When is the best time of day to drink a green smoothie?
That’s a question I get a lot. The simple answer is “anytime”, but there are some distinct advantages to having your green smoothie earlier in the day.
While I used to drink a green smoothie for lunch and dinner, I no longer have a dinner smoothie for reasons I’ll discuss below. But first…
Green Smoothie As A Meal vs. Green Smoothie With a Meal
I prefer to have my green smoothies as my meal. That means I drink a large, 32-ounce (on average) green smoothie with at least 10 grams of protein (I usually double it with a protein powder), and 350 or more calories. (Men and very active women may need at least 450-500 calories per meal.) This is usually sufficient to keep me satisfied until my next meal.
A small, 20-ounce green smoothie made with only two pieces of fruit and a handful of greens does not have sufficient calories to be a meal. While it will make a healthy snack, you’ll quickly become hungry again.
So when I talk about having a green smoothie for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I’m referring to a meal replacement green smoothie.
The Benefits Of Having A Green Smoothie Meal For Breakfast
Breakfast is by far the best time of day to drink a green smoothie, especially if you are only going to drink one smoothie per day. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all, a green smoothie starts your day off on a healthy note. If you make a large green smoothie meal, then you should be satisfied until lunch, with sufficient protein and calories to stave off mid-morning hunger. T
he fresh fruit that you used will also satisfy your sweet tooth, making that donut or sugary muffin much less tempting.
Secondly, no other breakfast is as jam-packed with naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And forget about needing caffeine to wake up in the morning. I don’t drink coffee anymore. My green smoothie gives me plenty of energy.
And finally, a morning green smoothie may cover your entire recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. I can’t think of any better way to start the day!
Let Green Smoothies Rescue You From A Fast Food Lunch
Lunch is the next best time of day to drink a green smoothie. If you don’t start your day with a green smoothie, then let green smoothies rescue you from a less than stellar lunch.
When lunch time rolls around, you may find yourself pressed for time (lunch breaks are short!) so you’ll need something quick and easy. Unfortunately, quick and easy usually means a frozen, packaged lunch “freshly” zapped in the break room microwave.
Or you’ll be tempted to hit up the nearby fast food joints.
Green smoothies are a quick and easy lunch solution for when you are at work. You can blend it up at home and keep it cool in a refrigerator or in an insulated container.
Maybe you can even petition to have a blender placed in the lunch room at your place of work (I’ve heard from some readers who are fortunate to have a blender sitting next to the microwave at work).
Make sure you add protein and fiber rich foods to your lunch green smoothie to fill you up and keep you satisfied throughout the day. Having a green smoothie for lunch will also give you a natural burst of energy, fighting off the dreaded afternoon slump.
Why Drinking A Green Smoothie For Dinner Might Not Be The Best Idea
Of course, you can have a green smoothie for dinner. Drinking a healthy green smoothie loaded with fruits and vegetables is always a great idea. If you have the willpower, great, enjoy your dinner smoothie!
While I used to drink a green smoothie with dinner (sometimes I had it for dinner), I don’t anymore. I lack the willpower to have a green smoothie when everybody else is enjoying a “proper” dinner. When it comes to dinner time, I am easily persuaded to go out to dinner or enjoy something other than a green smoothie.
I also like sitting down at the table with my family and eating dinner together. Being super strict about what I eat during the most social part of my day is isolating. Plus, making dinner together with my husband and son is bonding time.
Having a green smoothie for dinner may also cause gas and bloating, especially if your lunch or mid-afternoon snacks were regular meals.
The reason for this is that green smoothies digest efficiently and rapidly. A heavy meal at lunch or a fatty afternoon snack could still be working its way though your digestive tract, holding up your green smoothie and causing gas.
The last and final reason I don’t drink a green smoothie for dinner is that I lost an additional five pounds (I lost a total of 40 pounds) simply by switching my dinner smoothie for a breakfast green smoothie.
My dinners are usually healthier than the breakfast I was starting the day with. So by skipping the cereal (or muffin, bagel, etc…) for breakfast and drinking a smoothie, and then eating a healthy (whole foods, plant-based) dinner, I optimized my diet, finally losing those last few stubborn pounds.