People have fallen in love with everything green and organic. Avocados. Acai. Almond milk. And that’s only the As. The list goes on. Our obsession with anything vert and vegan doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. And that’s good news, of course, a fresh, healthy diet is certainly important.
Moving from green veggies to green veggie juices and green powders, people are looking for quick-fixes for their unhealthy diets. Green juices and green powders are the new trendy ways to increase your veggie intake, and it’s hard to compare which one is better.
But juicing is a fresher and cheaper alternative and has become immensely popular, especially among the health-conscious consumers who lead busy working lives.
After all, who wouldn’t want to just gulp down a bottle of refreshing fruit juice to save time and effort, while never missing out on the nutrients? Claiming to detox and promote weight loss, the fruit juice industry has become increasingly lucrative.
The global fruit and vegetable juices market was valued at US$154 billion in 2016 and is only expected to grow even further. People are reaching for products like Naked Juice, that claim to help you attain a healthy lifestyle.
But are bottled juices really a healthy choice for you? That is what we are here to find out. We want to start off by looking at Naked Juice, one of the most major players in the industry, whose reach has extended from North America to Europe. Here is a comprehensive guide to Naked Juice’s most popular product: Green Machine.
Seemingly filled with healthy goodness, the company behind these brightly colored juices is actually PepsiCo. PepsiCo, who has contributed to the worldwide domination of fizzy drinks. Not to be cynical, but it’s a little difficult to trust a company of sugary drinks to promote a healthy drink.
PepsiCo decided to hop aboard the healthy revolution craze by acquiring Naked Juice in 2007, in their attempt to target health-conscious consumers. This small fresh smoothie company started selling its homemade blends in 1983 and has grown to be one of the heavy hitters on the market.
With over 20 varieties of juices available, there’s plenty to choose from. But we thought we should review one of their originals – Green Machine, where many consumers have been seduced by its image of healthy goodness. Is it truly healthy, or just a marketing ploy? Let’s find out.
The increasingly health-conscious will be happy to know that there are indeed no added sugars and preservatives in Naked Juice’s products. But don’t go rushing to buy a bottle of Green Machine just yet. Keep in mind, no added sugar doesn’t mean there’s zero sugar!
Naked Green Machine is also vegan-friendly, which makes sense for a veggie juice. In fact, most of Naked Juice products are vegan, with the exception of their protein line and Probiotics Machine Tropical Mango.
Looking at the stunning leafy green color of Green Machine, some people might have suspicions. But this vibrant green color was not induced by any artificial colorings. Quite a number of veggies have been added to achieve this chlorophyll shade. Like broccoli, spinach, wheatgrass… you know, all those green veggies.
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You would think with all the vegetables in there, they might use artificial flavorings to make it a little more palatable. But they don’t; they have simply included fruit juice in their blend to make it tastier. Using fruit juice does come with its problems, but that’s to be discussed later.
For those obsessed with natural and organic ingredients, we are happy to inform you that Green Machine is also a non-GMO product, and for extra security, this has been verified by a third-party.
Naked Green Machine passed the taste test with flying colors. It’s not just tolerable, or acceptable. It’s actually fantastic.
The sweetness of Green Machine comes as a pleasant surprise. After all, most veggie blends don’t taste all that great; the one you made at home probably had plenty of other fruits added to disguise the bitter taste of the veggies.
In fact, it tastes so amazing, it leaves people with a great deal of suspicion. Even pure fruit smoothies you make at home aren’t that sweet. So what’s going on here?
Naked Green Machine boasts an impressive list of ingredients in their blend. Let’s take a look at all the ingredients, and we’ll break it down for you.
Ingredients: 2 & 3/4 Apples, 1/3 Mango, 1/12 Pineapple,1/2 Banana, 1/3 Kiwi.
Ingredients: Spirulina, Alfafa, Broccoli, Spinach, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Parsley, Kale, Ginger, Garlic.
Proudly advertised by Naked Juice, the boosts are there to give you that extra “oomph” to get you through your day.
A quick glance at the ingredients reveals many familiar vegetables that are renowned for their health benefits. Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Kale, Ginger, Garlic. Perhaps every vegetable that isn’t the most pleasant by itself has been blended together for easier consumption.
Ginger, for example, holds anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin A, B2, C, K and along with manganese, iron, and magnesium.
We’re glad to see spirulina on the list, blue-green algae that contain vitamin B, iron, zinc, and is also high in chlorophyll. The blend includes 1335mg of spirulina, not a small amount by any standards. Studies have shown that spirulina can lead to heightened physical prowess and increased fat oxidation.
The exact amount of each ingredient is also stated specifically on the packaging. It’s clear to consumers exactly how much vegetables will enter their system.
But the amount of fruits and vegetables doesn’t necessarily equate to a very high amount of nutrients when it comes to juices.
Take a careful look at the ingredients label of Naked Green Machine, and what you’ll find would surprise you. Remember, the order of the ingredients gives you the biggest hint. On the nutrition label, ingredients are placed in order of volume from the largest to the smallest.
Ingredients: Apple Juice, Mango Puree, Pineapple Juice, Banana Puree, Kiwi Puree, Spirulina, Natural Flavours, Alfafa, Broccoli, Spinach, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Parsley, Kale, Ginger Root, Odorless Garlic.
Right at the top of the list, we can immediately see apple and pineapple juice making up the bulk of the drink. With the healthy goodness languishing at the bottom of the list, Naked Green Machine is essentially just a load of fruit juice. That can only mean one thing: sugars.
This answers our earlier question: Why does Green Machine taste so good? Its first ingredient reveals it all: apple juice. This is every juicer’s pro-tip; apple juice is definitely a lifesaver. Simply add apples into your veggie blend and the sweetness of the fruit can hide the taste of your most-hated veggies.
Naked Juice certainly isn’t lying when they say they have no added sugar. But when every 15.2oz bottle contains 53g of sugar from the juices alone, it’s already an astonishingly high amount.
You might be thinking, its natural sugar, shouldn’t it be alright?
Well, not really. Your body doesn’t know the difference between fructose from fruit juices, and say high fructose corn syrup from fizzy drinks. Both forms will cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Furthermore, juicing removes most of the fiber of whole fruits. Without the fiber intact, fructose is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream, leading to more rapid changes in glucose and insulin levels. Green Machine contains too much sugar for your body to handle at one go, especially without the fiber to help regulate your body’s use of sugars.
Fiber also fills you up, making sure you feel full, to prevent overconsumption. But Naked Juice Green Machine has zero fiber. It might come as a surprise as Green Machine is brimming with a variety of fruits and vegetables. But juicing and processing remove the nutritional integrity of the food. With 0g of dietary fiber and in liquid form, it becomes so much easier to consume. You might be able to drink bottles of Green Machine day after day, not realizing the amount of sugar you’ve actually been taking.
Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad if you are blending your own juice or smoothie, and you’ve decided to add apples. But Naked Juice uses processed pasteurized apple juice, to ensure there are no bacteria or microorganisms. Sadly, during the pasteurization process, the healthy goodness of the fruits, including minerals, vitamins, and raw enzymes are also killed. Which makes the point of drinking the juice kind of obsolete.
Nevertheless, Naked Juice is still a healthier alternative than Pepsi. With Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) 50 percent of Vitamin A and 40 percent of Vitamin C, it certainly contains more vitamins and minerals than your average drink. And without all the added preservatives, it’s definitely preferable to soda. Just be careful not to drink bottles of this stuff.
What can Naked juice really do for you? In reality, actually not that much.
These brightly colored juices boast an impressive list of ingredients that might seem pretty healthy, but you would be sadly mistaken.
In 2016, PepsiCo was sued by the Centre of Science for Public Interest (CSPI) for misleading consumers by being deceptive in advertising. According to the CSPI, Naked Juices market their products to be healthier than they actually are, using taglines like “only the best ingredients”. Naked Green Machine, for example, mostly consists of apple juice, despite its packaging and advertising that emphasizes its vegetable components.
The fact that the juices are unhealthy isn’t the issue; it’s that Naked Juice markets its products as a healthy drink. It’s deceptive marketing when consumers are not getting what they paid for.
These juices are not at all nutritious; apparently, they are as bad as drinking a can of soda.
According to registered dietitian of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Jackie London, “these products not only lack substantial nutritional value, but the marketing tactics mask what the product actually is —a sugary beverage, similar in nutritional composition to soda”.
Naked Juice has faced a very, very prolonged lawsuit in the past. From 2007 to 2013, PepsiCo was sued for falsely labeling some of its juices as “all-natural”. Although the fruits and vegetables were indeed natural, synthetic vitamins were added to boost the effectiveness of the juices. Obviously, the phrase “all-natural” is incredibly misleading to consumers. The $9 million settlement resolved the problem, along with an agreement to stop advertising with that phrase.
If you live in the States, it’s easy enough to get ahold of a bottle. Available in-store at most supermarkets, club stores, and health food stores and even Starbucks! It’s definitely so much more convenient to purchase Naked Juices. Online options are quite limited, with retailers such as amazon and big supermarkets such as Target and Walmart only offering one or two different products.
For any British friends looking to try out Green Machine, simply head to any Costa Coffee or any major supermarkets in the UK. Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose are everywhere, not to worry, it’s easy to buy a bottle of Green Machine.
Depending on where you shop at, and whether you manage to snag some on sale, a 32oz. bottle of Green Machine might cost around US$4 at Walmart. With a serving size of 8 fl oz, each serving is priced at US$1. Of course, if you buy a larger bottle, you do get some savings. The 64 oz bottle only costs US$7.
For all Naked Juice advertises as a “health drink”, it certainly falls short. It’s not meant for daily consumption, but it can recharge your energy with a burst of sugar if you’re feeling tired. It’s certainly refreshing, and it makes for a better alternative than Pepsi or Coca-Cola.
Juicing is indeed a great way to increase your daily nutrient intake with fresh fruits and vegetables. But perhaps try a juice that hasn’t been sweetened overpoweringly with apple juice. In comparison to green powders, it does have a shorter shelf-life and must be drunk within seven days of opening. But that’s to ensure the freshness of the juice, which in our book, is a plus point in Naked Juice’s favor.
After all this in-depth discussion, we should remind you that consuming whole fruits and vegetables is still the best way to get all that fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in your body. That’s the naked truth.
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- Hi, my name is Sandra! I am the main author and reviewer of Super Greens Expert. I am a keen juicer as I was want to get all my daily veggies. Having found super greens I now use one such supplement daily.