Okay so I wanted to share with you one of my favorite smoothies, that helps aid in recovery, because the recovery process is where the magic happens my friend!
During our workouts we break down tissues and when we recover our body rebuilds them to be stronger, and better equipped to handle the exercise stress placed on them.
So if we can maximize our body’s ability to recover from our workouts, we are in turn maximizing our results.
So why not use/do everything we can to encourage a fast and effective recovery? Seems like a no brainer right?
But it’s easy to inhibit our recovery when we don’t get the proper nutrition, are under prolonged periods of stress, do too many high intensity workouts without resting enough between, or don’t get adequate amounts of sleep, among other things.
So today we are going to address the nutrition factor by looking at this recovery boosting smoothie that’s one of my staples!
Power Recovery Smoothie:
Serving Size: ~60 ounces or 2 large glasses (This will vary on the water content but just freeze any extra)
- Tart Cherries 1/2 cup or 1/2 a cup pure tart cherry juice
- Pomegranate Seeds 1/4 cup
- Beets 3-4 slices raw
- Swiss Chard 1 handful
- Spinach 1 handful
- Seaweed 1 sheet
- Vanilla Whey Protein 25 g
- Ginger 1/4– 1/2 tsp paste or grated
- Ice 1 cup
- Water/ Coconut Water 2-3 cups
- Pineapple (3-4 slices) or Banana (1/2)
- Optional: Add additional fruit or stevia sweetener if neccessary
Directions: Blend all ingredients together
Here’s a video of me getting ready to enjoy this lovely concoction myself. I ran out of banana and pineapple in the video, but I usually include them.
P.S. No judging my sweaty, red post workout face. It’s not pretty but it’s real, just for you. 😉
So let’s talk about why each of these ingredients are in the smoothie.
Ingredient Break down:
- Tart Cherries: Like most of the ingredients included, tart cherries reduce inflammation, but they also increase melatonin production resulting in better quality sleep and increased growth hormone release (a major anabolic hormone responsible for muscle growth) and decrease Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). (Study links 1, 2,3)
- Pomegranate Seeds: Another anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant containing fiber, vitamin C (which enhances the immune response), vitamin K and potassium. (Study links 1, 2)
- Beets: These bad boys contain betalains which provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects as well as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases blood flow and delivery of nutrients into the muscle to encourage better oxygen use during exercise, resulting in an increased performance capacity. So these are beneficial pre and post workout! Extra little tip: Beet greens are even higher in betalains and nitric oxide. (Study links 1,2,3)
- Swiss Chard: Another anti-inflammatory with polyphenol, betalain and carotenoid antioxidants and high levels of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Chard also reduces cortisol (a catabolic stress hormone that breaks down tissue) production. ( Study links 1, 2)
- Spinach: Spinach is just the best! You can literally put it in anything. But it’s in this smoothie for it’s anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties plus some added magnesium. (Study links 1, 2)
- Seaweed: A staple in my smoothies because it’s high in anti-oxidants, contains beta carotene, niacin, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins A and C and 18 different amino acids (building blocks of protein) (Study link 1)
- Whey Protein: Not only is this a quickly absorbed protein source but it also boosts your bodies most powerful anti-oxidant glutathione and provides protection against myoblastic toxicity and muscle damage, caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) during heavy exercise. This is one of the best sources for increased muscle protein synthesis. (Study links 1, 2, 3)
- Ginger: Anti-inflammatory that reduces DOMS reducing recovery time. (Study links 1, 2,3)
- Pineapple/ Banana: Both offering anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapple specifically provides high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1, potassium and manganese. Bananas are great because they increase melatonin production, deliver fast-acting carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores and provide energy, along with potassium, magnesium and fiber to aid in muscle repair and balance water retention. Plus both of these fruits add some yummy flavor- BONUS! (Study links 1,2,3,4)
- Water: Reduces DOMS and helps prevent dehydration which effects the testosterone-cortisol ratio that is a key indicator of recover status. (Study link 1)
Additional Recovery Booting Foods:
- Dark berries
- Fish oil/ Omega-3’s
So if you want to recover like a champ in the nutrition department, add this bad boy to your routine!