Smoothies are a great source of quick nutrition for those mornings when you lack the motivation to make a sit-down breakfast, or when you find yourself running out the door to get a gym session in before heading to a busy day at the office.
But with so many smoothie options out there, both store bought and self-made, it is easy to struggle when deciding exactly what you need in your smoothie to boost your energy and get you ready for your workout.
Not to mention, the ingredients you add to your smoothie could vary based on plans for the day, or intensity of your workout.
Jessica Cording, Registered Dietitian revealed her favorite smoothie recipes and tips to help you figure out exactly what smoothie you should be drinking.
“As a dietitian, I think smoothies are a great way to sneak in some vegetables… It’s a good way for people who are not so into cooking their vegetables or they don’t have time, and it’s a great way to get them in there but in a context with something sweet,” Cording says.
In addition to vegetables, Cording suggests putting a cup of frozen fruit along with ice and a base like milk, or coconut water into your smoothie.
For the base, she also advises using 8 ounces of either 1% milk, plain coconut water, or almond milk. When picking out your base, however, Cording cautions that you should stick to the unsweetened variety, if not you will be adding excess sugar to your smoothie that will not help your workout.
“If you’re taking the time to work out and get physical activity in and manage your health, adding a bunch of sugar is not going to do anything to support your hard work,” she says.
For a pre-workout smoothie that is going to not only sustain you through a solid workout but also gives you an extra boost of energy, Cording encourages you first figure how much time you are giving yourself between drinking the smoothie and heading to the gym.
If you are guzzling your smoothie and heading to the gym right after, you should opt for a lighter smoothie that will give you the boost of energy and substance that you need, but will not weigh you down.
You should try a larger meal replacement smoothie, if you’re planning on drinking it a few hours before the gym. This way you will have enough nutrients to get you through a portion of your day, as well as your workout.
One final tried and true trick that Cording offers is to put all of your ingredients pre-measured in zip block bags in the freezer. This will save you time in the morning, and allow you to simply take out your ingredients, put them in the blender and add your base liquid.
Try two of Jessica’s go-to smoothie recipes either as a snack, or as a more sustaining meal, and let us know what you think!
- 1 cup 1% milk or unsweetened coconut water, almond milk, or coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen mango cubes
- 1 handful spinach
- 5 ice cubes
I like the texture you get here using frozen spinach, but feel free to use fresh.
- 1 cup *8 ounces) unsweetened coconut water, almond milk, or coconut milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup ice
- 3/4 cup frozen spinach
- Chia seeds for garnish (optional)
- Layer ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass. Garnish with chia seeds if desired.
For some more great smoothies and snack ideas you can check out her website, Keeping It Real Food.