Smoothie vs. Milkshake: What’s The Difference?

Smoothie vs. Milkshake What’s The Difference

Which refreshing beverage are you in the mood for a smoothie or milkshake? Both of these beverages are preferences for most people. For some, they are one and the same thing, but for others, they couldn’t be any more different. Thus the question, what is the difference between a smoothie and a milkshake?

Smoothie vs. Milkshake

If two glasses, one of a smoothie and the other of a milkshake, were placed right in front you, can you tell one from the other based on sight and taste only? If you can’t, here are four essential aspects of these beverages that can assist you to tell the difference between a smoothie and a milkshake.

Primary Ingredients

The most significant difference in smoothies vs. milkshakes is in the primary ingredients of each. The fundamental elements of smoothies are pureed fruits and vegetables whereas, for milkshakes, the primary ingredients are dairy products such as plain milk or ice-cream.

Toppings & Nutritional Value

Smoothies and milkshakes greatly vary when it comes to the nutritional value provided by either, because of their toppings and primary ingredients.

For smoothies

For smoothies, toppings such as milk, Greek yogurt, seeds or nuts can be added to the pureed fruits and vegetables. Smoothies aim to be as nutrient sufficient as possible to provide your body with the necessary minerals and vitamins. This why smoothies can be taken as meal replacements and are a preferred pre-workout beverage for many.

For Milkshakes

Milkshakes, on the other hand, are completed with toppings additions like flavored syrups, candies, whipped cream, marshmallows or cut fruits. Milkshakes are ideally rich in sugar content, and saturated fats make them perfect for dessert, meal accompaniments or a sweet treat.


When it comes to telling a smoothie vs. milkshake the consistency of the beverage can be a big lead on.

Smoothies just as the name indicates are quite thick. This thickness of the beverage is because of the pulp provided by the pureed fruits and vegetables used as the primary ingredients. Milkshakes, however, because of their primary ingredients are dairy products tend to be silky smooth in consistency.

Common Flavors

If you are ordering a milkshake or smoothie at a restaurant or anywhere outside your home, the familiar flavors of either will definitely tell you the difference between the two beverages.

Smoothies generally come in flavors such as kiwi, pineapple, berries, and green vegetables. These flavors are derived from the main ingredient of the smoothie. For milkshakes, you can expect chocolate, caramel, vanilla and strawberry flavors derived from the flavored dairy product used to prepare the beverage.

The Bottom Line

We can wrap up this debate and conclude that: smoothies are all about blended fruits and vegetables with nutritious additions, while milkshakes are sweet beverages made from dairy products and feature sweetener additions.

When considering which is a healthier option, that is entirely dependent on the preparation process. Both smoothies and milkshakes can be healthy options as long as you prepare them yourself and use healthy option ingredients.