Make this Daily Super Smoothie
There’s no denying the importance of nutrition to both living well and running successfully. For me, smoothies have become a staple of my diet and what I rely on to get some of my highest quality nutrients. Smoothies are easy, convenient, efficient and delicious. As a result I’m more energized throughout the day and recover quicker from training runs and races.
I’ve tried a few different approaches with my smoothies, but have found a basic recipe of 3-4 parts fruit/vegetables, to 1 part protein, plus some spirulina and maca gives me what I need. This recipe follows the recommended 3:1 to 4:1 carbohydrates:protein formula needed to resynthesize muscle glycogens and optimize recovery times.
Fruits and Vegetables (3-4 parts)
A smoothie is a great way to add a variety of fruit and vegetables to your diet. The fruits I use are all very rich in simple carbohydrates, which is exactly what your body needs to recover more quickly and efficiently from a run or workout. Fruits also tend to be rich in electrolytes, vitamin C, antioxidants and many other nutrients that will help your body stay strong and healthy. I try to switch it up every once in a while, but typically use some combination of banana, mango, pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries.
The vegetables I use are also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I almost always include spinach for all its phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidant content. I also occasionally use carrots, kale and broccoli, which each offer an impressive list of nutrients themselves. Many of these vegetables also provide some of the essential amino acids, which you need for protein synthesis (muscle repair).
Proteins (1 part)
Next, add some hemp protein and you have your optimal carb to protein ratio. Protein is obviously essential to rebuilding damaged muscle fibers, but you don’t need as much as you might think. I usually aim for about 15 grams per smoothie (3-4 tablespoons of hemp protein).
+BOOST: Spirulina and Maca Root
Add one or both of these to your smoothie for an added boost of protein and nutrients. If you were to choose just one of these I would recommend Spirulina; it has 65% protein / amino acids including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also packed with antioxidants, iron, calcium, B vitamins and much more. Its health benefits seem endless. The only downside is that since Spirulina is an algae, it tastes a lot like pond scum. As long as you are mixing the spirulina in a smoothie, the flavor can be covered up pretty well.
Another nutritional powerhouse is Maca. Grown high in the Peruvian mountains, Maca is packed with proteins / amino acids, calcium, magnesium, B-vitamins and much more. Boost your nutrition, energy and recovery time with either of these supplements.
Here’s an example of a recipe I use to make approximately 32 ounces (2 servings) of smoothie:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup mango (frozen)
- ½ cup blueberry (frozen)
- ½ cup strawberry (frozen)
- 1 handful spinach
- 3 tablespoons hemp protein
- 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp spirulina (I will sometimes use up to 2 tsp when I’m putting in a lot of mileage)
- 1 tsp maca root
- 16 oz water
Simply add all of the ingredients into a blender (use a Vitamix for best results), blend until all of the ingredients are smooth, and serve. I typically drink 2-3 16 oz servings of smoothies per day, and almost always try to drink one within 30 minutes of my run / workout.
What’s your favorite Smoothie recipe?
We have a couple other smoothie recipes on the blog. Try them all and let us know your favorite.