Today is the Smoothie Week finale, and as is always the case on Fridays, let’s finish the week with a focus on fitness. Smoothies are such an easy solution for giving our bodies the nutrients they need to recover from the stress of workouts, so the recipe I’ve got for you today was created precisely for that purpose. If you’d like to catch up on the other Smoothie Week features, be sure to check out Monday’s post on how to fix a smoothie gone wrong, as well as Wednesday’s post on smoothie superfoods.
First order of business: a sweat session.
Work It Out
The 30-minute sweat I’ve got in store for you is one I personally tackled on Wednesday. Although it might not look so tough at the outset, this thing is hard if you do it right!! For those not familiar with tabata training, a typical tabata set consists of 20s all-out effort and 10s recovery, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. While your brain likes the idea of those little 10s rests, the reality is that your heart rate definitely doesn’t have time to fall very much. As a result, you working really hard for 4 minutes. Studies show that tabata training (a form of high intensity interval training) improves aerobic AND anaerobic endurance, and does so much faster than if you were to do long steady-state cardio sessions, day after day. It also takes far less time, and I know we all wish we had a bit more of that to spare!
The Triple Tabata Bike Workout
In this workout you’ll do the same 10-minute set, 3 times over. There are 3 tabata sets in total with very easy recoveries between the intense 4-minute blocks. The whole point of these longer recoveries is to give your body the rest it needs to go 100% all out in the next interval. Be sure to treat them that way!
During the hard working intervals, turn the resistance up so that cycling at 110 RPMs or higher is very challenging. Your goal is to maintain 110 RPMs or higher during the work phases, slowing those RPMs in the short 10s recoveries. In the longer rests, reduce the resistance to whatever you like and pedal at around 90-95 RPMs. (I didn’t just make that number up – 90-95RPMs is close to what you’d be riding at on a real road.)
Blend It Up
Just like Wednesday’s Stress Release Smoothie, all of the ingredients in today’s Post-Workout Perfection Smoothie have been included for a reason.
Here’s the why behind the ingredients:
- Banana, coconut water and greens have been included because they are natural electrolyte sources, and we need to replenish electrolytes post-workout because we lose them through sweat. Having enough electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium) decreases likelihood of muscle cramping and dizziness.
- Moringa helps carry waste products out of the body that build up during exercise. (Lots more about moringa here.) Blueberries, which are also rich in antioxidants, have a similar function.
- Maca is an adaptogen (as discussed here) that helps rebalance adrenals and return the body to a calm state
- Protein powder aids in muscle repair and growth
- Turmeric and ginger are natural painkillers that help decrease inflammation and reduce post-workout muscle soreness. (Even if you’re not working out, I’d definitely consider eating these daily if you’ve got inflammation-related health conditions.) In case you’re not sure what fresh turmeric looks like, here’s a photo for reference when you’re at the grocery store. They’re not super common, but are typically located in the produce section.
- Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is believed to help break down proteins during the digestive process. A lot of physical stress as a result of exercise can be hard on the gut, so I like to add a few digestion boosters (pineapple, ginger, probiotics etc) to my post-workout smoothies.
- Chia seeds help to provide a thicker consistency, but also act as a source of healthy fats. Consuming a fat source with fresh fruits and vegetables helps our bodies to better absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
Now that we’ve geeked out on nutrition, here’s the recipe.
Post-Workout Perfection Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
- 1 scoop Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
- 1 massive handful of dark leafy greens (I used a mix of Swiss chard and lacinato kale)
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 small frozen peeled banana
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup diced pineapple
- 1″ piece fresh peeled ginger
- 1/2″ piece peeled fresh turmeric root, (or sub 1/4 tsp ground turmeric)
- 1 tsp each chia seeds and maca root powder
- 1 tsp moringa powder (optional)
- 8 ice cubes
- to garnish: kiwi fruit, blueberries and diced pineapple
Toss all ingredients except for ice and garnishes in the blender and blend until completely smooth.
Add the ice and continue blending until completely crushed.
Pour into a bowl, top with garnishes and serve.
It wouldn’t be a week of celebrating smoothies without sports nutrition treats from Vega, and my lovely Vegatopian friends have agreed to let me give away a wicked prize pack of the ones I use on the regular. These guys have supported me in all of my athletic (and every-day) endeavours, they spread an awesome message living a plant-based lifestyle, and I get so excited every time I get to share their products with fabulous people just like you.
One lucky reader will win:
- 1 box Sugar-Free Energizer in Berry
- 1 tub Electrolyte Hydrator in Berry
- 1 tub Vega Sport Performance Protein in Vanilla
- 1 box Recovery Accelerator in Tropical
- 1 Vega Purist bottle (these are new and they’re awesome. Squeezie bottles for the win!)
Here’s how to enter:
- Mandatory blog post comment: Tell me what the ingredients would be in your perfect smoothie. Superfoods? Veggies? Berries? Nut butter? M&Ms? It could be anything! What’s your dream smoothie combo?
- Optional entry: Like Vega and Eat Spin Run Repeat on Facebook. Be sure to comment back here and let me know you did.
- Optional entry: Share this giveaway on Twitter. Perhaps something like this:
This giveaway, as well as all the others from this week will be open until 8pm PT on Monday June 27th. If you haven’t entered the others yet, be sure to check them out and get your comments in here and here.
Good luck, and have a fabulous weekend!