Last Updated: October 16, 2021

Before we establish preference of one liquid over the other, we first need to understand the primary function of any liquid in a smoothie.

The function: liquids in smoothies are there to help the ingredients blend well together. So either of milk or water should do just fine in that regards.

But since we’re making smoothies and not fruit juice, we know that the consistency has to be somewhat thick, so a liquid that adds a little bit of body to the mixture is better preferred — Even though everything still depends on your personal preference and how often you love to violate universal rules.

In the end, it’s no brainer, the liquid of choice is the controversial diary product — milk.

But still, there a many variations of smoothies out there and sometimes, milk just isn’t the perfect ingredient to bring to the mix.

Sometimes both water and milk could be out of the picture and something quite different like a fruit juice or syrup could be preferred.

It really depends on your circumstance, preference, or on the variation of smoothie you’re making, or on the combination of some or all.

Having said that, it’s good to know what each ingredient (milk and water) brings to the table whenever you add them into a smoothie. So let’s get a rundown real quick.  

How using water affects your smoothie

1) It thins better which may or may not be a good thing.

Water thins smoothies really well and that’s why you want to be especially careful of the amount you add into your smoothies to prevent them from acquiring a fruit juice consistency.

You want a little bit of “stick here” “stick there” while swallowing a smoothie and not an all effortless shoot like you’d normally experience with water or juice.

This warning is especially useful when you’re not following any recipe for guidance and also when you’re somewhat of a consistency freak!  

It’s good to also note that since water is very good at thinning mixtures, smoothies made with it will always turn out less creamy and thick than those made with slightly less good thinners.

2) It adds no flavor to the mix

Water adds no flavor to your smoothie whatsoever, and so you might have to turn back to sweeteners to boost the flavor profile, which may or may not be at the cost of more calorie intake depending on the sweetener you have at home.

When water is the better thinner

  • When you don’t want the addition of extra taste, water works best as it allows the variations of pureed elements of veggies and fruits in the smoothie to dominate the flavor profiles.
  • When you don’t desire extra creaminess and just want a plain’ol smoothie.
  • When you’re watching your calorie intake, water will help reduce on some of the extra sugars and unwanted nutrients that thinners like milk bring to the table.
  • When water is all you have at home.

How using milk affects your smoothies

1) It adds creaminess

Milk is a concoction of many nutrients including proteins and lactose which help give it more body than regular water. Thus, the creaming effect. When you use milk in your smoothies, you get more depth that if you use plain’ol water.

2) It adds its own flavor

Milk is naturally flavorful, so adding it will interfere with the current flavors in the smoothie. Depending on which kind of milk you’re using and what variation of smoothie you’re making, the milk flavor may dominate the entire smoothie which in my opinion, isn’t a good thing. Your smoothie is there to present a rainbow of notes to excite your taste buds, so no milk should ever take that privilege away!

3) It’s more nutritious (depending on what milk you’re using)

It’s no brainer, between water and milk, the latter is the more nutritious of the two thanks to its might cocktail of nutrients ranging from proteins, lactose, and some minerals. Depending on what nutrient you’re after, milk can be the better addition for your overall health.  

When milk is the better thinner

  • When you want extra taste: If extra flavors is what you’re looking for, go for milk, it won’t disappoint. When opting for milk, you have a wide variety to choose from including breast milk. And each one of them have their distinct flavors which may or may not dominate a smoothie.
  • When all you want is creaminess
  • When you’re not using nutritional supplements and figure out you want a boost, milk is the perfect addition to your smoothie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are smoothies healthier with milk or water?

Smoothies made with milk are nutritionally superior to those made with water but not necessarily healthier than them. That’s because there exist a complex demand of nutrition by people all over the world, and the nutrients contained in milk may not necessarily be right ones for some of the populace and the instant.

Additionally, different milks exist out there with different nutritional contents and ranks on the scale of healthiness, and so it would be difficult to categorically state which one of the two: water or milk smoothie is healthier.

It all depends on your health state and what works best at that state.

Do you make fruit smoothies with milk or water?

In my humble opinion, fruit smoothies deserve a treat with milk as it pulls out flavors from the depths you wouldn’t find with water. But again, whichever works best for your health is always the first option. Need more protein and healthy lactose? Go for milk. Need to cut down on sugar and calorie intake? Water is your best bet!

What is the best liquid to use in a smoothie?

The best liquid to use in a smoothie is that one that is the healthiest for you at that point in time. So it could be milk, fruit juice or plain old water.

If you’re talking about the liquid that brings out the most flavors, it will root for milk as it has the better concoction of ingredients that adds depth to the flavor profile of most smoothies.

One more thing, not all smoothies will taste great will milk, fruit juice or water (even coconut water), so find out what works best for you and use that when taste is all that matters!

How can I make my smoothies blend better?

For smoothies to blend better, they need to have a thinner in them which could be in the form of milk, water, coconut water, or even fruit juice. You need to add these in controlled amounts to make sure the smoothies doesn’t turn into a fruit juice.

How much water do you put in a smoothie?

You need as much water to make the smoothie’s texture more like milkshake or thicker, but not any thinner.

So start out with a small amount of water, maybe a few table spoons of it, and then keep working towards achieving the right consistency if you haven’t nailed it.

Final Verdict

Depending on what you’re after, your smoothies can be better with milk or with water. If you’re trying to cut down on calorie and sugar intake, a smoothie made with water is your best bet.

If you want a smoothie that is creamy and not plain, then it’s better to use milk. If you’re after some of the nutritional components of milk, the use it instead. And if you want to have better control of your smoothie’s flavor, you better use water or opt for unsweetened and unflavored varieties of milk.