Fueling fitness? Try this Green Smoothie!

By Shannon Crocker RD www.shannoncrocker.ca @shancrockerRD

After a hard, sweaty workout, refueling with a small snack and fluids can help refuel and replenish your body. Carbohydrate-based sports drinks can be convenient and effective for hydration, but they lack the protein needed for muscle recovery.

A homemade smoothie can offer a better balance of carbohydrates, fluids and protein. I recently tested Gay Lea’s Apple Kale Smoothie as a part of my post-run snack routine and thought I’d share my results.

The recipe makes 2 servings – perfect for sharing with my running partner!  It’s quick, simple and made with ingredients I have readily available in my kitchen. It’s refreshing and energizing. The hint of cinnamon is scrumptious.

What I love about the Apple Kale Smoothie:

  • No added sugar. The banana and applesauce naturally sweeten this smoothie so you can skip added sugar.
  • Snack sized. With just 200 calories per serving, it’s satisfying without busting the calorie bank.
  • Protein packed. Thanks to this “surprise” ingredient of cottage cheese, the smoothie delivers almost 20 grams of protein per serving. Protein, eaten shortly after a workout, can help repair and build muscle.
  • Carbohydrate rich. The banana and applesauce provide carbohydrate to help fuel your body and replenish muscles. Carbohydrates also work with protein for better muscle building.
  • Green goodness. We need more leafy greens in our diet for fibre, folate, and phytochemicals that promote health. Adding kale to this green smoothie is a tasty way to get more greens into your day. 
  • Hydration. This smoothie’s made with water and crushed ice so it gives you some of the fluid your body needs to recover and rehydrate.
  • Electrolytes. Common in sports drinks to help with sweat losses, 2 key electrolytes are found naturally in this smoothie: sodium from cottage cheese and potassium from the banana, kale and cottage cheese.

After a trial run with this Apple Kale smoothie, I’m giving it a two-thumbs up! My running partner agrees.

Source:
Dietitians of Canada. Sports Nutrition: Practice Guidance Summary. In Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition [PEN]. 2014 Jul 29. [Cited 2015 Feb 20]. Available from: http://www.pennutrition.com/KnowledgePathway.aspx?kpid=8180&trid=8176&trcatid=43 Access only by subscription or sign up for a free two week trial.

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