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Smoothies are an easy way to get a little bit of extra protein in your day, And adding it in around your workout can help with muscle gains! Until recently I really pushed that protein within 20 minutes of finishing a weightlifting workout. We’re beginning to find that it’s ok before as well. And anything that makes it more convenient to get what you need is a good thing.
The catch is though that when you’re making a smoothie you must watch out for the sugar trap. When most people make smoothies they are very high in carbs and sugar due to the fruit content (yes, fruit is healthy but it’s still sugar.) This may be a ‘healthy’ choice as compared to say, a snickers bar or even a sweetened yogurt, but when a smoothie is carb and sugar heavy it will wipe out a significant benefit of higher protein. Higher protein is good for muscle building, weight loss, energy, sustained blood sugar and preventing inflammation. Here’s my staple smoothie recipe. Not too sweet…you’ll get used to it!
- 1/2 banana OR 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)- you can leave this out for an even higher protein:carb ratio
- 1 cup unsweetened pacific brand vanilla hemp milk
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 TBSP almond butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 30 g of protein from protein powder, organic whey protein if you eat dairy, pea protein, veg protein or egg white protein if you don’t
- ice and additional water to taste and texture
- I didn’t add in spinach (or kale) for this photo but I almost always do when I make it. If you’re using kale make sure to strip the leaves off of the stems. And note that spinach is easier to blend in if you don’t have a power blender like a Vitamix. You can get 3-4 handfuls in before you even notice a change in the taste!
- Other optional add-ins: 1-2 tsp spirulina, local bee pollen, acidophilus powder, ground flax seeds
Here is the nutritional profile (calculated in My Fitness Pal) for this recipe with and without the banana. If you use blueberries instead of banana it’s the same profile just 2 g lower for the carbs. Note also I chose different almond butters by happenstance in putting these recipes in, and there is a small difference in calories on the almond butter. It’s always good to double check the nutritional panel when you’re tracking food!