-By Meghan Bayley
Both pre and post workout smoothies provide major benefits in the training process and are quick, easy ways to ensure that you’ re getting the nutrients you need to have a good workout and recover properly afterwards. There are many options and combinations that you can use in smoothies, and it’s important to know what to put in and when to consume some foods over others. Pre-workout smoothies can provide long-lasting energy to fuel you through a workout, without sitting heavily in your stomach. The best foods to put into your smoothies are those that are low in fat and have natural sugars and carbs. To maximize the energy and nutrients during a workout, it’s best to consume a smoothie 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to start your workout.
With the proper ingredients, post-workout smoothies can be a great way to replenish nutrients, repair muscles and rehydrate. These smoothies should be high in protein, to help speed up the recovery period and repair muscles. They also should include sources that help replace the nutrients that are lost during a workout. For example, leafy greens and fruits are highly recommended in post workout drinks, to replenish what has been lost as they all are loaded with nutrients and keep your blood sugar levels stable so you don’t feel tired later. Post workout smoothies should be consumed a minimum of 15 minutes after finishing a workout.
Here are some great recipes to try:
Citrus smoothie: The natural sugars give a great boost of energy without caffeine.
Ingredients: 1 peeled, chopped orange, 1 peeled, chopped lemon, 4 spinach leaves, 2 chopped or grated carrots, 1 peeled, chopped peach, 1 ½ cups almond milk.
Green smoothie: The leafy greens provide long lasting energy and make you feel full for longer.
- Ingredients: 2 cups fresh spinach or kale, 2 cups almond milk (unsweetened), 1 large apple (cored, any variety), 1 banana, ⅓ cup rolled oats,1 tablespoon coconut oil,1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Post workout recovery
Green smoothie: Full of nutrients to replace what you lost during your workout.
- Ingredients: 2 cups fresh kale, 1 cup coconut water, unsweetened (or regular water), 1 orange, peeled, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup blueberries, 2 tablespoons chia seeds
Pineapple power shake: High in protein so it helps speed up the muscle repair time after a workout.
- Ingredients: 1 cup pineapple juice, 3 strawberries, 1 banana, 1 tsp. Greek yogurt, 1 scoop vanilla protein
Power smoothie: (Craig Alexander’s recovery smoothie) High in protein, carbs and antioxidants, it’s tried and tested by a pro so it must be good.
Ingredients: 1 cup of milk, ½ cup of frozen or fresh berries, 1 frozen or fresh banana, 1 teaspoon of honey, A dash of cinnamon, A handful of almonds or cashews. 1 scoop of chocolate of vanilla protein powder, ¼ cup of chia seeds, ¼ cup of wheat germ