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For the best smoothie consistency, fill the blender with liquids first then add soft and frozen ingredients.
Smoothies are a great option for a post-workout snack because -- if you make them right -- they can provide all the nutrients you need after your workout in just one glass. Replenishing fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat is important after exercising. Also, you should replace the carbohydrate that fueled your muscles through a workout session. Another important nutrient a smoothie provides is protein, which helps repair damaged muscle tissue and stimulates new tissue development.
Pour in the Protein
Nonfat and low-fat dairy products -- like milk and yogurt -- are great bases for your fruit smoothie. Not only does milk protein help with muscle recovery after exercising, but it also is important for rehydration. Also, dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, one of the electrolytes lost through sweat. A study in the May 2013 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition" found that a beverage containing milk protein plus carbohydrate was more effective at restoring fluid balance after a workout than a carbohydrate beverage -- similar to sports drinks. If you avoid consuming dairy products, use soy-based products as the protein base for your smoothie.
Fill it With Fruit
Fruits are naturally sweet and can enhance the flavor of any smoothie. In addition, they provide numerous vitamins and minerals as well as water -- all of which are important for replenishing losses from sweat during exercise. Opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juice, which is higher in sugar and lower in fiber. Frozen fruit -- especially berries and bananas -- when blended help create a frosty, thick smoothie.
Add Some Fat
Avocados and nut butters -- in particular, peanut butter and almond butter -- provide numerous nutrients and a healthy dose of unsaturated fat -- the type associated with a lower risk for heart disease. In addition, these ingredients enhance the consistency of a smoothie. The minerals in nuts -- specifically phosphorous, magnesium and calcium -- are important for bone health and strength.
Depending on your taste preferences and nutrient needs you might want to add some extra ingredients to your smoothie. Spices can enhance flavor without adding calories. Other common ingredients include ground flaxseed, chia seeds and wheat germ. All are good sources of fiber, but flaxseed and chia seeds also provide omega-3 fatty acids.