Fueling our body pre-or post-training sessions can be challenging for some runners. Eating easy to digest and process meals or snacks can make it much easier, that’s why smoothies have been very popular for the past few years for athletes. A smoothie is a perfect breakfast to kick-start the day, and it can be also the best way to refuel after a run or training session. Smoothies are full of nutrients, easy to prepare, filling, delicious and easy to digest. But we have to make sure we make the perfect smoothie, with all the essential nutrients so our body gets all the nutrients (protein, healthy carbs, healthy fats), fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Nutrients to Include to Make a Healthy Smoothie
Protein helps with muscle repair and recovery, fills us up, and controls hunger. To add protein powder will provide a good source of protein, but make sure you use a more natural type of protein powder to make it better and healthier. Find a brand that has less ingredients and no added processed sugar. Some brands include vitamins and minerals and some supplements. If you’re a vegan, there’s a lot of vegan protein powder options; pea protein, hemp seed protein, soy protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin seed protein etc. You can choose no flavor protein powder to focus on the smoothie basic flavor, or choose vanilla, berry, chocolate protein powder if you enjoy extra taste. Make sure you combine the protein powder flavor according to your smoothie ingredients.
Healthy fats provide energy, support cell growth, support nutrients absorption and help control hunger and sugar levels. Add one or two portions of healthy fats, 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds or a small handful of nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts) or seeds.
Adding vegetables to your smoothie is a great way to add fibre, and vitamins. Fibre helps to keep us feeling full for longer and help with digestion. The only time you should lower your fibre intake is the day before a race. Add nutrient-rich vegetables like spinach, kale, arugula, beetroot, zucchini. Spinach contains nitrates which helps deliver oxygen to the muscles.
Go easy on the fruit, add two portions of nutrient-dense fruits like berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), these are full of antioxidants and apple. Bananas are a good option for carbohydrates and minerals like potassium, very efficient energy boost pre-run or recovery.
Add 1/2-3/4 cup of dairy-free milks (almond milk, oat milk, hazelnut milk, cashew milk, coconut milk), or coconut water which is good for a post-run recovery smoothie as it contains electrolytes to help with hydration. For runners with no dairy- lactose issues you can add some dairy milk which also provides some protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
1. Matcha: An antioxidant that reduces inflammation and helps with recovery.
2. Maca: This plant-root helps support the adrenal gland, boost energy levels and balance hormones.
3. Ginger: Improves circulation, strengthens the immune system, and relieves sore muscles.
4. Turmeric: The antioxidant curcumin in turmeric helps reduce post-run inflammation.
5. Collagen Peptides Powder: Collagen powder is full of amino acids, and protein. It helps boosts the metabolism, muscle mass and energy output, reduces joint pain, helps recover ligaments and tendons, and helps treat gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders.
6. Supergreen Powder: The supergreen powders can support your body’s immunity, energy levels, detoxification and more. It contains so many superfoods, vitamins and minerals that it can provide your daily intake. To add this great supergreen powder to your smoothie will help provide your body with all the superfoods that can help support your entire system, give you great energy and help your muscles to recover more easily and faster.
Supergreen Powder Ingredients
· Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, collards, parsley
· Seaweed: Spirulina, chlorella, dulse, kelp
· Other vegetables: Broccoli, beets, carrots, tomatoes, green cabbage
· Grasses: Barley grass, wheatgrass, oat grass, alfalfa grass
· High-antioxidant fruits: Blueberries, raspberries, goji and acai berries
· Nutritional extracts: Green tea extract, grape seed extract, ginkgo biloba extract
· Probiotics: Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis
· Plant-based digestive enzymes: Amylase, cellulase, lipase, papain, protease
· Herbs: Holy basil, astragalus, echinacea, milk thistle
· Mushrooms: Maitake mushroom extract, shiitake mushroom extract
· Natural sugar substitutes: Stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract
· Extra fibre: Rice bran, inulin, apple fibre
The average one scoop/serving of Supergreen powder provides:
· Calories: 40
· Fat: 0.5 gram
· Total carbs: 7 grams
· Dietary fibre: 2 grams
· Sugars: 1 gram
· Protein: 2 grams
· Sodium: 2% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
· Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): 80% of the RDI
· Vitamin C: 80% of the RDI
· Vitamin K: 60% of the RDI
· Calcium: 5% of the RDI
· Iron: 20% of the RDI
· Iodine: 100% of the RDI
· Selenium: 70% of the RDI
· Chromium: 60% of the RDI
· Potassium: 5% of the RDI
· Unsweetened coconut flakes
· Goji berries
· Raw cacao nibs
· Seeds (pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds)
Eat Well, Train Well, Feel Great!