Shake It Up to Maximize Your Workout
April 2, 2012 | by

There is a one hour window after working out to get the nutrients your body needs to repair itself. This is also when your metabolism is at its fastest and nutrients (like glucose, or sugar) go preferentially to your depleted muscle glycogen stores. After you have worked so hard in the gym for those sleek and toned muscles, you want to treat them right and refuel with purpose.  Many people make the mistake of skipping their post-workout recovery meal of high-quality protein and carbohydrates to kick-stat the repair and building process. Here are some intern-tested and approved shake and smoothie recipes that taste terrific and are great for your strong body.

Photo by Iowa Girl Eats. Click for recipe.

Green Monster
Popularized by Angela Liddon (aka Oh She Glows), the Green Monster has an entire movement supporting its great taste and healing powers. It earns its name from the color that the smoothie turns from the addition of fresh spinach, but don’t let the color scare you off! I promise, you can’t taste the spinach. The basic combination is simple:
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1-1.25 c milk (soy, almond, cow’s, etc.)
- 2 c spinach
- ice
Of course, you can add whatever other mix-ins you would like. Protein powder, cocoa powder, peanut butter, berries, and flavor extracts.

Photo by Fun, Food, and Free Weights. Click for recipe.

Sweet Potato Smoothie
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates that your muscles crave after a hard workout. Combined with your favorite nut butter, this thick smoothie will have you (carefully!) licking your blender to find those last dregs of deliciousness:
-  1 baked sweet potato, peeled and cooled
-  1 c milk (soy, almond, cow’s, etc.)
- 1-1.5 T nut butter (sunflower seed, peanut, almond, etc.)
- optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ice

Photo by The Fitnessista. Click for recipe.

Banana Split Protein Shake
How about a little dessert for after your workout? This shake does not include any ice-cream, but you won’t be missing it.
- 1/2 banana, frozen
- 1/4 c pineapple, frozen
- 1/2 c cherries, frozen
- 1-1.5 c milk (soy, almond, cow’s, etc.)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or chocolate protein powder
- 1 T cocoa powder

Cook’s Tip: Put the lighter ingredients (powders) on the bottom, followed by the heavier ingredients on top and liquids for last. This will help keep the lighter ingredients from flying around and sticking to the sides.

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Ellen Ratliff is a Senior Health Writer at College Lifestyles ™. She is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Dietetics with a specialization in Health Promotions. After lifting weights, she loves making up a glass of her go-to Green Monster recipe.

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