Can green smoothies give you stomach issues?

Can drinking green smoothies give you issues? For some it can be an uncomfortable experience and also, at times, for the people around them. Our Nutritionist Sam answers this for you and runs through some of the potential solutions for an upset tummy as well.

So you whipped up an awesome tasting green smoothie and then chugged it down.

The next thing you know, your digestive system isn’t happy.

Whether you’re feeling bloated, gassy or if you’re going to the toilet more often than you’d like, the green smoothie might be the cause of your discomfort.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your green smoothie!

After all, green smoothies are generally healthy and can still be an integral part of your balanced meal plan.

Here's a few reasons why green smoothies might give you stomach issues.

And, while I'm at it, what you can do to work around this common problem to have you feeling great again!

A sudden increase in fibre intake

The great thing about smoothies with plenty of leafy greens in them is that they are a great source of fibre.


Greens contain insoluble fibre that add bulk to your poop, and soluble fibre that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

But if you’re not used to eating a good amount of fibre, hitting the green smoothies hard can lead to some tummy troubles.

Both soluble and insoluble fibre can lead to bloating, discomfort and diarrhoea if your gut isn’t used to it.

So if your green smoothie has four different vegetables and a couple of serves of fruit in it, you sometimes might end up feeling worse for wear.

What's the fix for an increase in fibre?

They key is to start slow and increase your fibre intake in increments over time.

If you don’t usually have fibre-rich foods, you can start by adding one serve of vegetables and one serve of fruit to your smoothies.

After a week or so of these smoothies, you just add another serve of green vegetables and work up from there.

Sensitivity to fructose or FODMAPs

Sometimes, you can have a sensitivity to specific carbohydrates or sugars in fruit and vegetables.

Depending on which ingredients you’re adding to your smoothie, a fructose or FODMAP intolerance might be to blame.

FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates found in many healthy foods.

For the average person, they’re not a problem, but for some people they are difficult to digest, and can lead to digestive symptoms.

Some smoothie ingredients that are high in FODMAPs include these below:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plum
  • Watermelon
  • Cauliflower
  • Dairy products
  • Soy milk
  • Honey

Another thing to look at (while you're looking at fructose and FODMAPs) is your food combinations.

Certain ingredients, when blended together in your smoothie recipes may cause more discomfort than others.

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What's the fix for sensitivity?

If you suspect FODMAPs are a problem for you, it’s best to seek out advice from a nutritionist.

They should be able to confirm whether FODMAPs are the issue for you, and also give you guidance about your next steps.

In the meantime, you can stick to low-FODMAP smoothie ingredients such as cucumber, kiwifruit, pineapple, grapes and almond milk.

If you can’t live without one of these smoothie ingredients above, just halve the serving size and see if that minimises your symptoms.

Sweeteners in green powders or other ingredients

It’s great to add in some supergreens like spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass into your green smoothie.

But some green powders contain sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol that can irritate your digestive tract.

These sweeteners are also commonly used in quite a few other types of powdered supplements such as protein powders.

What's the fix for dodgy sweeteners?

Switch your powders over to a brand that contains stevia or monkfruit.

Or you could look for the products that are even completely unsweetened.

If you’re looking to get your greens without artificial sweeteners quickly, you could give the super greens smoothie Super Cubes a try!

Just head to the Frozen Smoothie Cubes section of the Super Cubes website.

If greens continue to give you issues

Remember to always be sensible when it comes to all of your health concerns.

Don't just take my word for it.

Fruits and veggies in small amounts to start with if you have issues

If you do continue to experience digestive issues when you’re drinking green smoothies (or even when you’re not!), you should be seeking professional advice as soon as you can.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your digestive health!

So don't be afraid to experiment but also don't be afraid to seek help if you have issues as well.

Author | Samantha Gemmell
Sam is a Nutritionist, Health Writer and Wellness Speaker as well as being an Author for Super Cubes.
She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and helping people through their journey to health and wellness combining their mindset, nutrition and lifestyle. When she’s not helping people, she enjoys dancing in the rain and cuddling dogs.
Sometimes she does both at the same time.

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