I’ve been on a huge smoothie kick lately! Probably because we’ve been getting a snap shot of what is to come this summer….think 80-90 degree days with a decent amount of humidity. Mmm mmmmmmm, nothin’ like a Michigan summer! Stack that up against doing workouts and long-runs, and a girl’s bound to crave something frosty and cool.
I don’t really have a set recipe for making smoothie-deliciousness. Basically, I just take an inventory of what is in the fridge and go from there. However, I aim to have these goals in mind:
Components for Smoothie Success
1. Fruit (fresh or frozen)
2. Protein (yogurt! milk! milk alternatives!)
3. Calcium (from the yogurt and milk)
This guy had fresh strawberries, pineapple, non-fat plain yogurt, and a few drizzles of honey. Another smoothie that I made the other day, and fell deep in love with, consisted of an orange, some more pineapple, a strawberry yogurt, and ice. Woweeeeeeee, I felt like I was on vacation with that tropical drink melting in my hand. All I needed was an umbrella in my drink.
Smoothies also make an excellent post-workout snack since they are like a mini-meal in a glass with a great source of carbohydrates and protein! After strenuous exercise, it is important to consume carbohydrates as soon as possible to jump-start an important process called muscle glycogen synthesis. There is a 15 minute window after exercise where our hungry muscles are able to quickly take up carbohydrates, breaking them down into smaller parts so it can be stored in our bods to use as energy for future workouts. Waiting to consume carbohydrates several hours after your workout makes this process up to 50% less efficient, resulting in tired, unfed muscles. Not good, especially if you do this day after day, which means you are also compromising the quality of your workouts!
And one more tip with smoothie making: I like to try to use frozen fruit instead of ice so my smoothie doesn’t get watered down as it melts a little. Sooooo delicious!!