This past December - amidst training for LA Marathon, crossfitting a few times per week, teaching spin class, and my new age of 30+, I began to notice that my muscles were more sore for longer than usual, I was constantly battling off a cold, and I was finding it hard to keep up with my husband on long weekend runs (something I do not like to happen!)
But….I have a confession to make. I was rarely ever consuming a post-workout recovery shake or meal. Even with my extensive knowledge about the benefits of optimal nutrition post-workout, I was not making my personal recovery a priority. I’m speaking in past tense, because one of my goals this New Year is to consume a post-workout recovery shake or meal within one hour after my workout.
The benefits of post workout fuel can range from replenishing glycogen stores, minimizing protein breakdown, maximizing protein synthesis, as well as helping to maintain a healthy immune system. Post-workout meals are ideally a combination of carbohydrates and protein, while being relatively low in fat. Fat slows down digestion/absorption- which is generally desirable; however, after a workout we want nutrients to get into the cells as quickly as possible.
While some protein powders can be a great solution when on the go, whole foods are generally the best option when available/able to prepare. Thus, I wanted to share with you my go-to “Post Workout Berry Smoothie” recipe that will leave you feeling refreshed and refueled.
Post Workout Berry Smoothie
1 cup blueberries
1 cup spinach
2-3 Frozen Strawberries or ½ frozen banana
¼ cup Egg white powder from Trader Joe's (or protein powder of your choice)
1 cup Unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp almond butter or nut butter of your choice
*Mix the above ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and enjoy!
Colette Rose, MS, RD