The Juice vs. Whole Fruit Dilemma

When you're reaching for an orange in the morning before rehearsal, is it better to grab a piece of whole fruit or drink a glass of juice? The answer you may be used to hearing is fruit, since the juice has less of its beneficial fiber and is higher in sugar. But a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that orange juice may actually release more carotenoids and flavonoids (immune-boosting phytonutrients) than the same amount of whole fruit.

Researchers analyzed fresh oranges in three forms: peeled pieces, mashed puree and juice (both fresh-squeezed and pasteurized). Initially, there was little difference in the carotenoid levels, and the juice had lower flavonoid levels than the other forms. But they later found that significantly more carotenoids and flavonoids were released from the juice during digestion than from the slices or puree. Carotenoid release went up from 11 to 28 percent in the fresh juice, and up to 39.5 percent in the pasteurized juice; and nearly five times more flavonoids were released in the juice compared to the whole fruit. (Researchers think the extra carotenoids released in pasteurized juice may have something to do with heat).

The results are encouraging, but they don't mean you should ditch your oranges for juice altogether. Typical store-bought orange juice still contains more sugar than you might want. And since the study used a model to mimic digestion, more research would need to be done to truly understand how well these nutrients are absorbed in the human body. On the mornings you do opt for orange juice, researchers suggest trying the kind with pulp to maximize fiber intake. And maybe those immune-boosting properties will help protect against cold season so you can keep working hard in the studio.

Latest Posts


Gregory Batardon, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

The 2021 Prix de Lausanne Prepares for a Year Like No Other

In an ordinary year, early February marks an exciting time in the ballet world: the return of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition. But this is no ordinary year, so this is no ordinary Prix. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition will run from January 31 to February 7, completely via video.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks