Fruit has numerous health benefits, but when it comes to adding it to your protein shake, there are some essential things to keep in mind. First, it’s worth understanding the difference between consuming whole fruit and fruit juice. While fruit juice might seem like a healthy choice, it’s more concentrated in sugars than whole fruit. Making just one cup of apple juice can take as many as three apples (per the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada). Whole fruits also contain fiber, which helps slow down sugar absorption and stabilize blood sugar levels (via the CDC). Fiber can also contribute to a feeling of fullness and satisfaction, making it easier to resist the temptation of sugary foods and beverages.
So, adding fruit juice to protein shakes can lead to a higher caloric and sugar intake than you might realize, which can have a range of adverse effects on your health. For example, high sugar intake can cause spikes in insulin levels, which can lead to weight gain and other long-term health risks. Additionally, it can lead to cravings and overindulgence, which further increases your sugar and calorie intake, creating a cycle that can thwart weight loss efforts.