While I generally recommend whole foods to liquid foods in terms of satiety and overall nutrition, I can’t deny my love for post-workout smoothies. When I get home from the gym, Im usually not hungry enough to eat a full meal. I know that I need to refuel quickly, but sometimes its difficult to think about food when your still exhausted from a tough workout. All I really want is an ice cold beverage. In college, I probably would have went straight for the beer. These days, its all about the smoothie!
So what makes up a great post workout smoothie?
Using some tips from The Paleo Diet for Athletes, there are a few things I make sure I get in every post-workout smoothie:
-Lots of protein- I shoot for around 40 grams of protein from both whey and egg sources
-A good dose of carbs- The only time in the day where I emphasize carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes, yams, and frozen fruits work best.
-Minimal healthy fat- The only time in the day where you are probably better off without fat. I get minimal fat from unsweetened coconut and almond milk which make for a creamy smoothie base.
-Electrolytes- sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the most important post-workout. Most fruit will provide good doses of all but sodium. Add a pinch of sea salt to replenish sodium and add flavor.
-Frozen fruit- Ive already mentioned fruit for the beneficial carbs and electrolytes, but I have a particular liking to frozen fruit for taste and texture. Frozen fruit elevates a smoothie from post workout shake to frozen icy concoction.
Those basic guidelines allow me to make hundreds of variations of what is essentially the same post workout smoothie. Im constantly playing around with different flavors, but I do have one in particular that I keep going back to. Without further ado, here is my version of post workout perfection.
Sweet Blue Smoothie
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Cup Cooked Sweet Potato (about 1/2 medium sweet potato)
1 Raw Cage-Free Omega 3 Egg
1 1/4 Scoops Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder
1 Pinch Sea Salt
Always remember that what we eat after out workouts is just as IMPORTANT as the workout we do. Our muscles get bigger and stronger by breaking down and rebuilding. We need to supply our muscles with fuel in order for them to rebuild properly.