Today I have been drinking my own body weight in fruit. The reason was simple. I was pottering around Boots and I saw a huge advert for Innocent’s new Super Smoothies. I’d heard about these but, because I live a fair few miles out of London and the smoothies had to be kept cold, Innocent couldn’t put any on a bike for me to test. I’d kind of forgotten about them until I saw the sign. Ah what the heck I thought, I fancy something sweet, I’ll give them a try.
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There are many reasons why I wanted to do this. In fact, I’ve made a handy list….
1) Innocent Super Smoothies were created with the help of nutrition guru Ian Marber – this means they’ve got kudos in my world. I like Ian. He speaks sense.
2) They’ve not just got fruit in them. The reason they are called Super Smoothies is that they also contain veggies like pumpkin and beetroot and they’re fortified with vitamins, minerals and herbs like echinacea and guarana to give them an extra health boost
3) They also contain flaxseeds: Not lumpy ones, very, very smooth ones. Ian told me they took ages to try and get this right as most people don’t like seeds in their smoothies.
Why are the flaxseeds in there at all in that case? Well they give a small dose of added nutrients, but more importantly they contain healthy fats which slow digestion. This means you won’t get so much of the sudden surge of sugar (then the potential crash) you can get from normal smoothie drinks.
4) The drinks tell you how they might help you with names like Energise and Recharge .
This is unusual in the UK right now because to imply this you have to include ingredients that have been given official permission to say they can help those things based on evidence.
And that’s not as easy as you think to achieve.
However because Innocent have included things like B vitamins which categorically help you make energy and vitamin C which definitely can help support the immune system you can choose a drink that spells out how it might help you – which saves you wasting cash on the wrong one.
So, which is which? And what’s in them?
Note a bottle of Innocent Superfood Smoothie is 360ml although the company say a serving is only 250ml. This would mean you’d have to save half a serving for another day, or throw away a third of what you’ve paid for, which makes no sense and doesn’t act like anyone does in the real world – so, I’m going to give you the calories and sugar per bottle – remember though, Innocent only suggest that you consume 250ml!.
Energise: Contains guarana, a herb that boosts energy and also has B vitamins. Calories per bottle: 216. Sugar per bottle: 36g
Recharge: Can claim potential immunity benefits as it has vitamin C in it. Calories per bottle: 162. Sugar per bottle: 35.64g
Invigorate: Can claim energising benefits from it’s B vitamins. Also has a smidgen of matcha and spirulina. Calories per bottle: 207. Sugar per bottle: 39.6g
Uplift: A mix of five different types of berry with an extra dash of baobab powder (that’s from a tree really high in vitamin C), Innocent say this one is good for a bit of a power boost. Calories per bottle: 201. Sugar per bottle: 36g.
Spark: Another energiser with B vitamins. Calories per bottle: 203. Sugar per bottle: 43g
Cacao and Cherry: No snappy name for this one, just a simple description of what makes it yummy. Calories per bottle: 225. Sugar per bottle: 43.2g
5) They taste really good. I’m not a smoothie fan normally. They’re either two sweet or too sharp – but these are smooth, creamy and sweet but not too sweet. In fact, I like them a lot, which is a bit of a problem because…..
Smoothies, generally, are sugary and pretty high in calories!
There’s no way around it. Squash half a fruit bowl into a small bottle and there’s going to be consequences.
And for the Innocent Super Smoothies ones the cost is around 162-225 calories per bottle, which isn’t so bad, it’s about the same as an average bar of chocolate with more nutrients – but 36-43g of sugar based carbohydrates. Which is a heck of a lot.
In fact, it’s the equivalent of at least 10 teaspoons of sugar.
And yes, while it’s not added sugar and it does all come from fruit, and we shouldn’t limit sugar from whole fruit, the NHS does advise that we limit sugar in fruit juices and smoothies – and they suggest a portion of no more than 150ml a day from these sources.
Interestingly, cutting your portion size down to 150ml which would actually work better with the Super Smoothie portion size, as then you would get just over two proper servings from them. Maybe that’s the secret.
So, what’s my Innocent Super Smoothies review then? Are Innocent Super Smoothies good for you?
Well, while I enjoyed mine today I won’t be making them a habit – I’d rather eat my calories than drink them – they are more filling that way.
I also eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily and take a multivit so I don’t really need the extra boost I get from a smoothie or juice – but, if you are looking for a grab-and-go way to up your intake of fruit and veg, these are a pretty tasty option.
Just remember to account for the calories and the sugar – and maybe think about splitting each bottle in two.
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You’ll find the Innocent Super Smoothies now at Boots and selected supermarkets. Check out the Innocent website for more details.
Of and if you’re a fan of all things Innocent – or smoothies per se – you might like to know that they have a smoothie recipe book, click here to check it out.
If you want to know more about the company itself, there’s a book on that too (busy bunnies aren’t they). It tells you what the learned about setting up a smoothie business and how they went from selling 24 bottles on their first day of trading to over 2 million now. If that sounds like a good read you can buy it here.