Best Liquid for Smoothies – We Look At 11 Options

The best liquid you can use for smoothies depends upon your goals. There is no one, right answer for everyone. Luckily, we’ve gathered all the information you need to determine the best liquid for smoothies for you.

Also, don’t forget that if you need a blender, check out our rankings for the best smoothie blenders!

Here is a chart that shows how each liquid compares relative to each other. The chart shows how many total calories are in the liquid with the red portion being the calories attributed to protein. The more red you have relative to the entire length of the bar, the more protein-dense the liquid is.

All Smoothie Liquids Compared

calories protein chart
Calories per 1 cup. Water and coconut milk not shown.
We looked at almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, every type of dairy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, and coconut water to help you find the best liquid for smoothies.
We analyzed every one of these products to help you pick the best liquid for smoothies.

Most of our analysis is based on the total calories and the amount of protein found in each liquid. The length of the bar reflects the total calories found in each. The red portion reflects the number of calories attributed to the protein found in each liquid.

The more red relative to the overall length, the less “fattening” the liquid.

The Best Liquid for You Depends Upon Your Goals

Are you wanting to lose weight? Bulk up? Or maintain muscle definition?

Keep reading for a breakdown for the best liquid for smoothies for each goal.

Best Smoothie Liquid for Loosing Weight

1

water

Water

Best overall liquid for losing weight. But not the best flavor and adds no nutrition.

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0 Calories

0g Protein

2

cashew milk 1

Cashew Milk

Much better flavor in exchange for only 25 calories.

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25 Calories

1g Protein

3

almond milk 1

Almond Milk

Improved flavor. Easier to find in stores. Only 37 calories.

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37 Calories

1g Protein

As you can see, water is the best liquid for smoothies when your goal is to maintain or lose weight. But it isn’t the most flavorful.

If you can drink a smoothie mixed with water, great! But if you can’t, the smoothie won’t do you any good since you won’t drink it. For more flavorful but still low-calorie options, check out Cashew Milk or Almond Milk.

Best Smoothie Liquid for Adding Muscle Definition

1

fat free milk

Skim Milk

Best choice for adding muscle. Low in calories & high in protein.

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83 Calories

8g Protein

2

soy milk 1

Soy Milk

Another great choice. If you are lactose intolerant, this is your default option.

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80 Calories

7g Protein

3

2 percent milk

2% Milk

A little bit of milk fat boosts the calories. Opt for this if you are more active.

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102 Calories

8g Protein

Best Smoothie Liquid for Gaining Weight

1

coconut milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk contains a gigantic amount of calories. If you are wanting to pack on the pounds, this is your best bet.

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552 Calories

5.5g Protein

2

whole milk

Whole Milk

Go for this if you don’t like coconut milk or want a more affordable option to bulk up.

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149 Calories

8g Protein

3

1 percent milk

1% Milk

A little bit of milk fat boosts the calories. Opt for this if you are more active.

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102 Calories

8g Protein

Liquids for Smoothies

From highest amount of calories to lowest

Coconut Milk

Calories: 552Protein: 5.5 g
Values per 1 cup of coconut milk

While it has 5.5 grams of protein, raw coconut milk has a whopping 552 calories total.

Most of the calories come from fat. Coconut milk contains 57.1 grams of fat. 51 grams of that total is saturated fat!

If you are skinny and are needing to gain weight as fast as possible, coconut milk is a great liquid to use in your smoothies.

Buy it in a can, or make your own.

Whole Milk

Calories: 149Protein: 8 g
Values per 1 cup of Milk

Whole milk adds 8 grams of protein to your shake per cup used. Most people love the taste of milk and milky smoothies are very popular.

149 calories per cup isn’t nearly as much found in coconut milk, but it still considered high. If you are wanting to add muscle definition but not necessarily gain weight, milk may be a good option if you are very active. Otherwise, you should opt for 2%, 1%, or skim milk.

whole milk

No matter what diary milk you choose, you’ll get a decent amount of Vitamins A & D.

If you are lactose intolerant, no dairy milk will work. If that case, take a look at soy milk.

2% Milk

Calories: 122Protein: 8 g
Values per 1 cup of 2% Milk

2% milk contains the same 8 grams of protein as whole milk. But it saves you 27 calories that comes from the additional fat found in whole milk.

It’s an easy way to save a bit of calories while still maintaining the flavor of whole milk.

2% is a popular dairy milk because it contains enough milk fat to almost have the same taste and texture of whole milk. But is saves considerable calories.

2% Reduced Fat Milk

1% Milk

Calories: 102Protein: 8 g
Values per 1 cup of 1% Milk

1% milk still contains the 8 grams of protein found in whole milk. But is contains 47 fewer calories per cup.

This option has half the fat and half the saturated fat found in 2% milk. If you like a little bit of fat in your milk but you don’t like the calories that comes with it, 1% is a great option.

Your smoothie liquid will be a bit more watered down relative to whole milk. But it still has that dairy milk flavor that most of us love.

publix greenwise 1 percent lowfat milk

Skim Milk

Calories: 83Protein: 8 g
Values per 1 cup of Skim Milk

Skim milk is an incredibly great choice for those wanting to add muscle definition but not a lot of weight. It contains the same 8 grams of protein found in whole milk but at almost half the calories.

Zero Fat But All The Vitamins

As it contains no fat, it has the same consistency of water. But it is much more nutritious. Like other dairy milks, it has very similar amounts of Vitamins A & D.

fat free milk

Oat Milk

Calories: 90Protein: 3 g
Values per 1 cup of Unsweetened Oat Milk

Oat milk is a relative newcomer to the mass market. Oat milk contains 90 calories and just 3 grams of protein per cup.

What it lacks for in protein relative to dairy milk, it makes up in other ways. It has more Vitamin A, more Vitamin D, and more calcium than what is found in either whole, 2%, 1%, or fat-free dairy milk. It also contains a small amount of iron whereas dairy milk contains no iron.

oat milk

Soy Milk

Calories: 80Protein: 7 g
Values per 1 cup of Unsweetened Soy Milk

Soy milk has been on the market for a while. It is very similar to Skim Milk in terms of the amount of protein and calories found in it.

If you are lactose intolerant, you are likely already familiar with soy milk. There are different types of soy milk which may affect the amount of calories and protein found in it.

soy milk 1

We always recommend choosing an unsweetened soy milk. If you want a little better flavor, maybe opt for a unsweetened vanilla soy milk.

Soy milk does not require refrigeration until after you open it. The only reason grocery stores put it in the refrigerated dairy section is because it increases sales when they do so.

Coconut Water

Calories: 45Protein: 2
Values per 1 cup of Coconut Water

Coconut water is one of those things that comes in several different brands. It has exploded in popularity relatively recently so there are more choices than there used to be.

It is low in calories, containing only 45 per 1 cup. It does have about 9% of the daily value of Vitamin C. Regular dairy milk has no Vitamin C.

coconut water

It is much lower in fat that most options found on this page. Raw coconut water contains only 0.5 grams of fat per cup. Compare that to 2.4 grams found in 1% milk.

Only skim milk and water contain less fat than coconut water!

Relative to most other options for smoothies, coconut water contains a lot of sodium and potassium.

Almond Milk

Calories: 37Protein: 1 g
Values per 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of those “milks” that are found in abundance in the dairy section of your grocery store. Many people have developed a taste for it and its low-calorie nature makes it a great option.

Go with soy milk if you can’t have dairy or if you want something lower in calories but still tastes good.

When choosing an almond milk, always go with an unsweetened option. Else you’ll just pack on the calories!

almond milk

Almost milk has just 1 gram of protein. But of every option on this page, it contains the most calcium. 1 cup of almond milk has 37% of your daily value of calcium.

Cashew Milk

Calories: 25Protein: 1 g
Values per 1 cup of Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is a relative newcomer to the mass-market. However, it seems to have found a foothold.

It only contains 1 gram of protein per cup. But it also only has 25 calories per cup.

If you want the slimmest protein shake you can make, but don’t want to use water, then opt for cashew milk.

cashew milk

Best Milk For Smoothies for Staying Slim

If you are looking the best milk for smoothies, then consider cashew milk. It is the milk with the lowest amount of calories available on the market. Unlike whole dairy milk, you can consume a lot of cashew milk and not consume a lot of calories.

Cashew milk contains the same amount of Vitamin A as what is found in dairy milk. It also contains more Calcium than what is found in dairy milk.

This makes cashew milk a great, nutritious option for smoothies!

Water

Calories: 0Protein: 0

Water has no protein and zero calories. It doesn’t add anything taste-wise to your smoothie either.

Most people do not care much for smoothies where water is used as the liquid. However, there are some recipes out there that it works better with.

If you want the lowest calorie smoothie you can whip up, this is your choice!

More Smoothie Content

Check out these other smoothie-related articles:

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