THE PERFECT POST-TRAINING SMOOTHIE
Ensuring you re-fuel properly after a workout is one of the best ways to support your body during a heavy training schedule.
Early morning training is ideal for many reasons, but it can often mean people don't eat breakfast until they arrive at work a few hours later. By then they've missed their chance for optimum fueling and recovery for glycogen stores and for repairing damaged muscle tissue.
An easy way to re-fuel soon after a workout is with a smoothie. It's quick to make and can easily be taken to work, school or wherever you need to go.
What many people don't realise however, is that the perfect post-training smoothie is all about the ratios! 'Protein drinks’ after training are often thought of the ideal fuel source, however carbohydrates are equally important at this time. A great ratio to aim for with carbohydrates and proteins post-training is a 3:1 or a 4:1 of carbohydrate:protein.
So how do you make the perfect ratio smoothie? Here are some simple ingredients to give you to the right ratios for optimum recovery and restocking of your fuel tank for your next training session.
When planning your smoothie, think about your ingredients based on their carbohydrate or protein content.
- Fluid: water, milk, coconut milk, almond milk etc.
- Carbohydrate source: the average banana has 25 grams of carbohydrate which is an easy pick to give your smoothie a creamy consistency. Freezing the banana first makes your smoothie seem like it has ice-cream in it!
- Additional fruit: ½-1 cup blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, paw paw etc.
- Did you do a long training session of over 1.5 hours? You could add honey or maple syrup to get your carbohydrate numbers even higher. Of course they taste great as well! Be aware 1 tablespoon is about 15 grams of carbohydrate so be sparing with this ingredient.
- Add a flavour kick or some superfoods: raw cacao, macca, vanilla, cinnamon, natural yoghurt, super greens, flaxseeds etc for added antioxidants, probiotics and fibre.
- Up the veggies: if you struggle during the day to get your veggies in here’s your chance to add kale, baby spinach or cucumber, though make sure it’s not too much to dominate the flavour.
- Protein: up to this point your smoothie wont have much protein in it, depending on your milk choice. Add your favourite protein powder here to get the levels up easily, or you could choose a nut butter. Note that although tasty, nut butter will add a large volume of kilojoules without a large dose of protein so protein powder is the easiest option.
THE EASIEST POST-TRAINING SMOOTHIE YOU'LL EVER MAKE
- 25 grams of Vital vanilla pea protein powder (or your personal favourite)
- 1 cup of water, coconut water or almond milk
- 1 banana (that's been peeled, cut into pieces and frozen)
- 1 cup of your favourite berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries etc
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder (for a bit of a chocolate kick)
- 1 teaspoon Vital Greens
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
Combine ingredients into a blender. Blend for a few seconds until smooth.
This smoothie has approximately 60 grams of carbohydrate and 22 grams of protein, which is very close to a 3:1 ratio.