1. PRE-WORKOUT SMOOTHIE RECIPE
The idea of a pre-workout snack is to make sure you have enough energy and sufficient stamina to give your workout all you’ve got. If you’re hungry, you’ll lack energy and drive, which means you won’t be exercising as hard you could. Some people can get away with exercising on an empty stomach, but if you’re the kind of person who has to eat little and often to avoid feeling faint (or road rage), you’ll definitely do well to have a little something before your workout.
The ideal pre-workout snack should be easy to digest (to avoid an upset stomach during your workout) and rich in carbohydrates. Consume the smoothie at least 30 to 60 minutes before, depending on how much you’ve drunk/ how hungry you are and what’s in it. Remember, you only want to fuel up enough to bring your A-game. A pre-workout smoothie is not an excuse to down a days worth of calories from a smoothie bar. For maximum performance, keep it little and light, like this smoothie recipe.
- ½ cup frozen strawberries/ blueberries/ mixed berries
- ½ banana
- ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup milk (skim/ almond/ soy) – enough to get your preferred consistency
- Ice cubes
2. POST-WORKOUT SMOOTHIE RECIPE
After a strenuous workout your main goal is to hydrate, replenish glycogen stores and jumpstart muscle recovery. A post-workout smoothie recipe should be made of carbohydrates and plenty of protein; it should also be relatively easy on the digestive system and quickly processed by the body.
Just like pre-workout, a post-workout smoothie is not an excuse to down a pint or two of smoothie drink – its purpose is purely functional. Be sure to drink up within 30 minutes to 2 hours after your workout. If you’ve been exercising at moderate to high intensity for longer than 60 minutes, try to re-fuel within 30 minutes.
- 1 dash of cinnamon (helps regulate and keep blood sugar levels steady)
- 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1 medium banana (preferably frozen for extra creaminess)
- 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 cup ice
To boost nutritional content of this smoothie recipe try adding a handful spinach or kale.
3. MUSCLE BUILDER
Building muscle is not just about strength training, but ensuring you’re meeting your body’s nutritional needs and providing your body with sufficient protein. Research shows that consuming a protein shake post-workout can stimulate protein synthesis and muscle recovery, in other words aid muscle growth.
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein
- 8 oz. low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 medium banana (frozen)
4. WEIGHT LOSS SMOOTHIE RECIPE
A good weight loss smoothie is packed with nutrients that is super filling, but low in calories, that you can have for breakfast or lunch. In other words, it’s not a snack (i.e. in addition to regular meals), but a meal replacement (instead of meals). To make a meal, a meal replacement smoothie needs to include carbohydrates, protein and a little fat. Fat is important because helps you feel full, as does protein. Check out how to make a weight loss smoothie for more tips.
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
- ½ medium banana
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- ¾ cup milk (skim/ almond/ soy)
- 3 to 5 ice cubes
This weight loss smoothie recipe uses mixed berries (carbohydrates), which provide energy and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are a natural sweetener. Chia seeds are incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat), protein antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds also contain super high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber, making them uncannily filling and a great addition to low-calorie smoothies.
Filling healthy smoothie ingredients: chia seeds, ground psyllium husks, whey protein, low-fat Greek yogurt.
5. BELLY BUSTER
To make a belly-busting smoothie, add a source of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) and to aid weight loss add low-fat yogurt. Research shows that MUFAs help target belly fat, and yogurt has been shown to aid weight loss and reduce bloating (read more about foods to lose belly fat).
- 1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)
- 1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
- 3/4 cup milk (skim/ almond/ soy)
- 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
Sources of MUFA to add to smoothies: flaxseed oil, avocado, nut butter (e.g. peanut butter, cashew butter), dark chocolate chips
6. LOW CARB SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Load up on high quality protein and go for a carbohydrate source packed with nutrients (i.e. fruit or vegetable). To sweeten use a sweetener such as Stevia or Splenda, like in this low carb smoothie recipe.
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 cup frozen, mixed berries
- 1 cup cold water
- ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 packet Splenda sugar substitute
7. METABOLISM BOOSTER
This tasty, healthy smoothie is designed to be filling, nutritious and boost metabolism. The base of this smoothie is green tea, which boasts both caffeine and catechins, substances shown to speed up metabolism. This smoothie recipe is also rich in protein, which also has metabolism boosting effects.
- ½ tbsp honey
- 1 cup mango chunks
- ½ cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
- ½ cup brewed green tea, cooled to room temperature
- 1 cup ice (about 6 cubes)
8. PALEO POWER
This paleo friendly smoothie is filling and full of nutritional goodies. Herbal tea makes a great base as it is rich in anti-oxidants and depending on which herbal tea you choose will have specific health benefits (e.g. peppermint for digestive issues, etc).
- 1 scoop egg white protein powder
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 cup frozen berries (mixed or otherwise)
- 1 cup brewed, chilled herbal tea
- ½ cup crushed ice