Is Boost juice good for you?


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Welcome back guys, in today’s health video I’m doing a food comparison experiment which will likely be very alarming for you. If you have been living in Australia for the last 10 years then you would be very familiar with the company boost juice. Boost juice are “health” juice bars that are in every shopping centre in Australia and have now expanded internationally. Their juices and related products are marketed as “healthy” fast food.

In my opinion, this is very misleading and today I am going to break this down with proof and examples to prove my point.And before jumping into this information, this is not an attack on boost juice, there products taste amazing, but I believe people need a devils advocate to act as a truth agent against the world class and very clever marketing skills of companies like boost juice.So the most popular boost products are there low fat fruit smoothies, and if you have walked through an Australian shopping centre, then you would have seen lots of these cups in lots of people’s hands.

In the world of retail food and drink products, the word fat free is a marketers very best friend, the term fat free or in boost juices case, 98% fat free is incredibly deceiving from a health perspective, and those 2 clever little words have made this company very successful and very very rich.

Now to put my point into perspective, can you imagine if coca cola and Pepsi started to market there original, non diet, full sugar colas as being 100% fat free. Now coke and Pepsi would be telling the truth because full sugar, non diet cola is 100% fat free.

But as a society, we would take that marketing tactic as being very disingenuous, because whilst this is completely true, we all know that cola is loaded with sugar and very high in calories, and we therefore deem it as being bad for us.

But boost juice has the very favourable and clever advantage of being able to not only say that there low fat smoothies are 98% fat free, but they can then play on the whole fresh fruit and low fat yoghurt angle because both these foods are good for you right??

I’m 29 so this next statements relevance will depend on your age, but do you remember the food pyramid that we had hanging on our classroom walls when we were in primary school? They had all the breads, grains, fruits and vegetables down the bottom then the meat and fish and worked up to the sweets, chocolate, cake and fizzy drink at the top of the pyramid.

Well that food pyramid was terribly wrong, and just about the only thing that the old food pyramid had right was to eat a lot of vegetables. But despite all the scientific advancements around diet and nutrition, whilst many people now understand how ample breads and grains can be damaging to your efforts in maintaining your weight and therefore your health, many people are still going by the old food pyramid when it comes to their fruit consumption.

Most fruits are very energy dense and should only be consumed in moderation, and furthermore, there consumption should be spread out over the course of a day. You have probably seen the recommendation slogan of 2 and 5 which is 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables per day.

Regarding those 2 pieces of fruit, you would be best having one piece of fruit in the morning and one piece of fruit in the afternoon to spread out the energy and kilojoule intake. However with a boost juice, you are taking in far, far more than a days worth of fruit, plus an extreme amount of yoghurt all within a 5 minute time frame.

But getting back to the fat free marketing ploy of boost juice and the hundreds of other new juice bars that open up every week. If your somebody who is trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, then you have to completely disregard the term fat and replace it with the word energy.So as soon as you see a food that is marketed as fat free, just wipe it from your brain and ask instead, is the food energy free? Now no food or drink apart from water is energy free, but different foods have a huge amount of variety in the amount of energy they contain by way of calories or kilojoules,

And at the end of the day, the simple reason you gain weight is if the amount of energy your body takes in per day through the calories and kilojoulès in food and drink is higher than the amount of calories and kilojoulès your body burns through daily exercise. So if you take in more energy than you burn, your body will store that extra energy as body fat.

Because the other very clever marketing tactic that boost juice leverage off are the buzz words like antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that all sound great and very healthy.  But it doesn’t matter how many antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients these juices have if they also contain so much energy that they are going to cause you to gain weight which is actually the leading contributing factor to a myriad of the most damaging  diseases in the world today.

So if all that information did not make sense to you, and your still just fixed on the fact that boost juice tastes amazing, is 98% fat free, this successful and reputable company is telling you it’s health, and all there stores and signage and cups are green which means that it has to be healthy right?Well I’m now going to compare a boost juice to some other fast food products.

Boost has 3 sizes which are small, medium and original. This cup (watch video above to see) is the original and I think using the word original and not large or jumbo was another clever marketing tactic by boost. The cup contains 650 mls and one of the popular flavours is a mango magic low fat smoothie. Whilst it is 98% fat free, the original mango magic low fat smoothie has a whopping 1’950 kilojoules.

So let’s first compare that to a large McDonalds Coca Cola which is also 650 mls. As mentioned a Maccas coke is also 100% fat free but it has 1’495 kilojoules which is 455 less than the boost juice.

And you might be thinking that although the Macca’s coke has less kilojoules, it’s just all sugar and a boost juice isn’t. Well get this, there is 55 grams of sugar in this Macca’s coke and there is 81 grams of sugar in this boost juice (26 grams more) 

And then a large Macca’s vanilla thick shake which comes in the same cup is 2145 kilojoules. Amazingly, this is only 195 kilojoules more than a boost juice. And the vanilla thick shake has 65 grams of sugar whilst the boost juice has 81 grams of sugar. (16 grams more) 

So next time you go to buy a “healthy” boost juice low fat smoothie, just ask yourself if you would also be happy about going to buy a Macca’s thick shake or Macca’s large coke. Now if the boost juice marketing team saw this video, they would say I’m an idiot because there boost juice is filled with fruit and this shake is filled with ice cream and flavoring.

But remember what I said about fruit and having to eat it in moderation. An average sized mango like this (watch video above) has around 450 kilojoulès. So when you combine the fruit, yoghurt and whatever else goes into one of these low fat smoothies, you are consuming the equivalent kilojoule value of over 4 mangoes, and your consuming all of those kilojoulès in the few minutes that it takes to consume one of these smoothies.

However get this right, this here is a block of Lindt chocolate (see video above). There are 5 servings in this block and each serving contains 497 kilojoulès which means the whole block of Lindt chocolate has just under 2500 kilojoulès. So when you drink the low fat boost smoothie, you are basically taking in almost 80% of the kilojoulès in this whole block of chocolate.

So have a good hard think about how often you drink these smoothies and what I suggest you do instead is choose the vegetable juice options that boost juice offer, or just have these low fat smoothies as a very occasional cheat meal as a reward for being otherwise healthy.

I hope you enjoyed this video today and I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow for my next daily video.



  1. Alex

    April 7, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Worst comparisons ever. Like you said in your article, there is fruit and yoghurt in the smoothies, but a coke or thick shake has 0 nutritional value.

    • Dan Thomas

      April 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Hey Alex, I appreciate your feedback. The point I was making is that the boost juice low fat smoothies are heavily marketed as being a healthy food option. The fact they spruik the smoothies as 98% fat free is inviting those with a limited understanding of diet and nutrition to think they are consuming a product that will aid their efforts in maintaining a healthy weight.

      Energy is energy, regardless if that is fruit and yoghurt or coca cola or candy. I am not saying that a low fat Boost smoothie is as unhealthy as a McDonald’s coke or thickshake. But in almost all cases, maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is maintained by ensuring that the amount of energy exerted each day through physical activity/exercise is greater than the amount of energy consumed via the food and drink consumed that day.

      Sure the fruit and yoghurt has more benefits to the body than the empty calories in the McDonalds products. But the benefits of the Boost are in a much wider sense such as things like the health of your skin, hair, nails and stomach/gut health etc.

      But regarding the energy in VS energy out principle of maintaining a healthy weight, the body does not care what source that energy comes from, or if that energy source is fructose or sucrose.

      So at the end of the day, when the body has to process and weigh up the energy of a boost, coke or thickshake it does not know/care about the ingredients of each, all it cares about is the energy content and whether the body has exerted more or less of that energy through exercise.

      If not the body will store the excess energy as fat and if that stored fat becomes excessive in the body then a host of health issues can arise (most notably type 2 diabetes which is now a full scale epidemic)

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