Recovering with a Post-Workout Green Smoothie - dummies

Recovering with a Post-Workout Green Smoothie

By Jennifer Thompson

After exercise, your metabolism works faster and is looking for good fuel (food). The worst thing you can do after a good workout is decelerate your metabolism with a big, heavy meal full of refined carbohydrates and empty calories. That kind of food diverts all your body’s energy to digestion, so you don’t have any energy left for recovery and repair (clearing lactic acid from the blood, removing other wastes, delivering nutrients, and so on).

A green smoothie is already blended and therefore very easy for your body to digest. A post-workout smoothie gives you the following:

  • Higher energy levels for the rest of the day

  • Better muscle recovery/less lactic acid buildup

  • More natural ability to balance blood sugars

  • Fast and easy digestion and absorption

  • Less hunger and reduced cravings for unhealthy foods

  • Plenty of hydration to replenish electrolytes and fluids

  • Natural anti-inflammatory effects that promote tissue repair and minimize injuries

Following are the best smoothies to drink after workouts.

Banana, Spirulina, and Coconut Water Recharge

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons goji berries

2 ripe bananas, peeled

1-1/2 cups pineapple chunks

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

2 teaspoons spirulina powder

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

1-1/2 cups coconut water

1/2 cup water

1 cup mustard greens, loosely packed

1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Place the goji berries in a bowl with 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Place in the fridge to soak for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

  2. Combine the goji berries, banana, pineapple, flaxseed, spirulina, ginger, coconut water, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually easing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until smooth.

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

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 339 (From Fat 36); Fat 4g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 262mg; Carbohydrate 73g (Dietary Fiber 10g); Protein 8g.

If you don’t have fresh ginger, use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger instead.

Mustard greens have a naturally spicy or peppery taste. Taste a leaf before adding it to your smoothie. If you don’t like it, use baby spinach or kale instead.

Replace the pineapple with fresh mango.

Chia, Raspberry, and Turmeric Zen

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup raspberries

1 ripe banana, peeled

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-1/2 cups water

4 Swiss chard leaves

  1. Place the chia seeds in a bowl with 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Place in the fridge to soak for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the Swiss chard 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 Swiss chard. Add the Swiss chard 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 147 (From Fat 45); Fat 5g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 47mg; Carbohydrate 25g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 4g.

You can use coconut water instead of water in this recipe for added electrolytes, an especially good idea after an intense hot yoga workout. Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey for a sweeter flavor.

High Power Tahini, Date, and Avocado

Preparation time: 5–6 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted

2 Medjool dates, pitted

2 ripe bananas, peeled

2 tablespoons hemp seed

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons sesame tahini

1 teaspoon maca powder

1 teaspoon bee pollen (omit if allergic)

1/2 teaspoon kelp powder

1 cup water

1 cup fresh orange juice

4 large collard green leaves

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the collard greens in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until smooth.

  3. Remove and discard the stems of the collard greens. Add the collard greens 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.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 546 (From Fat 198); Fat 22g (Saturated 2.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 15mg; Carbohydrate 79g (Dietary Fiber 13g); Protein 15g.

If you don’t have kelp powder, use spirulina powder instead. You can also use coconut water instead of water in this recipe for added electrolytes.