Smoothie King Is Terrible for You

Categories: Beet Reporter

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Not long ago, I set foot in my first and last Smoothie King. At the time, I was a smoothie-making fiend in my own home, gulping down bags of expensive organic frozen berries like flappers guzzled bathtub gin. So I was psyched when I walked through the door of this "nutritional lifestyle center" at 14200 SW Eighth St. (we'd just finished a thirst-inducing bike ride through Shark Valley) to see the reasonable prices on immense fruit smoothies.

A 40-ounce blueberry smoothie for just $8? Wow. Yes, 40 ounces of anything is probably going a bit overboard. But this wasn't beer or steak. And considering blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits on the planet, are insanely high in antioxidants, and might even prevent and reverse age-related mental decline (oh, and also they taste amazing), this seemed like a delicious, health-boosting offer I couldn't refuse.

See also: Tap Tap's Stewed Vegetables: Vegan but Packed With Oil

I stepped up to the counter and ordered the monster-size Blueberry Heaven. "Please don't add any sugar -- just the fruit," I specified.

The bored-looking teenage counter girl pushed her long dark hair from her face, revealing a mocking smirk. "OK," she said. Her patronizing sneer frightened me. What evil secret does she harbor? I wondered. Why is she laughing at me?

As she began preparing the smoothie, the answer soon became clear. There was not one actual berry in sight. Instead, she squirted a purplish stream of "blueberry juice blend" from an old-school Slush Puppie-style dispenser. Next, she extracted a slimy and browning semifrozen banana from a cooler. Finally, I watched in horrified disbelief as she pumped a few more squirts of an unknown clear liquid, which I can only guess was sugar syrup, into the cup. I was so stunned I couldn't even tell her to stop. She blended all this crap together, and the result was a weighty Styrofoam-encased barrel full of frozen sugar sludge, which, for "just" $8, I soon held in my hand.

Even though I knew better, I decided to take a sip. Sure enough, it tasted like artificially flavored corn syrup ice. (Note: Because Smoothie King uses "proprietary" ingredients that are "manufactured to guidelines set by the franchise," I can't actually be sure whether the "juice blend" or the mystery liquid contains corn syrup, cane sugar, fructose, dextrose, or some other form of sugar. But one thing I can tell you is that the smoothie contained sugar. And lots of it.)

Like a naive 1960s TV show character who has just finally grasped that she's entered the Twilight Zone, the realization of this sham "nutritional lifestyle center" fell upon me full-force.

I noticed a couple who collectively weighed around 600 pounds bumbling in through the entrance. "Let's do something good for ourselves today," I imagined they were saying to each other, as I held my 650-calorie sugar-water blend in my hand."Let's have Smoothie King for lunch."

The rest of my posse, who were not as nutritionally anal-retentive as I, ordered and received their concoctions without seeming fazed. I, meanwhile, tried to hold in my stream of outraged indignation so as not to impede my friends' enjoyment.

I failed. We had barely made it to the car before I dumped my frozen junk juice and began my rant about how betrayed I felt by this place that had the audacity to label itself a "nutritional lifestyle center."

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Smoothie King

1557 SW 107th Ave., Miami, FL

Category: General

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62 comments
triplegood
triplegood

Don't hate on the author of this article.  You might not like how she said it, but she is absolutely 100 percent correct.  I've visited Smoothie King twice in the last 10 days and I will say at the outset that my diet includes little or no added sugar.  


The first time I got some sort of berry drink that I didn't watch them make.  I did drink it, but it was sweet.  Last night I I made it a point to watch as very congenial young guy begin to make my smoothie and to my horror the strawberries he was using were dripping in syrup.  


I asked if there was an alternative and he said that the only real fruits used were banana and pineapples.  So he made me a smoothie that he drinks that included those two fruits and kale.  He said that neither he or his coworker drank the other Smoothie King products be causes of the high sugar content.  


So if you want a sweet concoction that will provide you with the false perception that you're indulging in something healthy, Smoothie King is for you.  But if you're serious about you sugar intake, run as fast and as far away from this vendor.

wowpowcow11
wowpowcow11

This article is ridiculous. I don't think smoothie king is healthy but you need to put a little more effort into research before you start spewing lies like this. The clear pump is water, all of the smoothies are water-based. Employees have access to the ingredients of juice blends but the location of this list in every store varies and you may have been speaking to a new employee. If you know which fruits are real at smoothie king, maybe get a smoothie with just those?

Also, it makes no sense that you open this article talking about how you had been making your own smoothies at home and that was great while you close saying that smoothies IN GENERAL are bad for people. Poorly researched, poorly written.

steelblue58
steelblue58

Gee, melodramatic much?  Why not check a "fact" or two before you publish.  As Samuel Clemens wrote:  "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

hatestupidppl
hatestupidppl

And omg please. Blueberry heaven doesn't have sugar syrup. Stop freaking assuming and spreading untrue facts.


I don't like the company's management of its employees but it doesn't mean I won't defend it from ridiculous accusations like these.

hatestupidppl
hatestupidppl

RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE. And there are more information sources than calling the company. They probably couldn't tell you due to confidentiality issues. Ask employees, they'll know. 

hatestupidppl
hatestupidppl

The bananas when they make the smoothies are at its best stage - with the most nutrients and flavour. Read up online.

The purees and concentrates have no preservatives. The pump bottles are washed every time they're refilled.

Just because overweight people drink Smoothie King does not mean the smoothies are the cause for the weight.

Ridiculous. Stupid.


Source: Was an employee.

burnsc08
burnsc08

The smoothies aren't going to be like you make them at home.  $8 is a deal on a smoothie...really?  Your perspective seems to be a little off...gotta love Miami and its inhabitants 

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

Looks like smoothie kinks has their pr people posting here. It's junk food. Period. (Btw, kinks is intended.)

Victor Runciman
Victor Runciman

Whatever happened to be good to your health? ... and I LOVE my STRAWBERRY HULK with MUSCLE BUILDER and MULTIVITAMIN!

Jessica Alonso
Jessica Alonso

OMG no way!!! Miculito Bay maybe it was just the one she got

Miculito Bay
Miculito Bay

Jessica Alonso nooooooooo!!! not my green tea tango!

JoJo
JoJo

OK this is pretty funny... Doesn't everyone know Smoothie King is just empty calories?

Vito Delgado
Vito Delgado

I guess smoothie king better get it together or take the chance of the business failing. We expect healthy and fresh fruits. Its my lifestyle.

Mibalz Ezhari
Mibalz Ezhari

Meanwhile a vegan turns in yet another shitty article.

guest
guest

I'm no fan of Smoothie King...but this is awful, hyperbolic writing. Smugness and fat-shaming aside (nice, btw!), this is just poor writing and bad journalism. Why is New Times publishing this shit? Some random vegan is disappointed by Smoothie King - BREAKING NEWS! Check your use of language and attitude towards people. "I noticed a couple who collectively weighed around 600 pounds bumbling in through the entrance." Seriously?! You sound incredibly ignorant. Civilized people don't talk like this anymore.

"I, meanwhile, tried to hold in my stream of outraged indignation so as not to impede on my friends' enjoyment." 

Also, you sound like an awful person to be around. I'll take the bumbling, 600lb cretins that dare to breathe the same air as you any day of the week.

Richard Greenfield
Richard Greenfield

Whatever, it tastes good. If you don't like it. Don't buy it. Writing this skewed editorial about some local business owner's honest livelihood is much worse than some ingredients you just don't like. #BADREPORTER

Manny Dobal
Manny Dobal

Camille you have to be the worst reporter on the planet. Your entire article is filled with incorrect assumptions, poor investigation, and hateful comments. The only Short Order you reported on was your brain cells and capacity as a reporter.

Yami Noelle Nogues
Yami Noelle Nogues

I loved Courtney's response to this retarded lady...... I think I would've probably punched Camille in the face if she were my friend and busted out in a rant about it.....

Muse TD
Muse TD

It gave me horrible stomach ache when i drank one recently.

courtney529
courtney529

I'll take a page out of your book Camille and endlessly use passive aggressive quotation marks to emphasize my utter disdain of your "article." 

You call yourself a "blogger" yet seem to lack the basic mental function to do research before posting a negative blast toward a company.

I'm not going to sit here and list every biased, misguided "fact" you wrote, but rather touch on some broader topics. 

Firstly, let's have a bit of this transparency you're talking about and let everyone know that you chose the largest size possible. You also could have easily asked the employee what this "mysterious" clear liquid was, and they could have informed you that it is simply water. But I guess that wouldn't go well with your blast post, huh?

Smoothie King informatively divides their menu into different sections so customers can easily find a smoothie that meets their needs. The "indulge" section provides some smoothies that are exactly as described...an indulgence rather than a meal replacement. These smoothies will have more sugar than some of the others. 

However, if you'd been a little more thorough, you would have noticed that if you're looking for a healthier option, there are many zero fat, low calorie options. 

Personally, I choose the Gladiator Vanilla with banana and peanut butter. I don't get a lot of protein in my diet, and this smoothie provides me with a boost. I get a Small and it easily replaces breakfast or lunch for me. This smoothie is also less than 200 calories with no added sugar. 

Not to mention, they blatantly advertise the "make it skinny" option, which eliminates the turbinado sugar and reduces calories. In addition, the company is making strides to include "veggie smoothies" with superfoods like kale. I've even had an owner serve me a completely vegan smoothie, which was both nutritious and tasty.

Sorry you had such a bad experience Camille. But maybe your "outraged indignation" on just a smoothie should get you to consider professional help. It's not that serious.

Jimmycaan
Jimmycaan

I have it everyday, the calories are on the menu, as are the sizes. The smalls are under 250 calories and are 4-5 dollars.

Rbalb
Rbalb

Why didn't you get the small 20oz blueberry heaven.. It's under 300 calories and has no fat.

You got the 40oz the biggest size, well you said you got it which I doubt. They have about 20 smoothies are under 300 calories and 0fat, don't mention those huh? Check out their nutritional menu

Ashley Marlow
Ashley Marlow

I drink the protein shakes all the time. They work for me.

Matt Vassallo
Matt Vassallo

smoothies are for people who don't have teeth

ob1sfla
ob1sfla

I used to order there, when in a hurry wanted something, in south beach on Alton, I lived in a studio apartment right behind it, I hardly eat out for this and other reasons, and never pay attention to how they work. I'm glad they made the mistake or serving someone like you, it serve them right. I'm really grateful for you taking the time to do your job and wright about this. I will never,order there, and will encourage others to do the same

Rome Mc
Rome Mc

Laurel St its like every other company. But it carry a big name and people love it

Barlow Izzy
Barlow Izzy

Why are people so surprised that Smoothie King is bad? You can see all the flavored syrup the employees use when making the drinks. Lol

Aaron Lebos
Aaron Lebos

This is obvious...There's still a lot of uninformed people who think an Acai or Pomegranate smoothie from Smoothie King is healthy! haha

Nicole Garcia
Nicole Garcia

Brandon Chico TheThird you received nothing but ze best at smoothie cafe

Tony Amp
Tony Amp

I've been saying this for years!!!

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