While I’m not one who loves to cook, I am a runner who spends a lot of time learning about how nutrition can enhance performance and one of those big areas is our post workout recovery food. Today we’re diving in to a delicious recovery smoothie.
I’ve written before about some ideal post workout recovery meals, but if you’re anything like me there are plenty of days where I don’t feel like eating a meal right away. What I do feel like having is a treat, ha!
There’s a reason so many runners hit the donut shop post long run. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but we know it’s not optimal.
So today I give you a post run smoothie that is going to taste like a treat!
Cookies and Cream Recovery Smoothie
Ideal for strength athletes in pursuit of building lean mass, this recovery smoothie is a delicious way to feed your fatigued muscles while reducing inflammation and oxidative damage to your cells.
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) raw cashews (I just use cashew butter)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) pitted and chopped Medjool dates
- 1 scoop vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
- 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk (or homemade, page 23)
- ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup (optional)
- 2 cups ice cubes
*the optional maple syrup is recommended if your workout has exceeded 90 minutes.
I love this option for afternoons and even cutting it in half as a quick dessert! There’s nothing to say that something labeled as recovery must be eaten right after a workout.
The idea is that post workout your body can utilize carbohydrates most effectively, therefore many people who are focused on running for weight loss may try to time any higher carb meals post sweat.
Need some more ideas?“80% of recovery is nutrition” -- a great dessert like #recovery smoothie Click To Tweet
Why These Ingredients Help Recovery?
You may not care, but I’m always intrigued by what makes things helpful to recovery.
- Protein helps to repair muscles and keep us endurance athletes from losing muscle
- Cashews are actually lower in fat than other nuts, but contain a bunch of nutrients like magnesium and zinc, making them great for heart health
- Cacao nibs help to reduce inflammation thanks to being high in antioxidants
- Maple syrup could actually boost your immune system
- Vegan chocolate chips just make ya frigging happy!
I’ve been a fan of Brendan for years now, having met him in person many times and obviously working with the Vega team. It was his own passion as an athlete that drove him to focus on how better nutrition could improve his recovery and therefore improve his training.
While I did try being a 100% plant based athlete for about 6 months, I found it wasn’t the best option for me long term. However, I did take a lot of great tips and tools away from trying it!
Here are some of the ideas he promotes that make me love what they do:
- Food is not the enemy
- Eat good food to satisfy hunger. When you eat food full of nutrients, it will shut off your hunger signals by letting your body know it has the nutrients that it needs.
- Cortisol prevents deep sleep, causes sugar cravings, makes it hard to build muscle and hard to lose fat. Reducing cortisol can be done through standard stress reduction, but also through reducing stress on your system caused by poor nutrition…this can be up to 60% of your bodily stress.
- Lowering the amount of energy your body uses to take in food provides more energy for your workouts, so you can workout harder. This means eating plant based and reducing all meats and acidic foods.
Are you a smoothie drinker?
Do you like looking through cookbooks?
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish