Benefitting from a Pre-Workout Green Smoothie

By Jennifer Thompson

Getting hydrated and mentally preparing yourself to get your body moving is important before exercise. If you eat heavy foods like pizza, pasta, or a large sub sandwich before trying to work out, your exercise will likely be limited to crawling to the sofa and collapsing into a carbohydrate coma.

A green smoothie is easy on your digestion and naturally makes you feel energized. What better way to use that energy than to exercise! A pre-workout smoothie gives you the following:

  • Higher energy levels for a better workout

  • An easy-to-digest meal with no heartburn or indigestion

  • Blended food in its natural form — nature’s best fuel

  • Plenty of magnesium, calcium, and potassium — nutrients that help maximize your body’s performance

  • Lots of hydration from the fruits, greens, and water

Following are two great smoothies to drink before workouts.

Grape, Orange, and Spinach Motivator

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 ripe plum

2 kiwis, peeled

2 cups red or green grapes

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup water

2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Cut the plum and remove the stone, keeping the skin intact. Cut the plum and kiwis into quarters.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Add the spinach and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 283 (From Fat 32); Fat 3.5g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 32mg; Carbohydrate 64g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 6g.

If you don’t have time to make fresh-pressed orange juice, use a whole, peeled and seeded orange instead.

Strawberry, Peach, and Maca Prep

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 ripe peach

1 ripe pear

1 cup halved strawberries, stems and leaves removed

1 ripe banana, peeled

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1/2 tablespoon maca powder

1 tablespoon raw honey

1-1/2 cups water

1 cup celery greens, loosely packed

3 large kale leaves

  1. Cut the peach and the pear and remove the stone and core, respectively, keeping the skin intact. Cut the flesh into quarters.

  2. Combine the peach, pear, strawberries, banana, celery, hemp seed, maca powder, honey, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Remove and discard the stems of the kale leaves. Add the celery greens and kale and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 306 (From Fat 72); Fat 8g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 77mg; Carbohydrate 56g (Dietary Fiber 11g); Protein 10g.

You can also add 1 tablespoon of bee pollen in addition to the honey for added protein and immune-boosting nutrients. (Of course, that’s only if you aren’t allergic to it or to bees or pollen individually.)

Boost the protein in this smoothie even more by adding 1/2 cup of fresh mung bean, lentil, or alfalfa sprouts in Step 4 with the other greens.