Is Naked Juice Healthy?

As I stroll past the refrigerated section of the convenience store in the Student Center, deciding which beverage to buy and sip during class, I pause in front of the Naked Juices. Eagerly, I swing open the refrigerator door to pluck the Green Machine off the shelf. After guzzling the green drink during lecture, I toss the bottle into the recycle bin on my way out of the building, feeling good, as if I had just done my body a massive favor by drinking the Green Machine.

Photo Courtesy of Influentser

 

Naked Juice is good for you, in essence, but not if you drink one 46 oz bottle a day. To be completely fair, Naked Juice does correctly advertise their product. The nutritional facts are indeed factual and transparent, with no false advertisements. Naked does not contain any added sugars, as advertised, but the Green Machine does contain 53 grams of natural sugar. To put the 53 grams of sugar in a Green Machine into perspective, a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of sugar and a 14 oz Dunkin Donuts Mocha contains 51 grams of sugar.

Yes, the sugar is natural, but our body processes that natural sugar the same way as the three spoonfuls of sugar dumped into each morning’s coffee. Both table and natural fruit sugar end up in your liver and muscles where it’s converted to glucose, which your body stores as glycogen. Glycogen is body fat, but it can also turn into energy. When your body exerts energy, the glycogen mobilizes to deliver necessary fuel. If you don’t exert any energy, that glycogen (body fat) doesn’t mobilize either.

The Green Machine is loaded with sugar—which is odd considering it is supposedly a “green” drink. The reason for its 53 grams of sugar is the high fruit-to-veggie ratio. The Green Machine is essentially a fruit-juice blend, not a leafy green veggie detox, so it is advised to be wary of drinks that claim to be green. True green drinks contain a low amount of sugar, in a 46 oz bottle, less than 20 grams of sugar is the average amount expected.

Photo Courtesy of Jill E Duffy

 

Our body does not discriminate when it comes to digesting different types of sugar, but when comparing table sugar to fruits and vegetables there is an obvious difference. Table sugar is void of any nutritional value while fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. Your body loves fiber, it is your friend! Fiber is the helpful indigestible that travels through your digestive system, slows the release of any sugars into your bloodstream, and eases bowel movements. Unfortunately, most bottled “green” juices, such as the Green Machine, contain less than a gram of fiber. When fruits and vegetables are pressed to extract their juice, their fiber is left behind. It is always best to eat whole fruits and vegetables to reap all the benefits, even if that means whipping up a handmade Green Machine to ensure that you consume all the benefits.  

 

This article was inspired by my own curiosity and willingness to dig for dirt on Naked juices. Even after writing this piece, I’ll still consume a bottle of Naked juice biweekly, but as a conscious and educated decision. I’ve never been one to check nutritional labels, but I predict that I’ll fall into the habit of such examination.

                                    

My curiosity also lead me to research the recommended amount of daily sugar consumption, which is 50 grams. I was floored by this number. Not only am I over the “limit” by drinking the Green Machine (53 g), but I am also supposed to be satisfied? I could never.

Image result for drinking healthy green smoothiePhoto Courtesy of Show Me the Yummy

If I’ve taken anything away after writing this article, it’s that I need to start exerting more energy into my workouts to rid myself of that extra glycogen, but I’m also not going to start strictly policing my indulgences. The bottom line is that each body is unique and it is up to the individual to figure out their own bodily rhythm, habits, and limits.

 

Healthier alternative drinks to the Green Machine: Green Supreme by Suja, Great Greens by Jamba Juice, Green Tea, Ginger Tea, Pomegranate Juice, Cranberry Juice, Lemon Water.