One of my favourite post workout snacks/meals is a smoothie. Sometimes after a long workout I don’t feel super hungry, or I might be in a rush and not have time to make anything too extravagant, so I like to try and pack as much nutrition into the blender as possible to help my recovery or keep me fueled until my next meal.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my smoothies don’t taste good, a little too hempy, not quite sweet enough, or just too many veggies, but more often than not they are a hit, it’s just a question of getting the ratios right, and not trying to cram every single thing in your kitchen into the same shake. It’s good to play around and find out what works with what, but I now try to rotate things on a daily basis, this way you get a much wider variety of nutrients across your week- plus it will probably taste way better, than if you have a massive concoction of things going on.
A while back, The Protein Works sent me a lovely bundle of products, which I put to good use during ultra training and recovery. I used a few of them in this smoothie, hence why I’ve called it the sporty smoothie, you could use this pre or post workout, although I’d add some protein powder/extra nuts/seeds if using post workout. I like my smoothies a little thicker so I can serve them in a bowl, and add all.of.the.toppings, so add more liquid if you prefer to drink them. I actually made this smoothie for breakfast on the morning of the Cardiff half and got quite a big PB, so read into that what you will.
The Super Sporty Ingredients
Montmorency Cherries are a favourite of mine, I use cherry active whenever I’m training heavily or have a bit of a niggle, they are rich in antioxidants which can help to combat muscular damage and inflammation post workout, they are also a source of melatonin so a nice addition to support healthy sleep cycles. The Protein works cherry power is quite tart, so it works quite well in smoothies when it’s balanced with the sweetness of banana.
The benefits of Coconut Water for exercise are well known, rich in electrolytes, nutrients and natural sugars, it’s perfect for re-hydration- the snag is it can be kind of expensive- step in Native Coconut, which is a pure coconut water powder with absolutely nothing added, it blends really well, and I think tastes better than a lot of the coconut waters on the market, and is a great addition to a post workout smoothie.
Beetroot juice is a vasodilator, and research suggests it may improve endurance and time to fatigue during exercise. I usually take it for a few days before super long events, and I like to think it does the job, plus I love the earthiness of beetroot anyway, so any excuse to eat it.
Coconut oil is rich in MCT’s which unlike other fat sources, go straight to the liver to be burned as energy- this makes it ideal in a pre workout shake, sometimes I just have a bit stirred into some matcha tea for a little boost, if I am heading out for an early workout.
Chia Seeds became an essential ingredient for runners after everybody read Born to Run, I like to mix it up between those, hemp, and flax to get a wider variety of nutrients, but I do like chia’s versatility, and I love chia pudding. A great source of minerals, essential fats, and fibre, I really like to add them pre-workout for blood sugar balancing, and I find they tend to keep me energized for longer when working out.
Super Sporty Smoothie
2 Tbsp Beetroot Juice (You can alternatively use a fresh beetroot)
1 Scoop of Montmorency Cherry Powder
1 Scoop of Coconut Water Powder
1 Frozen Banana
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
(If it was post workout I would add some protein in too).
All the toppings- I used cinnamon, oats, pumpkin seeds and a nut/goji/raisin mix which I had made up, but you can add whatever you like.
Disclaimer: The Protein Works provided me with products for review purposes, all opinions are my own.