After a long or hard run, the last thing you may feel like doing is eating a big meal, particularly if your workout left you queasy.
But you need to refuel, preferably within 30 minutes, so you can recover. That doesn’t mean you have to cook up a heavy omelet or big bowl of oatmeal. A quick, tasty smoothie will kick-start recovery.
“Smoothies are a great way for runners to meet nutrient needs,” says sports nutritionist Cassie Dimmick, “especially when it’s necessary to quickly consume a mix of carbs and protein for muscle repair.”
But runner beware: Smoothie bar options can top 3 500kJ, and bottled brands are often low in nutrients.
By blending your own with your choice of ingredients and with as much or as little ice as you want, you can make flavorful smoothies with carbs, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
At less than 1200kJ each, these smoothies are easy on the stomach in more ways than one.
Use 125 to 250mk liquid – either water or milk. If you use fruit juice, remember that this is high in sugar – and calories. Limit it to 180ml.
If you add powders such as flaxseed, psyllium husk or other fibres, account for the fact that they absorb liquid… so more water will be needed to avoid a stodgey consistency!
Fruits & Veg
Use half to one cup of produce such as berries, mango, spinach or tomato. Frozen produce is just as good as fresh – and makes smoothies cold!
Fats and Proteins
Limit to one serving of healthy fats to keep kilojoules in check. Try a tablespoon of nut butter. use one serving of protein, like 1/2 a cup of soya beans.
Spices and Sweeteners
Honey, syrup and other sugars have few nutrients, so use no more than 1 teaspoon. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground spices such as nutmeg or ginger.
Ice ice baby
More ice (1 cup) will give a thick, milkshake consistency – while less ice will produce a thinner smoothie. Use less ice if using frozen produce.