Actually, the best time to drink a smoothie is after exercise. It promotes muscle growth and recovery, as it’s high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
A protein smoothie before a workout can make you sleepy or cause discomfort, impairing sports performance!
Should I drink a smoothie before a workout?
Provides energy before the gym
Smoothies can be great pre-workout snacks. Especially, fruit smoothies, which are rich in sugar. Boosting sugar intake before strenuous exercise supports athletic performance.
The sugar of fruits is stored as glycogen in the muscles, which is an instant source of energy. In addition, fruits contain much more than sugar. They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, electrolytes, and other health-promoting phytochemicals that a hard-working body requires in high amounts.
If you want to lose weight, you could prepare a pre-workout smoothie with less sugar by using low-sugar fruits, like berries. For instance, strawberries and raspberries are pretty low in sugars and calories!
You could add fruit juice to your pre-workout smoothie in order to minimize fiber consumption before exercising. One of the most beneficial fruit juices for any athlete is pineapple juice, as it’s the only natural source of bromelain! This enzyme relieves joint pain and muscle soreness, as it has potent anti-inflammatory properties!
Also, you could add the juice of foods high in nitric oxide to your pre-workout smoothie. These compounds enhance endurance performance and muscle pump. They help the body supply oxygen to the working muscles.
Moreover, drinking a smoothie before a workout can hydrate you. Proper hydration is vital for sports performance and muscle recovery.
Only a well-hydrated body can achieve optimum athletic performance.
Fruit juices hydrate the body better than tap water because they’re rich in electrolytes as well. We have to replenish lost electrolytes as well as fluids. These essential minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) are involved in nerve and muscle functions.
In addition, fruit juices contain high-quality, 100% purified water. Fruits are natural water filters!
How long before exercise can I drink a smoothie?
However, you shouldn’t drink a smoothie right before exercise. You should drink it at least 2 hours before working out.
Consuming fiber before a workout can have detrimental effects on sports performance. As it’s hard to digest, fiber can make you feel bloating or cause stomach discomfort. Especially, if you have a sensitive stomach.
Additionally, you shouldn’t add too many ingredients to your pre-workout smoothie. More than 2–3 ingredients can make the smoothie difficult to digest. Certainly, you should drink an easily digested smoothie or other snack before a workout.
The best time to drink a smoothie is after a workout
A post-workout meal has to be rich in carbs and protein. A green, protein-rich smoothie is an excellent post-workout snack.
Firstly, you can add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to your smoothie.
Furthermore, carbs, vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables support recovery.
Athletes need carbs to quickly replenish muscle glycogen stores.
Also, consuming a smoothie after exercise can help control post-workout appetite, preventing overeating or making unhealthy food choices. This super healthy food option can help athletes or fitness enthusiasts maintain a lean body year-round.
How to prepare the best post-workout smoothie?
One key ingredient for most post-workout smoothies is the banana. Not only it’s high in carbs and potassium, But also banana provides a creamy effect.
Avocado is another key ingredient in smoothies. It’s also rich in potassium, omega-3s, and other healthy fats.
Drinking a smoothie with whole fruits, vegetables, and herbs after the gym can accelerate recovery.
Vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants in these foods are beneficial for muscle repair. Among other benefits, they fight exercise-induced oxidative stress. If untreated, it can lead to fatigue and poor physical performance.
Last, but not least, you could add green tea instead of water to your post-workout smoothie. Green tea promotes athletic performance, as it’s packed with polyphenols and caffeine. Also, it stimulates the synthesis of nitric oxide! You can add green tea ice tubes to your smoothie as well.
How much smoothie can an athlete drink?
As a rule of thumb, most athletes could drink 1–2 cups of their favorite smoothies after the gym.
On the contrary, it’s preferred to drink only 1/2-1 cup of a low-calorie, sugar-rich smoothie before a workout.
How many calories in a cup of smoothie?
The number of calories in a cup of smoothie can vary widely depending on the ingredients used and the portion size.
On average, a typical homemade smoothie contains anywhere from 100 to 300 calories or more per cup.
If you want to drink a nutrient-dense smoothie, you should add low-calorie fruits, like berries or citrus fruits. Other favorite fruits (e.g. banana, avocado) have significantly more calories.
Most vegetables (e.g. spinach, kale) are also super nutrient-dense foods. You can consume high quantities without gaining weight. They’re the ideal ingredient to your smoothie if you’re mindful of total energy intake. They add too much volume and manage appetite.
The inclusion of protein sources like Greek yogurt, milk, kefir, or protein powder contributes to the calorie count as well.
Kefir is a great post-workout beverage. It’s the richest common food in probiotics, and it’s packed with vitamins.
Adding sugar, honey, or syrups will also increase the calorie content of the smoothie. You can use low-calorie sweeteners, like stevia, instead.
Adding peanut butter or any other nut butter significantly adds to the calorie count. In this case, a cup may have more than 300 calories.
Long-distance endurance athletes or bodybuilders in the bulking phase could add nut spreads to post-workout smoothies. Avoid adding these fatty foods to your smoothie if you prefer drinking it before exercising.
What food should you avoid after a workout?
After exercise, you should avoid eating foods high in salt, refined sugar, or fat. Sports drinks, soft drinks, sweets, and processed foods are packed with refined sugar.
Furthermore, you should avoid foods high in fat. Although we need fat, too much fat isn’t good for maintaining a lean body. Prefer to consume fat from seeds or nuts. You can add ground seeds or nuts to your post-workout smoothie as well. For instance, a tsp of flaxseed can skyrocket your omega-3 intake!
Certainly, eating nothing after exercise is the worst thing you can do!
So, before or after exercise should I drink a protein smoothie?
A green, protein-rich smoothie is preferred to be consumed after strenuous exercise. Especially if it has too many ingredients.
Adding spinach or kale, a spoon of chia or hemp seeds, and a scoop of protein powder makes the smoothie a complete meal. But, it takes a lot of time to digest.
If you prefer drinking a light smoothie before exercise, at least avoid fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. Also, avoid adding too many ingredients.