Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to get fuel, fast. I posted a 16-smoothie roundup on Monday in fact, and I’d like to expand on that a bit today. Let’s discuss things like: why smoothies are good fuel (besides that they taste great. Obvs.), how to make sure you pack a punch in them when using for recovery, and what not to put in a smoothie to make it the most nutritional powerhouse possible. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Transform Your Smoothie Into a Nutritional Powerhouse
Why are smoothies good sources of fuel?
Because you can pretty much put anything — and everything — in them. Dark leafy greens? Check. Avocado? Yes. Bananas? Of course. Berries? No brainer!
Let’s use leafy greens as an example. Greens such as kale provide vitamin B6, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, magnesium, etc, etc, etc. Leafy greens are some of the world’s healthiest foods. You may struggle with eating two to three salads per day even if it’s what your body needs. Pop a cup of kale in a smoothie and voila — drinkable nutritional powerhouse.
You can do this with pretty much any amazing food out there. Blueberries (high in antioxidants), cherries (great for staving off or lessening inflammation), and more. And the more high-powered your blender, the easier it will be to toss in things like almonds and various seeds (if that’s your thing).
How can a smoothie be optimized for recovery after a tough workout?
Simple. Make sure your smoothie has a 3:1 ratio of carbs to proteins. For those of us that are mathematically challenged (raises hand), that’s 30-40 grams of carbs and 10-15 grams of protein. Think: Greek yogurt. If you’re not a yogurt fan, protein powders of all varieties are widely available and in all price-points. And you don’t have to break the bank for a quality protein powder. Right now I’m loving Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein powder but Amazon has a plethora to choose from.
In addition to the carbs and proteins, consider what else you’re adding. If it’s a food with little to no nutritional value (i.e. honey) consider dialing it back just a little bit. Opt for nutritionally-dense foods instead like berries, cherries, and citrus fruits.
Want to step it up a notch? Add an electrolyte to your smoothie. I use SOS Rehydrate but have also used many others. Not only does it add a bit of flavor, it helps quench my thirst after a tough workout.
What not to put in a smoothie?
As I just mentioned, items that offer little to no nutritional value should not be invited to your smoothie-party. Unless is a dessert smoothie, honey and maple syrup aren’t really necessary as sweeteners. There are tons of options to add sweetness and flavor to your smoothie. Choose fruits, yogurts, protein powders, and juices. Be careful to watch the sugar content if you opt to use juice, though. If you haven’t heard, sugar’s a doozy.
To summarize, using whole fruits and veggies, yogurts, and no-added sugar juices, plus a
dash scoop of protein powder will transform your smoothie into a nutritional powerhouse and keep you on track to fitness greatness.
Don’t forget to linkup with my beautiful and talented co-hosts, Susie, Lora, and Debbie for the Running Coaches’ Corner linkup where you can get all your running tips, tricks, and workouts in one place!
TALK TO ME!
Let’s talk veggies — pick one: kale or spinach?
Yogurt: Greek or regular?
This post contains affiliate links.