How a simple smoothie can set you up for success

We often make smoothies because they’re convenient. They’re portable and packed with powerful ingredients that, let’s face it, might not taste quite as good on their own. But have you ever considered a strategy around the colorful concoction circling your blender? The Parkview Sports Medicine team offers this guidance for anyone planning to down a smoothie before or after exercise, and a few recipes to put their advice into action.

Anatomy of a pre-workout smoothie

  • Consume an adequate intake of carbohydrates 3 - 4 hours before exercise.
  • Consume simple carbohydrates 30 - 60 minutes before exercise.
  • Smoothie should be low fat, low protein and low fiber. 
  • Hydrate by drinking 17 - 20 ounces of water or sports drink prior to exercise.

Anatomy of a post-workout smoothie

  • Recover from the workout by eating 30 - 60 minutes after exercise.
  • Add protein! You should consume at least 20 grams of protein or 1 gram for every 1 kilogram of body weight each day.


Orange Dreamsicle

1 navel orange, peeled 
¼ cup fat free half and half or fat free yogurt
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ice cubes

  1. In a blender, combine orange, half and half or yogurt, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and ice cubes.
  2. Process until smooth.

[160 calories; 3g protein; 36g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 1g fat]

Blended Veggie Juice

1 medium beet (cooked or canned)
15 baby carrots
1 cup greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mint leaves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cold water

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Mix on high for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  2. Serve in chilled glass with ice cubes.

[120 calories; .5g fat; 29g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 4g protein]


Cocoa Almond Smoothie

1 cup almond milk
¼ cup almonds
2 teaspoons ground flax
1 fresh banana (or ½ frozen banana)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 dates (or 1 tablespoon agave)
1 scoop whey protein powder

  1. In a blender, mix almond milk and almonds until smooth
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the almond mixture. Puree until smooth.
  3. Place the smoothie in the freezer for 20 minutes or until cool.
  4. Drink and enjoy!

[438 calories; 23g fat; 56g carbohydrates; 12g fiber; 12g protein]

World’s Best Smoothie

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 banana
½ cup orange juice
6 frozen strawberries

  1. In a blender, combine yogurt, banana, juice and strawberries for 20 seconds.
  2. Scrape down the sides and blend for an additional 15 seconds.

[300 calories; 22g protein; 63g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 0.5g fat]

Based on a recipes from Prevention

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