide 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin C.
  • Contains potassium: banana is a potassium-rich fruit, providing 12% of the Daily Value.
  • Decent fiber content: 3 grams of fiber aids digestion and gut health.
  • Nonfat yogurt provides protein: yogurt contributes about 8 grams of protein to help build muscle.
  • Low in fat and cholesterol free
  • Dairy-free and vegan options available
  • Can promote feelings of fullness: protein, fiber, and thickness of smoothies can satisfy hunger and cravings.

Overall, the Strawberry Banana smoothie provides nutrients from whole fruits and can be a good occasional substitute for less healthy snacks. However, the high sugar content should be considered.

Downsides and Health Risks

There are some potential downsides to drinking the Strawberry Banana smoothie regularly:

  • High sugar content: 44 grams of sugar is about 2-3 times the recommended amount of added sugar per day for most adults. Too much sugar can increase risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Fruit sugar without the fiber: Blending fruits removes the fiber content found in whole fruits. The fruit sugar is absorbed rapidly, spiking blood sugar.
  • Easy to over-consume: The thick, creamy texture makes it easy to consume excess calories and sugar if portion sizes are not controlled.
  • Added ingredients can pile on calories, sugar, etc: Customizations and mix-ins add extra calories, fat, sugar, etc that diminish the nutrition.
  • Not enough protein for meal replacement: 20 grams of protein is recommended for a meal replacement, but this smoothie has just 3 grams.

While using whole fruits is better than drinking soda or eating candy, consuming too much fruit sugar on a frequent basis can potentially negatively impact health.

Nutrition Compared to Other Smoothie King Smoothies

To get another perspective, let’s compare the Strawberry Banana nutrition facts to a few other Smoothie King smoothies:

Smoothie (20 oz) Calories Sugar (g) Protein (g)
Strawberry Banana 230 44 3
Strawberry X-Treme 260 54 2
Island Green 190 35 2
Angel Food 210 46 5
Gladiator 340 57 42

Compared to Smoothie King’s other fruit-based smoothies, the Strawberry Banana is moderately high in calories and sugar. It contains less protein than thicker, protein powder-based smoothies like the Gladiator. Overall, it ranks as relatively average in terms of nutritional value for Smoothie King smoothies.

Smoothie King Strawberry Banana vs Jamba Juice Strawberry Whirl

The Strawberry Banana is Smoothie King’s take on a classic strawberry and banana smoothie. A comparable smoothie from another major chain, Jamba Juice, is the Strawberry Whirl. How do the two stack up against each other nutritionally?

Smoothie (20 oz) Calories Sugar (g) Protein (g)
Smoothie King Strawberry Banana 230 44 3
Jamba Juice Strawberry Whirl 310 59 2

The Strawberry Whirl has significantly more calories and sugar than Smoothie King’s Strawberry Banana. The Strawberry Banana has 1 extra gram of protein. Overall, the Strawberry Banana smoothie has a slightly more favorable nutritional profile.

Tips for Making It Healthier

There are some easy ways to modifying the Strawberry Banana smoothie to increase the nutritional value and reduce sugar content:

  • Ask for less fruit juice or a lighter juice like orange juice
  • Add spinach or kale for extra nutrients
  • Include whey protein powder for a protein boost
  • Replace the banana with avocado for healthy fats and fewer carbs
  • Ask for a smaller size smoothie
  • Avoid added sugars/syrups, milks, peanut butter, etc
  • Substitute stevia or monk fruit if you still want it a little sweeter

Making just a few simple modifications can reduce the sugar content while increasing the micronutrients and protein to turn it into a healthier, more filling snack or light meal.

The Verdict

So is Smoothie King’s Strawberry Banana smoothie ultimately healthy? Here is a quick summary:


  • Provides nutrients from 2 servings of whole fruits
  • Low in fat and calories for a smoothie
  • Has fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium
  • Contains some nonfat yogurt for protein
  • Thick, cold texture is filling and satisfying


  • Very high in natural and added sugars
  • Higher sugar and lower protein than many Smoothie King smoothies
  • Fruit sugar consumed quickly without fiber
  • Customizations can add unwanted calories, sugar, fat
  • Easy to consume excess portion sizes

Overall, the Strawberry Banana smoothie can be a good option in moderation for an occasional snack or light meal, if you don’t mind the spiked blood sugar from the high fruit sugar content. It provides decent nutrition from whole fruits. However, the high sugar content, low protein, and potential to over-consume can diminish any health benefits.

Making customizations to reduce sugars and add more filling ingredients can improve the nutritional profile. But consumers should be mindful of overdoing it on the highly sweetened smoothie, as regular huge doses of fruit sugar is probably not the healthiest choice.


Smoothie King’s Strawberry Banana smoothie provides some good nutrition from whole fruits like strawberries and bananas. However, it is very high in natural and added sugars, while being low in protein. The ingredient list is relatively simple and clean, focusing on fruits and yogurt. But the large amounts of fruit sugar without fiber can cause blood sugar spikes.

Customizing flavors, milks, juices, and mix-ins can quickly amplify the sugar and calorie content. While the classic Strawberry Banana can be an okay occasional snack in moderation, regular consumption of these huge sugar bombs is probably not recommended for optimal health.

Overall, the Strawberry Banana smoothie ranks as average compared to Smoothie King’s other offerings. It can provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from fruit, along with some protein from yogurt. But consumers should be mindful of portion size and sugar content if they want to get the health benefits without excess calories and carbs.

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