Post Workout Smoothies are easy, delicious and effective!
Post workout smoothies have the potential to be perfect after workout to maximize your recovery and keep your energy high for the rest of the day. When crafting a workout recovery smoothie there are 4 important factors to consider:
1. Include simple carbohydrates
Your body cannot recover without carbohydrates. This is the primary energy source during exercise and providing carbohydrates immediately after a workout allows your body to replenish the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) you lost during exercise. Because your body prioritizes carbohydrate repletion, it won’t repair muscles or break down fat unless you have carbs available. I recommend choosing carbohydrate sources that also provide antioxidants (see #3) such as fruits and veggies.
2. Include at least 20g of High Quality Protein
Protein is the secret ingredient to repair and strengthen muscles. Remember – you can’t rebuild muscles without carbohydrates. So as long as you keep to step 1), the 20g of protein in your smoothie will go right to your muscles to repair and rebuild. High quality proteins are those that give bioavailability to the body, meaning they can get in there and get the job done! Greek yogurt is one of my favorites as it provides 20-25g of protein per cup and is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA), which are a type of protein that can metabolize directly in the muscles. BCAA are responsible for triggering the muscle repair process making these the most effective proteins for muscle recovery after a workout.
3. Add an antioxidant punch
Anytime you workout the body experiences a 24-hour immunosuppressant period. This means your immune system is compromised and you are vulnerable to seasonal bugs! The best thing you can do is, take a dose of antioxidants to give your immune system that fighting chance. Wild Blueberries have two times the antioxidant capacity of larger, cultivated blueberries. And because they are individually quick-frozen right at harvest, these potent berries lock in their nutrition (and deliciousness). Adding frozen Wild Blueberries are the perfect antioxidant punch and they add to the quenchable texture of any smoothie!
4. Caffeine can amplify your shake and your energy
Research shows that taking caffeine with your post exercise meal or snack increases the rate at which carbohydrate can make its way back into your cells. A caffeine-hit can not only heighten your energy, but it can amplify how quickly your body processes the nutrition you give it! Cold Brew coffee is a great way to add a little caffeine after a workout. You can buy Cold Brew coffee pre-made or make it yourself. To make it at home simply add desired ground coffee into a French press, fill it with cold water, and set in your refrigerator for 12-15 hours. After it sat for 12 hours or more, complete the process by depressing the plunger. Bam! Cold Brew Coffee.
Here is my favorite recipe for the perfect taste that nails these nutrition recovery musts!
Wild Blueberry Cold Brew Recharge Smoothie
6 oz Cold Brew Coffee (homemade or packaged)
1/2 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp coconut crème
1 cup raw spinach (You don’t taste this – I promise!)
Blend and enjoy!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. #Sponsered #AD
Jessika Brown, RD, CEDRD, CSSD
Director of Nutritional Services at DietitiansABQ and Eating Disorders Treatment Center