Is blending my food bad for me?

With so many people on the go nowadays, it’s much easier to carry your go-to fruit blend or smoothie on the go. But with new innovation comes new concerns.

Does blending food remove fiber or nutrients as people claim? Is blending food worse for you than just eating it normally?

Blending food results in some loss of pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and perhaps vitamin A, although not much. Storing your food for long periods of time (a week or more) can result in the degradation of the nutrients.

Turns out, there’s a lot more to blending than people think, and it comes with a whole bunch of pros and cons. Is blending food right for you? The rest of this article will help you discover whether blending your food is a good option for you.

Are Nutrients Lost When Blending Food?

Contrary to popular belief, blending food does not remove any nutrients. Some nutrients are lost due to the friction heat generated by the blender, namely pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and, to a lesser extent, vitamin A.

Further nutrient loss can occur if the food is stored for longer than a week, but if you’re planning on gulping down a smoothie right away, then no nutrients will be lost.

Related: What Is The Whole 30 Diet? Is It Good For Runners?

Does Blending Fruits Increase Its Glycemic Index

We all need to be a little wary about the glycemic index especially individuals that have sensitivity to high sugar foods. When It comes to fruit it’s better to eat your fruit raw rather than blend your fruit into a smoothie. When you juice or blend your fruits, they release all the sugars from the cell walls of the fruit which ultimately become “free-roaming sugars.” (source: Medical News Today)

This is the reason why orange juice, evenly freshly squeezed, has a higher glycemic index than an orange does. Oranges have a glycemic index of 52 while orange juice ranges between 66 and 76 on a scale of 100.

Benefits of Blending Food for Runners/Exercisers

As it turns out, most of the debate surrounding blended food is about how the body handles it. In the case of exercise, this might well be a good thing.

Whenever you eat something solid, your body has to expend energy to digest it properly so that the nutrients can be sent off where they are needed. It’s part of why we tend to be a little slower right after eating a big meal.

When it comes to blended food, all of the energy the body would be used for digestion can be used elsewhere, giving blended food enthusiasts more of an energy boost throughout the day.

Related: Best Superfoods for runners

Which Foods Is It Ok to Blend?

Some of the first things you should consider blending are foods that you just can’t stand eating whole. Kale, for example, is something that a lot of people have a hard time stomaching, and blending it with other enjoyable additions makes it a lot more palatable.

As a whole, blending a good profile of vitamin-rich fruits is a good idea as long as you’re planning on drinking it immediately (ideally on an empty stomach).

It also helps you get more fiber from a variety of sources.

Which Foods Is It Not Ok to Blend?

When it comes to blending foods, you need to consider a few things. The first and foremost is the damage you could do to your blender. Avoid using ice cubes or frozen-solid fruits like blueberries to prevent damage to the blender.

Ingredients high in fiber tend to turn stringy, even in the best blender, so broccoli, for example, is a no-go.

Fruits high in vitamin C are found to blend but note that some vitamin C will be lost in the blending process, leaving your orange smoothie with more sugar than nutrients.

Other than these concerns, you’re fine to blend anything as long as you put some thought into the flavors that you’re trying to combine.

Related: What Should I Carry During A Marathon Race?

What Happens to the Food When You Blend It?

As a whole, blending food is just a way of pre-digesting it by mushing it all together.

Yes, some of those nutrients are lost in the process, but blended food can give you a wider profile of nutrients from different combined foods, and higher fiber, and will make you feel more satisfied to avoid overeating.

One of the biggest dangers that you should steer clear of when blending your food is overloading sugar.

If you Google just about any fruit smoothie recipe, you’ll begin to notice something odd―that is a whole lot of fruit in one smoothie.

You probably wouldn’t be eating three bananas or a whole cup of strawberries in one sitting, especially not in the same sitting.

Natural sugars in fruits are better than artificial ones, but an excess of natural sugars can still cause your blood sugar levels to rise dangerously.

Some fiber is lost during the blending process, and fiber is what helps your body manage the natural sugars in fruit.

Drinking a whole smoothie that’s not properly proportioned can put a lot of unnecessary sugar in your body, negatively impacting your health.

Related: Which Diets Are Best For Runners? Paleo, Mediterranean, or Keto?

Final Thoughts

Blended food gets a bad rep, and it’s not exactly fair criticism most of the time. Blended food can help you get a wide profile of fruits and veggies in your diet that you wouldn’t otherwise, and the energy you would be used for digestion can be expended elsewhere.

Even so, some fiber and nutrients are lost in blending, and sugar overload is a common issue with many smoothie recipes. As with all things, enjoy in moderation.

Coach Scott's Credentials: He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 17th half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

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References

https://www.navanfoods.com/blending-destroy-nutrients/

https://www.isitbadforyou.com/questions/is-blending-fruit-bad-for-you#:~:text=While%20blending%20itself%20does%20not%20cause%20any%20nutrients,pantothenic%20acid%2C%20vitamin%20C%2C%20and%20possibly%20vitamin%20A.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/smoothie-logic/518127/

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