After a workout, you may feel ravenous and want to stop for a burger or two, but post workout smoothies are a better way to go. These drinks are an easy way to add protein to help heal and build muscle tissue, they have loads of nutrients necessary, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to protect cells and prevent inflammation, plus they're a good source of carbohydrates to rebuild your glycogen store. I have a few favorites that I like and wanted to share them. I didn't include some measurements since I do most my smoothies by guesstamate and taste. I never get too precise, so it's always a taste adventure.
The basic recipe is easy.
You don't have to trudge through all the nutritional information, just keep in mind that the smoothie should have about 20 grams of protein, a little bit of healthy fat and the rest should be carbohydrates. Consider whey protein powder, low fat cottage cheese, hemp seed, almonds/almond butter, Tahini or pumpkin seeds can be a source of protein. Avocado, coconut oil, nuts or flaxseed oil provides healthy fat. The rest is easy. Add your favorite fruits and veggies, plus seeds, nuts and spices like cinnamon and turmeric for extra kick. Mix with coconut water, juice, or almond milk. Add ice for hot days.
For runners, create a smoothie that helps build endurance.
Want to find a smoothie that will boost you up after you run for miles. Make one with low fat chocolate milk. It replaces lost glycogen quickly and contains protein to help muscle repair. If you're lactose intolerant, just add some coco powder to coconut, soy or almond milk or throw in some dark chocolate chips. I add almond butter, a frozen banana for extra potassium, blueberries and avocado for a great pick-me-up that I love.
For something a little more adventurous, add beets to your smoothie.
Beets are great source of vitamin C and contain minerals like potassium and manganese. They also have vitamin B folate, which is important for women in child bearing years to reduce the risk of birth defects. Beets lower your blood pressure, fight inflammation, give a boost to your stamina and help detox your body. They also add sweetness when roasted or steamed in their skins. Use your favorite protein, fresh cranberries, kale, a small peeled Persian cucumber, orange juice, raw honey and celery for a taste treat you're sure to enjoy. Throw in a few seeds and nuts for extra nutrition and blend until smooth.
- For a quick smoothie, just add a scoop of any type of protein powder, a cup of almond, coconut or regular milk a half a frozen banana and your favorite frozen fruit. It's delicious and easy.
- You can add a handful of spinach to any smoothie and the rest of the ingredients blanket the flavor, but you'll get all the benefits of the iron.
- Throw in some wheat germ for a nutty flavor and extra folic acid.
- Freeze canned pumpkin in an ice cube tray and mix the cubes with yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, avocado, flaxseed, Greek yogurt and real maple syrup for a taste treat that reminds you of Mom's pumpkin pie.