Is It Better To Use Milk Or Yogurt In Smoothies?

When you begin making smoothies, knowing what ingredients will give you the best combination of great taste and health benefits is good. You always add liquid to a smoothie to make it creamy and delicious, whether it’s juice, milk, water, or yogurt. Is it better to use yogurt or milk in a smoothie?

Using milk or yogurt in smoothies depends on taste preferences and nutritional needs. Milk and yogurt both make smoothies creamier in taste, but yogurt will provide a thicker texture. Yogurt will provide more protein and live healthy bacteria for digestion, but some people dislike its sour tang.

When I started making smoothies, I’d follow the recipe before experimenting. Now I love to add milk to my morning smoothies to help make them taste rich and creamy and add nutrients. I’ve experimented with yogurt too and here is what I’ve found.

Milk Vs. Yogurt In Smoothies And The Differences

While smoothies are often touted as a healthy breakfast, that’s only sometimes the case. If you start adding high-sugar fruits, juice, and honey, you quickly turn them into sugar bombs. The more ingredients you add, the higher the calorie content will go.

But that doesn’t mean forgoing milk or yogurt and only adding water. By choosing the healthiest ingredients to suit your needs, you make a smoothie into a quick meal that is balanced and nutritious.

Adding a liquid with protein – like milk or yogurt – is far better for you than using sugary juice in your smoothie. Let’s look at which of these will suit your needs better. You’ll want more carbs and fat for energy and more protein for muscle building if you’re active.

I’ll compare the nutrients and calories in Greek yogurt and dairy milk. I’ll also look at coconut, soy, and almond milk for those who prefer non-dairy options. Most smoothie recipes call for ½ cup of liquid per serving, so I’ll use this for reference.

½ Cup of Whole Milk

Fat4 g
Protein3.93 g
Carbohydrate6 g
Calcium10.5% of RDI

Whole milk also contains Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Potassium. Whole dairy milk is a good choice for smoothies if you want a thinner texture and added protein and calcium.

½ Cup of 2% Milk

Fat2.4 g
Protein4.1 g
Carbohydrate6 g
Calcium11.5% of RDI

If you prefer to have similar nutrients but a slightly lower calorie count, you can swap to 2% milk. I prefer using whole milk because it tastes creamier.

½ Cup of Greek Yogurt (5 oz)

Fat4.5 g
Protein10 g
Carbohydrate4.5 g
Calcium12.5% of RDI

Greek yogurt will add more calories to your smoothie, but it also has other benefits that may outweigh that. If you use live-cultured yogurt, you’ll add beneficial bacteria to your body, improving digestion. You’ll also get more protein for muscle repair. Some people also prefer the slightly sour taste of yogurt over milk.

Yogurt will also give your smoothies a thicker, creamier texture. Check out my guide to adding yogurt to smoothies for the best ways to do it.

½ Cup of Coconut Milk

Fat2.25 g
Protein0.25 g
Carbohydrate3.6 g
Calcium22% of RDI

While coconut milk isn’t going to provide much protein, it does have carbs for energy and a good amount of calcium. Coconut milk also provides Vitamin C and A, and its low-calorie count can help if you’re on a diet. I love using coconut milk in tropical smoothies with mango and pineapple, so the taste is also important.

½ Cup of Soy Milk

Fat2.25 g
Protein11.4 g
Carbohydrate0.25 g

Soy milk may not boost calcium, but it does pack in protein while keeping the calorie count low. It also boosts your smoothie’s thickness and is cholesterol free. Soy milk blends well with fruits, which is why it’s a popular non-dairy alternative.

½ Cup of Almond Milk

Fat1.15 g
Protein0.5 g
Carbohydrate1.6 g
Calcium25% of RDI

Almond milk is a trendy alternative, thanks to its high calcium and low calories. The creamy, nutty flavor can also boost the taste of your smoothies. However, you won’t get much protein from this milk.

What Happens If You Replace Milk With Yogurt In Smoothies?

If you prefer dairy products, you’ll likely look mainly at the difference between whole milk and yogurt in your smoothies. One question I’ve had is what will happen if, instead of milk, I use yogurt in my smoothie recipe.

When I’ve tried this, I’ve found it works very well at making my smoothies much thicker in texture, adding a creaminess and a tang to the taste.

Because yogurt is thicker than milk, you might need to add a touch of liquid to keep the blender running smoothly. But you can make smoothies without liquid if you have enough ice or frozen fruit.

Adding yogurt increases the protein in your drink, which will help you stay fuller for longer and boost muscle repair. Getting enough protein is especially important for people who exercise. A smoothie made with yogurt is an excellent choice as a pre-workout snack.

Always make sure to use whole Greek yogurt in your smoothies. If you use low-fat, sweetened yogurts, you will lose many benefits and add too much sugar. Live yogurt is an excellent way of adding healthy gut bacteria, improving your digestive health.

Can You Mix Yogurt And Milk Together in a Smoothie?

Add extra liquid to the mix if you need to thin your smoothie. You can use water, but if you prefer milk, that’s perfectly acceptable. The flavor of milk blends well with yogurt. Some people find the sour taste of yogurt a little intense and add milk to help soften the taste.

There is no chance that the cultures in your yogurt will begin to ferment the added milk, whether it’s dairy or non-dairy. It takes warm temperatures and usually a day or so for lactic acid bacteria to turn milk into yogurt. Since you drink smoothies immediately, which is usually cold, this is unlikely to happen.

There is no other reaction you need to worry about—milk and yogurt blend perfectly together and will not cause any unusual intestinal distress.

Some Smoothie Ideas With Milk

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

This simple smoothie recipe will be ready in just five minutes. Using bananas in a milk-based recipe is an excellent way to get a thick, creamy smoothie.

Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberries give smoothies a fantastic purple color and rev up the anti-oxidants. Use banana for creaminess and orange for some extra vitamin C. You can boost the taste and the nutrients by adding your favorite nut butter for fats and proteins and flax seeds for fiber.

Apple Peanut Butter Smoothie

Apples and bananas blended with oats, peanut butter, and milk makes a great breakfast smoothie that tastes like a dessert. I always add cinnamon and vanilla to mine.

Some Smoothie Ideas With Yogurt

White Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

This decadent and creamy smoothie uses a blend of milk and yogurt, with frozen strawberries and grated white chocolate, to provide the perfect mood-boosting snack.

Green Smoothie

Not everyone loves the idea of a green smoothie. Still, this one is delicious and uses pineapple, fresh baby spinach, banana, and Greek yogurt to make a healthy drink full of essential nutrients. Try adding some leaves of fresh mint for extra flavor.

Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Smoothie

Use oats, vanilla, bananas, yogurt, and cinnamon to make this comforting, creamy smoothie that tastes like cinnamon rolls. Adding milk helps keep the smoothie from being too thick. If you add protein powder, you’ll boost this into an excellent pre or post workout drink.


Deciding if milk or yogurt is better in your smoothies is mostly a matter of taste, texture preference, and nutritional needs. Depending on my weekly goals, I like to change them, and you can easily swap out your milk for yogurt when you feel like it.

Remember that you might need to add more liquid if your yogurt is thick.

Cat Hellisen

Cat is a writer with a wealth of experience in food, cooking and fitness. They have written several books and love long walks on the beach with their dog. About Cat.

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