Whether you workout regularly or are just in the early stages of getting fit, fuelling your body is essential to getting the most out of your fitness routine and recovering afterwards. Eating properly before your workout will not only power you through the session, but also help build muscle and aid in fatigue recovery.
One of the best fuels of choice today is the delicious smoothie. Packed with a mix of healthy protein and carbs, smoothies make an ideal pre or post-workout snack since they are portable, continuously customisable, help you hydrate, and provide a much needed boost without making you feel overly full.
Smoothie base Recipes
These strength-boosting and vitamin-packed smoothies are designed to get you through fitness routine and even beyond. If you have the time, make them all at once and store them in the freezer so you’ll always have one handy.
These are base recipes; as we mention below, we recommend adding additional protein, carbs and energy-boosting ingredients to fit your goals and nutrition plan.
Blueberry, Almond and Banana Smoothie
This delightful smoothie is a good way to get a healthy dose of fiber and protein to help you remain energized during your session and also aid in body repair after the workout. The banana also helps you feel fuller for longer. To create:
½ cup blueberries
½ ripe banana
½ cup almond milk
1 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Banana and Walnut Smoothie
Bananas are a well-known as a pre-workout energiser and are packed with antioxidants, potassium and other nutritional benefits. Walnuts, on the other hand, increases your protein and healthy-fats intake. To make:
2 cups skim milk
1 tbsp honey
1 large banana
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
A handful of walnut pieces
Strawberry and Beet Smoothie
Get a little push to get you through your workout with this nutritious smoothie. Strawberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, while beets contain lots of nitrates which can help improve oxygen use and keep you moving for longer. Ingredients for two regular servings include:
4 cooked and peeled beets
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups unsweetened coconut water
1 juiced lime
Citrus and Spinach Smoothie
Ditch the caffeine and opt for this energy-boosting smoothie instead. Each component contributes uniquely to form a power-packed pre-workout snack - vitamins from citrus fruits, iron from spinach, and proteins from the almond milk. Ingredients:
1 orange peeled and chopped
1 lemon peeled and chopped
1 peach peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup almond milk
2 carrots peeled and chopped
4 spinach leaves
Supercharge Workout Smoothies
The above are great smoothies but if you want to optimize your fitness performance and recovery, then keep these tips in mind:
Go for lots of protein
Yoghurt, soy milk, nuts, and tofu are great sources of protein for smoothies. You can also add your favourite protein powder too.
Carbs before and after
You need to give your body energy to move before a workout and energy to repair muscles afterwards, so add a handful of ‘instant oats’ (ground oats powder).
Throw in energy-boosting add-ons
These include nuts, oats, and fruit.
Don't overdo it
You’ll want to make sure you’re not making a sugar-packed calorie bomb by avoiding sugary treats like ice cream or chocolate syrup. It can be helpful to use an app like MyFitnessPal to ensure the calories and the macro nutrients (balance of protein, fat and carbs) matches your dietary plan.
For best results, it’s advisable to drink your smoothie 30-60 minutes before starting your workout and within 20 minutes of finishing. Remember to drink plenty of water as well to stay fully hydrated throughout the session.