Here at Fleet Feet we love a hard workout. Whether it is a long run, repeats at the track, a tough swim, or a hike in the hills, we love healthy pain. The downside to all this fun is the fact that an exhausting workout can leave you dehydrated and depleted of glycogen (carbohydrate) stores. The result can be sore muscles, stiffness, and low energy in the days following the workout. Studies from the Australian Institute of Sport and from Appalachian State University even show that after a middle-distance race (five to 13 miles) as much as 70 percent of participants experience an upper-respiratory tract infection such as a cold, flu or sore throat due to a temporary exercise-induced suppression of the immune system.
The keys to optimal recovery are hydration and glycogen replacement immediately after your workout. A post-exercise snack immediately replaces the sugar stores burned off during exercise. Consuming carbs and protein in liquid form is a convenient way to refuel and rehydrate simultaneously. As a rule of thumb, consume around 300 to 500 carbohydrate calories as soon as possible following exercise.
This refueling can be tricky, especially when our stomachs often rebel after a workout. One of our favorite post-workout snacks is a protein smoothie! These tasty treats are great because they can both refuel and rehydrate, and are easily customized to your personal taste.
Our friends at Jamba Juice and Starbucks make great smoothies (with protein!), but if you want to make your own try this recipe for a post-workout protein smoothie. Have fun substituting and experimenting until you can your own perfect blend!
A FLEET FEET SMOOTHIE
In a blender, combine:
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup of milk, soy milk, or almond milk (your choice)
- 2 pitted dates or a handful of strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- One serving of protein powder (try Trader Joe’s Whey Protein Powder in Chocolate or Vanilla)
Mix the ingredients in a blender, pour, and enjoy!