3 Perfect Post Exercise Smoothie Recipes

Post Exercise Smoothies

If you’re looking for the perfect post workout meal, look no further. These expertly designed smoothie recipes have all the nutrition you need to replenish and repair after any kind of exercise, from a healing stretch to a total body shredder.

I’ve often been confused about exactly what I should be eating after a workout. There are so many different and strident opinions out there. Some people say overload on carbs or big hunks of protein and gallons of greens. But, to be honest, I’m never that hungry after a workout, especially if it’s a particularly intense one. Really, the harder I hit it, the less I want to eat. So I usually end up choking down a bunch of whatever seems healthy, knowing that if I don’t I’ll feel shaky and sick in an hour. I suppose I could eat a protein bar, but those are so grody. Not only do they usually have a nasty chemical taste, they’re often so processed I don’t even recognize any of the ingredients on the label. No thanks.

So lately I’ve been trying something different. Enter the smoothie! Although hardly a novel idea, it’s just the right thing for me after I’ve hit it hard in the gym. Smoothies are portable, drinkable, tasty, and I can make them with whole foods. They certainly satisfy my hunger. But am I getting all the nutrition I need? What should I make my smoothies out of? Dairy? Fruit? Should I use protein powder? If so, what kind?

Alexis Lieberman, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and holistic nutritional specialist, gave me some answers.

Alexis agrees with me that a smoothie is the ideal post workout meal. “A smoothie is a perfect vehicle for nutrition,” she explains. “When food is blended, your body can absorb the protein, carbs, vitamins, etc. quickly and easily. Think of it as a kind of injection of nutrients.” A liquid meal can also make it easier for your body to complete important jobs. According to Alexis, “when your body doesn’t have to work so hard on digestion, it has extra go-power to devote to replenishing depleted energy stores and repairing and building muscle tissue that’s been broken down during exercise.”

All of Alexis’s smoothie recipes are vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and include protein powder. I had my doubts about protein powder because it’s not a whole food. But Alexis said that getting enough protein after a workout is vital. “To simplify it as much as possible, protein is essential to tissue repair. Without it, you’re not going to be able to build muscle or get stronger.” Alexis recommends Vega Protein Powder, which has 20g of protein in each serving. “Vega is my choice for  protein powder because it’s made from whole foods and includes greens, vitamins and minerals, fiber, omega-3, antioxidants, and probiotics, in addition to vegan protein.”

Alexis believes that it’s important to enjoy your post workout meal so that you’ll be more likely to take the time and effort to make it for yourself. The three smoothie recipes included here have mix-and-match ingredients and add-ins, so that you can take these basic recipes and customize your smoothie to tailor the perfect meal for yourself.

Go-To Green Goddess Smoothie
1-2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1-2 scoops Vega Viva Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 avocado
1 large handful organic baby greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard)
Ice

Green Smoothie

Chocolate Power Protein Smoothie
1-2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1-2 scoops Vega Choc-o-lot Protein Powder
2 tbs raw cacao powder
1 tbs maca root powder
1 tbs nut-butter or PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
Ice
Top with raw cacao nibs

Choco Smoothie

Berry Bliss Protein Smoothie
1-2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1-2 scoops Vega Bodacious Berry Protein Powder
1/2 cup-1 cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh ginger root
Ice
Top with roasted coconut chips

Berry Bliss Smoothie

Add-Ins

  • Fresh organic ginger (great for digestion, adds a bright, zingy flavor)
  • Maca root powder (a powerful adaptogenic herb rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals…provides an energy boost, increased libido, and mood improvement)
  • Liquid chlorophyll (a blood builder, helps transport oxygen to the body)
  • 1/2 an avocado (healthy fat, fiber, creamy texture)
  • 1-2 tbs ground flax seeds or chia seeds (omega-3, fiber)
  • 1 tbs nut butter of choice (healthy fat, protein)
  • Bananas (carbs, weight gain)-If you’re trying to lose weight or avoid foods high on the Glycemic Index, don’t include bananas in your smoothies.

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Images: Sarah Olive Bergeson

 

Sarah Olive Bergeson

Sarah Olive Bergeson is a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, writer, clean eater, and mom. She believes you can do anything and will show you how. She enjoys crushing it daily and thinking about David Bowie.