Home Articles Smoothie Vs. Milkshake: Which Is Better?

Smoothie Vs. Milkshake: Which Is Better?

They may look similar, but when you look at smoothie vs. milkshake, you’ll find the pair are pretty different.

As for which is better, that depends on your health goals (if any!).

Cold Refreshing Fruit Smoothies with Kiwi, Banana and Strawberries

What Is the Difference Between a Smoothie and A Milkshake?

If you’re in the mood for something cool and sweet, you might want to look up a fruity smoothie recipe or creamy milkshake.

But what’s the difference?

The difference between a smoothie and a milkshake is that the latter was almost always traditionally made with milk, ice cream, flavored syrup, and whipped cream.

In contrast, smoothies don’t typically contain ice cream, and some don’t call for milk at all.

Of course, things have changed over the years, and there are plenty of milkshake recipes without ice cream and whipped cream.

So, let’s take a close look!

Fruit Smoothies with kiwi and oranges

What Are Smoothies? 

Smoothies are a mixture of fruits and/or vegetables with some kind of liquid, such as milk or juice, with sugar syrup.

They’re called smoothies because everything is blended until smooth.

Believe it or not, the first smoothie recipes date as far back as 1924, when a recipe appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript. 

They’ve come a long way since then and are now available in cafés, restaurants, and even supermarkets all around the world. 

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see trendy ingredients like acai berries being incorporated into the beverage.

They won’t only tantalize your taste buds but also give you an energy boost. 

With tons of fruits and vegetables blended together, you’ll get concentrated amounts of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in each glass.

It’s just another reason so many people love them.

Strawberry Chocolate and Vanilla Milkshakes

What Are Milkshakes? 

Milkshakes are usually a blend of ice cream, milk, and flavorings, like chocolate or strawberry syrup.

They’re typically served with whipped cream on top and are considered desserts.

You’ll find them in many flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, banana, peanut butter, cookies and cream, and more.

As mentioned, modern milkshakes aren’t all made with ice cream and whipped cream.

And in fact, the earliest milkshakes didn’t contain ice cream either. Instead, they were made by blending vanilla-flavored syrup with a glass of cold milk.

Early recipes also used a combination of eggs, cream, flavored syrups, and – get this – whiskey!

Yup, for a time, they were alcoholic beverages. (If I’m honest, I love boozy milkshakes more than regular ones!)

Times changed, however, and soon enough, the recipes evolved into the decadent milkshake we know and love.

Still, they’ve pretty much always been thought of as a dessert.

And that’s clear when you see some of the monster milkshakes on menus today.

Monster Milkshakes in mason jars with marshmallows, popcorn, cookies, and whipped cream

Main Differences Between Smoothies and Milkshakes 

Smoothies and milkshakes both make incredibly delicious treats. However, beyond the yummy factor, these two drinks have their distinctions.


  • Smoothies tend to be fruit-based. They might contain yogurt or some other kind of liquid ingredients like milk or a non-dairy alternative. 
  • Milkshakes generally use milk, as well, but typically have an ice cream base. 


  • Milkshakes tend to be much thicker, richer in flavor, and substantially higher in calories than smoothies.
  • Smoothies can also be thick, but they don’t usually have the same creamy finish.

Both drinks have their benefits. Smoothies offer many nutritious ingredients, while milkshakes provide a rich sweetness many crave. 

Spinach Smoothie with Blueberries in a Mason Jar

Which One is Better? 

Deciding between the two popular treats can be quite a challenge. But the bottom line is, it all comes down to preference.

It’s all about whether you’re looking for something healthy or something more decadent!

If you’re looking for a sweet treat that won’t hit your waistline too hard, then a smoothie is the better choice. 

However, milkshakes will always hit the right spot if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

The most important thing when choosing between a smoothie or a milkshake is to find balance and get the best of both worlds. 

So how about this? Enjoy a healthy smoothie as much as you like. But don’t forget to treat yourself to an indulgent milkshake from time to time.

Good deal? I think so.

Smoothie vs. Milkshake

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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