Summer Smoothies For Running Recovery
Hydrate with nutrient-rich smoothies designed for running recovery
As the weather heats up, thoughts turn from heavy, hot meals to fresh and light foods. Smoothies are an amazing way to fuel up for running or to kick start the post-run recovery. The beauty of a good smoothie is that it can be tailored to your every whim! Here’s how to create a nutritious smoothie with everything your body needs.
The 5 Elements Of A Healthy Smoothie
This is where most shop-bought smoothies get it wrong. Everyone needs protein at every meal and snack. As a runner, this is something you can’t afford to ignore. Make sure your smoothie contains a good serving of protein (25-30g of protein). This can come from Greek yoghurt or another high-protein dairy source like Skyr. The easiest and tastiest way is to add a scoop of protein powder. It will blend up and actually thicken the smoothie slightly. Whey protein is a good all-rounder, with all the amino acids your body needs. If you want to avoid dairy (or if you are vegan), then go for a plant-based protein powder like rice, pea, hemp – or a vegan blend. Vanilla flavour is a good choice for smoothies, or try strawberry or banana.
Fruit – and veg
It’s easy to go overboard with fruit in a smoothie. Sure, you need the carbs and sugars. But even runners have a limit! Pad out your smoothie with vegetables or greens too – they have a ton of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Frozen chunks of spinach work really well (you can’t taste it!) or try any lettuce (yes, really) Limit the fruit to two servings and include at least one serving of veg or leaves. Using frozen berries, fruit, and veg keeps your smoothie extra cold.
It’s important to include some healthy fats in a smoothie. They will help you feel fuller (because fat slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins), and healthy fats support cell growth and repair. Ideal for a smoothie after a run or on rest days. Here are some great ideas for fats in smoothies: frozen chunks of avocado, nut butter, or nuts/seeds on top of the smoothie.
Any smoothie needs liquid, but don’t necessarily go for fruit juice. That’s a lot of extra sugar you don’t need. Instead, use coconut water (which contains key electrolytes and minerals), or a dairy-free milk like coconut milk or almond milk. Or just use water with a few ice cubes.
Adding extras to your smoothie can boost the nutrient profile of your healthy smoothie. Choose superfoods, seeds, nuts, and extras high in fibre and micronutrients. Here are some of our favourites:
Matcha green tea powder – this potent antioxidant can help your muscles recover
Maca powder – this powdered root tastes earthy and sweet, like a natural caramel, and is a good energy booster
Herbs – all fresh herbs have healthy properties so choose the one that matches your smoothie flavour
Flax seeds or ground flax – vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids
Turmeric powder – the curcurmin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant which can help reduce inflammation
Cacao nibs – these crunchy, chocolatey, all-natural nibs add antioxidants and vitamins (great for sprinkling on top)
What’s your favourite smoothie recipe?