Thirsty Thursday: Pre-Workout Smoothies
It’s Thirsty Thursdays! What better way to quench your thirst with a smoothie to help elevate your workout before it even begins. This Thursday, I will be discussing pre-workout smoothies and how to maximize your workout. For you to maximize your workout you need to know what is actually happening to your body during exercise. When we work out we are stressing our muscles out. We are essentially breaking them down to build them back up through sleep and other recovery processes. They heal and grow bigger, better and faster. In order for this process to operate we must be effectively fueling our muscles.
The MAJOR key ingredients that you need before your workout: protein, carbs, and healthy fats. These key ingredients will keep help you to keep your energy up high and fuel your body for throughout your entire workout. Protein helps you build muscle. When we workout what is essentially happening is we are stressing our muscles out. We are in a sense making them weaker for them to grow stronger. They heal and grow bigger, better, greater during sleep and other recovery processes. But in order for this process to operate we must fuel our muscles.
The 7 key ingredients to add in your smoothies before your workout and why:
Almond Milk: is packed with protein! This will help fuel your muscles before and during trainer. It is also really good for those who are lactose intolerant. This is extremely important because protein is essential the building block for your muscles.
Bananas are jam packed with carbs. Carbs help energize your body, helps regulate brain activity, and helps with your improve mood. It will give you that pre-workout high that you need to put your workout to an amazing start. Bananas have tryptophan in them which then breaks down in your body as serotonin. Serotonin is a natural mood picker upper.
Apples: Will help you get through longer workouts. Apples have quercetin. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that allows your body to deliver more oxygen to your lungs. The more oxygen you have, the more endurance you have. This will increase your workout time and durability.
Nut Butters: Nut Butters: are packed with a ton of fiber, healthy fats and protein.
Oats: whether dry, soaked or cooked oats will help your energy last for a much longer time. They keep your blood sugar stables during your workout. They take a while to digest which is a good thing because it’ll take longer for your energy to deplete. You can put it in just about any smoothie.
Spinach: You can add a cup of spinach to just about every smoothie and it’s packed with vitamin k. Spinach is high in zinc, niacin, fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, E, K, thiamin, B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. Targeting many many areas in your body for the greater good!
Coconut oil: contains a ton of fatty acids that burns body fat by turning it into energy that speeds up your metabolism. Add it just about any smoothie to help with weight-loss. Coconut oil literally fights off body fat.
Below you will find a list of pre-workout smoothies and their recipes.
The Green Machine Smoothie***
2 cups of almond milk, unsweetened
2 cups of fresh spinach
1 apple, cored (red for really sweet, green for sweet)
½ rolled oats (need the carbs & fiber)
½ ground cinnamon (optional. Adds more flavor)
Optional: Add ice
Kiwi & Kale Smoothie
You can barely taste the kale. This smoothie is nice, cool, and sweet. Both Kiwi and Kale contains Vitamin C. This in turn will help boost your immune system. Now Vitamin K helps your bones become stronger, helps with blood clotting, and your skin. Kale also contains Vitamin A which helps your vision.
1 cup of coconut water
½ cup of ice
1 kiwi, peeled
2 cups of kale leaves, remove the stems
Vitamin C Smoothie
This smoothie is packed with pineapple, strawberries, and pink grapefruit which are contains vitamin C. Vitamin C help fight off colds, infections, and diseases. For those of you who have low iron, Vitamin C also helps absorbing iron. This is a true power packed smoothie.
1 large pink grapefruit, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 non-fat Greek yogurt
Banana Walnut Smoothie
Bananas are super high in potassium and antioxidents. This will give you the energy that you need to stimulate your workout.
1 large banana
2 cups (500 mL) skim milk or almond milk
7-10 halves of walnut pieces
1 tablespoon of honey
¼ tablespoon of vanilla extract
Reeses Pieces Smoothie (chocolate, oats, and peanut butter)***
2 cups almond milk
¾ cups oats
1 banana (chopped)
1 scoop (1–2 tbsp) chocolate protein powder
1 scoop of peanut butter
Optional spinach: You wont even taste the spinach but it will turn the smoothie green and pack it with some Vitamin K.
Chocolate Almond Smoothie
Get hungry fast? This is a hunger fighter!
2 cups of cold water or 1 cup of crushed ice and 1 cup of water
¼ cup almonds (or raw almond butter)
2 fresh or soaked dried dates
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
Optional: protein powder (chocolate)
Sweet Spinachy Smoothie
Spinach improves muscle performance.
2 cups of frozen spinach
1 cup of apple juice
Strawberry & Beet Smoothie
Beets contains a ton of nitrate. Nitrate is what gives you that boost to keep moving. It also improved your oxygen intake.
2 cups of unsweetened coconut water
2 cups of strawberries (sliced or frozen)
4 beets, cooked & peeled
1 lime, juiced
Strawberry Banana Oatmeal ***
2 cups of almond milk
½ cup of sliced strawberries
1 scoop of oats
Optional: spinach (you won’t even taste the spinach and it’s a good kick of Vitamin K)
Spinachy Strawberry smoothie
2 cups of water or 1 cup of water and 1 cup of crushed ice
1 cup of sliced strawberries
2 cups of fresh spinach
½ low-fat vanilla yogurt
Optional: maple syrup or honey for additional taste
Blueberry Strawberry Mix Smoothie***
2 cups of almond milk
½ cup of bluberries
½ cup of oats
½ cup of strawberries
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (OrGain Protein powder - vegetable based)
Optional: ½ raspberries, ½ cup of ice
*** = my personal favorite