If you follow me on Snapchat (Krissyropiha) or watch my Instagram story you will know how much I love this post workout smoothie!
In fact, even if I don’t work out I often have this protein-packed vegan post workout smoothie as an afternoon snack because it is THAT delicious. Oh, and it’s packed full of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Oh, and banana. Let’s not forget the banana.
But before I share my favourite post workout smoothie, let’s talk post workout nutrition.
Post workout nutrition is super important, especially if you work your body hard. I never really thought too much about post-workout nutrition. In fact, I didn’t really think about it at all. I thought protein was for body builders. I just ate what I would usually eat and wondered why I made no progress.
Turns out how you fuel your body after a workout actually matters.
The type of fuel your body needs after a workout depends on the type of workout you do.
A quick reminder for those of you who are new here. I’m not a personal trainer. In fact, I’m not at all an expert when it comes to working out or fitness (THIS POST shares expert tips). BUT, I do know a thing or two about nutrition (thank you qualifications).
Let’s get a little nerdy.
The body uses different macronutrients depending on the type and intensity of exercise performed.
Aerobic (with oxygen) activities (i.e. activities that continue for more than two minutes, such as walking and running) = preference for fat.
Anaerobic (without oxygen) activities (i.e. short bursts of intense activity) = preference for carbohydrates.
But you thought protein was important…isn’t that what all the fitness fanatics talk about?
Well, it is important. Just not in the way you might have thought.
Protein is not an ideal form of energy. BUT it is still an essential nutrient given it supports energy production.
For strenuous, high intensity or weight-bearing exercise, protein should be consumed one hour prior to exercise and again before resting. Consuming protein after an activity allows the muscle that has been worked during exercise to be rebuilt from the protein eaten.
You can see here why protein is an essential nutrient that needs to be consumed throughout the day. Unless you are physically inactive, which is kinda hard unless you don’t move from your bed, protein is used by the body throughout the day (yip, even from just walking around).
So, the basic takeaway message:
- Eat balanced meals (including sources of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates) throughout the day, every day .
- Follow aerobic exercise with a balanced meal that INCLUDES protein.
- Follow anaerobic exercise with a balanced meal PRIMARILY made up of protein.
- Carbohydrates are important before and after any strenuous workout.
And that brings me to my favourite post workout smoothie.
This post workout smoothie is good for all the right reasons. For starters, it’s seriously delicious and even a little like ice cream (but not quite as good as THIS SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM). It also stacks up incredibly well nutrition-wise.
The recipe uses a vegan protein powder and while I absolutely LOVE the one I use, I suggest you speak to a qualified professional or health food store to find YOUR ideal protein powder based on your own personal needs. This smoothie can simply be tailored to meet your post workout nutrition needs by simply increasing or decreasing the protein powder quantity (more protein after anaerobic exercise, less after aerobic exercise).
- Banana can be swapped for your favourite seasonal fruit. Berries (although be warned, they will make your smoothie turn brown), mango, melon and pear are all great options!
- Freely add leafy greens as you please!
- While we are talking about leafy greens, I personally find they blend better when frozen. Pop a bag of washed and air-dried baby spinach in the freezer and simply grab a handful as you need it. A great tip to prevent wastage!
- My favourite vegan protein powders are by Garden of Life and Sun Warrior Protein. Both are cleaner versions with no added fillers or toxic ingredients.
- If you are new to green smoothies leave out the greens powder and build up to it.
- 1 banana, ripe and frozen (approximately 90g)
- 1 cup baby spinach (approximately 40g)
- ½ cup water
- ½ scoop vegan protein powder (vanilla)
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp super greens powder (optional)
- Place the chia seeds into a small bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water. Set aside for the chia seeds to soak for 2-3 minutes.
- Add all ingredients including the chia seeds to a high speed blender.
- Blend on high until smooth. If using a Thermomix, set it for 30 seconds, speed 10, MC ON.
- Pour smoothie into a glass and serve immediately.
- TIP: Freeze left overs into ice blocks for even faster post-workout nutrition!
What’s your go-to post workout snack or meal? Do you include a post workout smoothie into your day? Let me know!
Love smoothies? You’ll love these!