You killed your cardio session, kicked your own ass on the mat, and sweated out a half-day’s calories. Now you’re ready to refuel, looking for the perfect beverage to hydrate and reward yourself simultaneously. It should taste great without undoing your hard work.
There’s some debate as to what makes a good recovery beverage. I’m no expert, but I can tell you that sports drinks are probably not the answer. Many are laden with sugar, artificial colors, and vitamins you’ll probably just excrete through urination.
So what should you drink post workout? Smoothie fans would argue that an antioxidant blast of fresh fruit or veggies is just what you need.
Whatever you choose to sip, be sure you’re hydrating properly to replace lost fluids after your workout. Aim for around 200 to 300 calories with a shot of carbohydrates to replenish lost glycogen and keep you fueled for the day. Here are 5 tips to make a healthy smoothie…
5 Tips to Make a Healthy Smoothie
When it comes to making healthy smoothies that taste as good as they look, there’s not much to know. Really. Any monkey can toss a banana and some ice into a blender. But one thing I’ve learned in all my smoothie-making experiments is that you may be surprised at what actually works. Check the fridge and the cupboards, toss in whatever looks tasty, and hit that magic mixing button.
You don’t have to have any culinary skills to make a delicious smoothie. That said, here are my suggestions for making your healthiest beverages…
1. Get Greens
Include plenty of greens in your smoothie. Green vegetables such as kale and spinach are among the most nutrient-dense foods. They help keep your body balanced by creating a more alkaline environment. Foods that help raise the alkalinity in your body include fruits, veggies, certain nuts and seeds, soybeans and tofu. Processed foods do the opposite. By raising acid levels, they make you more prone to illness, disease, and accelerated aging.
2. Use Organic Produce
Use organic produce whenever possible, especially when it comes to spinach, as the EWG (Environmental Working Group) says it’s among the dirtiest produce you can purchase. Along with strawberries and apples, it’s one of the most heavily sprayed with pesticides — which won’t simply wash off. Since organic foods can be pricey, it literately pays to know which produce is safe to eat when it’s non organic. Bananas are an example, as their thick peels prevent pesticides from leaching into the fruit–which leads me to my third tip…
3. Go Bananas!
The potassium in a banana helps stimulate your muscles, nerves, and brain cells. But bananas may also improve your mood, thanks to tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin (a feel-good brain chemical). Peel your bananas when they’re ripe and store them in a freezer bag so they’re ready to toss in the blender.
4. Use Frozen Berries
Use frozen berries in place of ice, or in addition to ice. They make smoothies so darn refreshing, and the sweet punch of fruit makes any smoothie recipe better.
5. Add Protein
Protein is a must for fitness buffs and yoga mat monkeys. Experts say using protein powders is most beneficial within 30 minutes of exercising because it provides needed amino acids to muscles. Nuts are another great protein source, so use them in your smoothie by pulsing them in a blender or gadget in advance.
If you’re looking for recipe ideas, check out My Secret Weapon Smoothie.
Here are some other awesome places to look…
Do you have a favorite post-workout smoothie or drink?