Why You Should Drink Smoothies Immediately After Making Them

Smoothies are a great addition to just about any diet. They're super quick, they're portable, they're convenient, and they can be customized according to exactly what you want and need, whether you're trying to sneak in a few extra veggies or attempting to swap out all dairy with dairy-free alternatives. However, when it comes to smoothies, it's often better to consume them right after making them rather than to keep an already-blended mixture in the fridge for hours — here's why.

Basically, the minute you've blended up all those nutrient-packed ingredients to go in your smoothie, you've destroyed the food's cellular structure and exposed it to oxygen (via Juicer Kings). This oxygen exposure has a negative impact on the nutrients in the smoothie, and the longer you wait to consume it, the more those beneficial nutrients begin to lose their strength. Yes, there are still nutrients in the smoothie, even if you wait to drink it, but they're best when they're fresh.

While you can leave your smoothie blended for a while before drinking, in addition to the nutrient loss that occurs over time, you may hit issues like the smoothie separating into layers. To help keep oxygen exposure and thus nutrient loss at bay for as long as possible, try to add in a bit of lemon or lime juice to your smoothie, always keep it refrigerated, and store it in an airtight container with the smoothie filled all the way to the top.

A few options for prepping smoothies ahead of time

So, you know that you don't want to let your smoothie sit around in the fridge overnight before drinking it, but you're not sure you quite have the time to whip up a fresh smoothie right when you want it, every time? Luckily, there are a few tips for prepping your smoothie that cut down on the preparation process a bit without sacrificing the nutrients.

One of the most popular ways of prepping smoothies in advance is the freezer bag method. Basically, you measure out nearly all the ingredients you need from your smoothie, from frozen fruit to nutrient-packed mix-ins like chia and flax seeds (via Ambitious Kitchen), everything but the liquid. Then, freeze the bag of ingredients until you're ready for your smoothie, and all you'll have to do when you want the fresh smoothie is combine the contents of the frozen bag with your liquid of choice. Another popular method is to actually blend up the smoothie and then freeze it, either in a mason jar or in small portions in an ice-cube tray. Freezing the mixture helps to halt that oxidation in its tracks, and then you have a smoothie ready to go and all you have to do is wait for it to thaw.