Make an Excellent Post-Workout Smoothie
After a full-body, intensive workout, the last thing you want is a big meal. Instead, try a quick and easy post-workout smoothie that packs plenty of nutrients without leaving you overly full and uncomfortable.
What a Post-Exercise Smoothie Needs
When you're making your own post-workout smoothie, it's important to include all the nutrients your body needs to capitalize on your exercise. Every ingredient you add to your blender jar should include at least one benefit, if not several.
Matthew Kadey, R.D., told Bicycling magazine the most important aspects for the optimal smoothie after a workout. He suggested using milk as your base ingredient to help muscle growth and fat loss. From there he suggested sweet fruits for antioxidants and vitamins, good fats like almond butter or walnuts, low-calorie flavor enhancers like spices or cocoa, and protein from cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or tofu.
One of the most important nutrients to get following a workout is protein because of how it affects your muscles. When you exercise, you create small tears in your muscles by pushing them to their limits. These tears are good however, because following a workout, your body heals them, making your muscles larger and stronger. The key component needed for healing these muscles is protein. In addition to tofu, yogurt and cottage cheese, many people add protein powder to their smoothies.
Try These Smoothie Recipes
Designing your own smoothie with the perfect ratio of fruit, fats, protein, vegetables and a nutritious base lets you get creative, but sometimes just following a recipe is easier after an exhausting workout. Try one of these simple post-workout options.
- Green and Protein - Men's Fitness magazine offered a green smoothie option filled with protein and iron that works for both men and women. Mix 1 cup almond milk, frozen peaches, kale, spirulina powder, a frozen banana, spinach and protein powder into your all-purpose blender. Then, just blend it on HIGH for a minute or two, until it's smooth, then pour into a glass and enjoy.
- Soy and Berries - With just frozen berries, a frozen banana, low-fat milk and some soy protein, you can have a great post-workout drink in minutes, according to Prevention magazine. In addition to about 30 grams of protein, the magazine pointed to this basic recipe for its amino acid benefits.
- Cocoa and Tofu - The Oster® Versa® Blender Cocoa Tofu Smoothie recipe fits many of Kadey's specifications. Just mix silken tofu, halved bananas, cocoa powder, almond milk, honey, vanilla extract and ice in your performance blender for a tasty post-exercise beverage in minutes.