Published: October 28, 2016
For those of us committed to getting the most out of our workouts, diet plays an important role. Whether you run on occasion or are training for your 5th marathon, you can increase your performance through nutrition.
Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? Post run it’s a refreshing and satisfying snack or meal while being easy on the stomach. Smoothies are the perfect vehicle for fueling your body with a load of nutrition in a small package. Basically any food you want to add can be liquefied into this thick, cold and creamy drink.
The ultimate post run smoothie will contain several food groups. Making sure it’s filled with a variety of healthy foods will ensure you are getting well balanced nutrition and a combo of all the macronutrients. Not only is a smoothie hydrating, but it can provide key nutrients such as protein, potassium and calcium, which are helpful to aid in recovery.
Fruits and vegetables, in addition to being high in antioxidants, vitamins and mineral are also high in fiber which is great to fuel up on post-run. Keeping frozen fruit stocked in your freezer makes your post-run smoothie super convenient and equally nutritious. Utilize whatever veggies you have on hand; those like carrots, leafy greens and zucchini have milder flavors that pair well with all the fruit.
Lean protein, like cottage cheese, silken tofu, yogurt, regular and nondairy milk and/or protein powders helps to repair tissues and build muscles. Plus, combining a carbohydrate meal with a protein or fat leaves you feeling satisfied for longer. Speaking of fat, coconut oil or unsweetened shredded coconut, full fat coconut milk, chia, flax seeds or nuts are all good options either during blending or for added toppings.
Because it’s easy to include a calcium source in your smoothies through yogurt, dairy or calcium fortified orange juice or non-dairy milk, leafy greens or calcium-rich tofu you will contribute to your daily goal of 1,200 mg of calcium that will help your teeth and bones prevent stress fractures and osteoporosis in the future.
To make it easy and change up the flavors from day to day, chose at least one from each group to make your smoothies (the following are just some examples):
Liquid- milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, orange juice, apple juice, beet juice, pineapple juice, coconut water
Fruit- banana, apple, banana, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, orange
Vegetables- spinach, kale, carrots, other leafy greens
Protein- nut butter, protein powder, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (flavored or plain)
Seeds- hemp, chia or flax seeds
Fat- coconut oil, shredded coconut
Sweeteners- honey, stevia, agave, dates
Miscellaneous- goji berries, cocoa powder, spirulina powder, cocoa nibs, herbs like mint, spices like cinnamon, turmeric
This ultimate berry smoothie is packed with frozen organic berries, high in antioxidants, fiber and has zero added sugar. Berries add a great texture, sweetness and fiber to the ultimate post run smoothie. In lieu of a protein powder, plain Greek yogurt provides an additional 12 grams of protein.
It also has some hidden low calorie vegetables in there which no one will ever suspect! A single kiwi gives you an added Vitamin C boost with a little zest. Coconut water and milk give it a flavorful, yet creamy texture and the seeds give it a little added healthy fat and fiber. It’s hard to go wrong building the perfect smoothie!
What’s in your ultimate smoothie?
Ultimate Berry Recipe
2 cups frozen organic mixed berries- a combo of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries (feel free to add in any fresh fruit berries want to use up)
1/2 cup frozen banana
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup plain Greek vanilla yogurt
1 Tablespoon flax or chia seeds
Optional toppings: shredded unsweetened coconut and chopped berries
In a blender combine all the ingredients until smooth. Top with chopped berries and unsweetened coconut.