Hello everyone. I stumbled on this post when I was googled "Gladiator Smoothie King," as I too was captivated at how seemingly healthy the concoction was. I have been eating this smoothie for the last year in order to get my protein fix, and was so happy that it seemingly only contained natural frui****er/ice, and protein powder.
However... after doing some deeper digging, I have learned that WE HAVE ALL BEEN LIED TO!
I called the main Smoothie King phone number (1-800-577-4200, in case you would like to call yourself), and inquired. Specifically, I asked about the strawberries they use as they always seem to be in a soupy/syrupy bath, even though the SK workers claim that are just natural strawberries. The woman on the phone confirmed that they are some sort of proprietary Smoothie King strawberry blend which contains strawberries, water, and CANE SUGAR.
How much cane sugar? Well, she could not break out how much sugar was added, but instead provided me with the total sugar content for 1 serving (2 ounces)... which turned out to be 35g of SUGAR. And she confirmed that a medium Gladiator smoothie (which is what I have been living on for a year) contains 2 servings of the junk... or 70g of SUGAR... just from the strawberries!
To put this into perspective, using a little more googling, you can find out that 4 ounces of strawberries contains about 5.6g grams of sugar. This means that SMOOTHIE KING IS ADDING ABOUT 64.4g OF SUGAR PER MEDIUM GLADIATOR SMOOTHIE.
Be careful before you trust what the people in the store tell you and do a bit of a research. I for one have ordered my last Strawberry Banana Gladiator smoothie, and will be making them at home instead where I know what is going in. I've made it before with frozen organic strawberries, bananas, and whey protein with no artificial sweeteners (the Gladiator protein has sucralose in it), and it tastes pretty darn close.