On Smoothie King

April 20, 2004 | By | COMMENTS

Starbucks did what it did by introducing a need in society that wasn’t there before: the need for a tall iced decaf no-fat caramel macchiato with extra caramel. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t help but admire the Starbucks business model; a model that carved its way through our craniums, branding our brains with green Starbucks logos and wrapping them with brown cardboard cupholders. Starbucks got into our heads.

Another force, on a smaller scale, walks in the footprints of Starbucks and has been gaining momentum over the last decade. Unlike Starbucks, it promotes “health” and “well-being” through “fruit” and “syrup” and “protein powder.” The entity in question is Smoothie King.

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Smoothie King is to college life what Tang is to NASA life: chemically engineered lifeblood.

Suzy Sorority may hate Joe Exisistentialist, but when it comes to a quick liquid pick-me-up, they’re both standing in line at the Smoothie King. A symbiotic relationship exists between a Smoothie King and its college students: the Smoothie King provides smoothies and college students provide parched lips from nights of partying, alcohol poisoning and a severe lack of nutrition. They’re like the rhinoceros and the parakeet. Or whatever.

It is nutrition, though, that I’d like to talk to you about now. Today I grabbed a smoothie on the way to class. (I was up all night partying with a parakeet and a term paper). Here is my Lemon Twist with Strawberry:

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Funny, it tastes good for you. But what’s all that stuff they put in it? As I watched the woman work, she squirted syrups and scooped powders into the blender before I could say: “No MSG!” But seriously, there’s a sinister element at play. They use fresh bananas, true. But everything else looks suspicious, like the salads at McDonalds which–when you examine them element by element–seem ok, but the whole still strikes you as “off.”

I’m especially worried about this Protein Craze. GNC and Smoothie King and thousands of other companies are selling these gigantic bottles of white powder that studs-to-be scoop into their smoothies or milkshakes or proteinated IV drips. I know, because I was one of those studs. My first attempt at gym-going involved a trainer who made me buy (under threat of an extra push-up) a giant (and I mean giant) tub of Myoplex. After three watery, powdery gag-inducing shakes I said “Feh!” and threw the tub in the trash.

I have nothing against protein–chicken, steak, fish are all great to me; it’s protein in powder form that’s freaky. Doesn’t that scare anyone else? Would you eat fruit in powdered form? Brussel sprouts? I rest my case.

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  • daniel

    are u familiar with jamba juice in california? it’s pretty good (my favorite is orange-a-peel); the smoothies are very refreshing but are pretty high in calories

  • Smurf

    I think the protein powder is mainly aimed at people who do weight training. I used to eat protein bars after workouts but anyone who’s eaten those knows that they taste like shit! I’d much rather drink a Smoothie. As far as getting your protein from food that’s fine if you don’t require a lot of protein, but if you do, you have to eat LOTS of food, and it usually comes with stuff you don’t want (fat).

  • Fran

    Hey,,, I’m a Smoothie King-er. LOVE the Almond High Protein Smoothie! Dropping the line just to say– as a vegatarian the protein has helped balance my diet AND as a college student… add the multi-vitamin :) Energy boost, any thing else- Yes, helping me through life. Blessings :)

  • Fox Mulder

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM I love smoothie king, we have one in our gym here in Dallas. I can’t get enough of the high protien w creatine smooties after a hard circuit training session. Thank goodness its located in here. instant fuel for my muscels

  • Julz

    Hi there, thanx for your comments ppl. I’m doing an assignment on juice bars and i’ve noticed that the US smoothies and juices are higher in calories than the Aussie ones. Say no to the Sherbert powder! Just have the Juice!

  • INformer

    The blue syrup in the “blueberry heaven” tastes like cheap corn syrup. Nutritional value is questionable. Ingredients are kept secret by Smoothie King. WHy should fresh fruit be kept secret. Ok, maybe you should keep a few secret ingredients in your chile like a dash of cinnamon or honey, but a smoothie?? come on, it should be like fruit, ice, a little sugar, and maybe some kind of milk or yogurt. Why does that need to be a secret?? (Shady) The taste is doctored up to about 20ounces at 400calorie sweet crazed consumers and food manufacturer industry. Take it easy on the sugar kids… You’ll understand when you get to be about thiry

  • shawn

    if anyone could give me a recipe for the strawberry hulk i would appreciate it.i cant find one anywhere

  • stacey

    Looking for any smoothie king recipes! Thanks in advance

  • raphael

    well i hate to burst your bubble, man, but the powdered forms are proven to be beneficial.

    there was an issue in men’s health that showed how to read the labels, and which ones to get containing certain ingredients.

    it separated the good from the otherwise fakers.

    for instance, the most popular powder seems to be the whey protein powder. this is the basic ingredient derived from milk that is shown to have significant increase in muscle building.

    don’t say you were “one of those guys” if you had a trainer and downed a couple protein shakes. you still don’t have a say in this because people who need trainers to bulk means they can’t even motivate themselves. it takes time.

  • charles

    I have to agree with some of the others. Powders may seem a bit strange, but I too am a vegetarian and have fewer ways of obtaining protein. I can’t afford the really good foods so I buy fruit and protein powders that are on sale. Thankfully my favorite fruit is banana so it’s cheap. If anyone finds a better way to obtain protein for vegetarians, I am all for it!

  • bonnie

    There are a lot of great ways to get protein for vegetarians. I am actually vegan myself. Anyhow… Hemp protein is one of the best forms of protein you can use. Completley all natural. You can buy it in bulk in seed form and put it into your smoothies, or you can buy it in a protein powder form, mixed with maca. If you are interested in learning more about this type of protein shoot me an e-mail and I will let you know where you can buy it.

  • gin hollinger

    I would love the recipe for Smoothie Kings The Hulk, can anyone help? I am a poor college student. Thanking you in advance, gin

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I can clear things up, considering I used to work at Smoothie King.

    - You can ask to leave out any powders you want, of course, you might just end up with a fruit slush that you paid $4+ dollars for.

    - The protein is all natural, coming from eggs, soy, and whey.

    - Protein is good for you, even if you’re not working out. Your body needs it.

    - The blue-syrup is blueberry concentrate. Guess what happens when you concentrate blueberries? You get blue liquid.

    - Everything is fresh and organic.

    - The ingredients used are extremely healthy and some are pretty expensive, so I’d say you’re getting a bang for your buck there.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I can clear things up, considering I used to work at Smoothie King.

    - You can ask to leave out any powders you want, of course, you might just end up with a fruit slush that you paid $4+ dollars for.

    - The protein is all natural, coming from eggs, soy, and whey.

    - Protein is good for you, even if you’re not working out. Your body needs it.

    - The blue-syrup is blueberry concentrate. Guess what happens when you concentrate blueberries? You get blue liquid.

    - Everything is fresh and organic.

    - The ingredients used are extremely healthy and some are pretty expensive, so I’d say you’re getting a bang for your buck there.

  • Can’t say

    I work at smoothie king so i’m not supposed to do this but the recipe for the strawberry hulk(20 oz.) is two ladels of strawberry a scoop of banana(about one single banana) A squirt of vanilla extract a squirt of wheat germ as far as the powders go everything is measured by about a table spoon one spoon of milk powder one spoon of sugar soy protein complex carbs three scoops of vanilla weight gain and egg protein two dishers of butter pecan ice cream and a cup of ice but by the time you bought all that it would probably be cheaper to just go buy the smoothie

  • I love Smoothies

    I would like to know how smoothie king makes there strawberry banana smoothies ? The exact ingredients needed and how much ..

  • Curious

    I’m new to the Smoothie King but i had this smoothie i think it was a Chocolate Mint smoothie and it was delicious! i was wondering how to make it, i live in a very small town and the nearest one is over an hour away.

  • Curious

    I’m new to the Smoothie King but i had this smoothie i think it was a Chocolate Mint smoothie and it was delicious! i was wondering how to make it, i live in a very small town and the nearest one is over an hour away.

  • Matt

    I have an awesome smoothie recipe that tastes great:

    The Yo Whey Jose

    8 oz water

    8 oz skim milk (or vanilla soy milk)

    1 scoop of GNC Whey complex (Vanilla)

    2 tablespoons of peanut butter (any brand)

    1 banana

    4-5 strawberries

    1/2 cup of fresh blueberries (can use frozen)

    10-12 ice cubes

    This recipe should make two 10-12 ounce smoothie. Each smoothie contains appx the following:

    Protein- 25grams

    Fat- 8grams

    Carbs-50grams

    Enjoy and please let me know what you think if you try it!

    Matt

  • Joey

    I have been employed by smoothie king for a year and a half now…and I know first hand, that the ingredients and supplements that go into these smoothies, aren’t always the best…and are NEVER the best for you!!!! They are actually very sugared, and the menu is meant to “razzle dazzle” you as you make your selection…this isn’t really “BEING GOOD TO YOURSELF!!!!”

    There are some good choices you can make on the menu, I will say that..and usually I help the customers make their purchase with their personal values in mind… but often, it’s very hard!!! Please be cautious, and..ask for nutritional values! They have them…its the purple pamplet.

  • Overseas Active Duty AirForce

    Strawberry Extreme anyone? PLEASE I’d even been willing to pay….I surely wish they (Smoothie King) would consider selling individual powders for their smoothies. Being stationed over here in Korea I would def buy a case or two. I miss my smoothies :-( cajunqt96 at aol . com

  • smoothie king LOVER

    I am absolutely dying without the recipe to the power punch plus!!!!! i know this post was 5 years ago but it would be AMAZING if you remembered the recipe!