From the December issue of Runner’s World
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 omelette or big bowl of porridge. A quick, tasty smoothie will kick-start recovery. “Smoothies are a great way for runners to meet nutrient needs,” says sports dietitian Anthony Meade, “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 3500kJ, 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 flavourful smoothies with carbs, protein, fibre, and healthy fats. And at less than 1200kJ each, these smoothies are easy on the stomach in more ways than one.
BREAKFAST TO GO
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Greek yoghurt and milk provide lots of protein to repair your muscles after long runs. Plus, a new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that drinking fat-free milk post-workout can help you gain muscle and lose fat. Oats are fibre-rich and digest slowly, providing long-lasting energy, says Meade. Blueberries have a very high amount of antioxidants and help neutralise free radicals caused by exercise. Ground flaxseeds provide a dose of omega-3 fatty acids that can lower cholesterol. This smoothie contains 1200 kilojoules, 41g carbs, 6g fibre, 22g protein and 5g fat.
1/2 cup Pure Harvest almond milk
1 cup fresh spinach
1 kiwi, sliced
1/2 banana (preferably frozen), sliced
Your body doesn’t need a ton of nutrients to recover from an easy run. That’s why this smoothie uses almond milk – it has nearly half the energy of low-fat milk. Spinach, is very low energy but is one of the richest plant sources of iron, a mineral that helps transport oxygen to muscles. Kiwis are high in vitamin C, which increases iron absorption, says Meade. Frozen, creamy banana chills the smoothie and offsets the slightly bitter greens. This smoothie contains 500 kilojoules, 28g carbs, 6g fibre, 2g protein, and 2g fat.