Pre- and post-workout liquid gold
Allison Day, RHN
Fuel your pre- and post-bike ride with smoothies. From bowls to parfaits to quick sips, along with a guide to getting more nutrition in each glass (or bowl), this smoothie set presents a prime opportunity to streamline your ride day.
Your pre- and post-workout nutrition is vital to a good bike ride, giving you the balanced, easily digested energy you require to make your fitness goals a reality. Choosing high-nutrition, low-volume foods before a workout will ensure a comfortable ride, making smoothies in their many variations your new cycling buddy. Blending fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats into one tasty drink takes little time, and can be enjoyed in its entirety before, after, or split between your rides. With smoothies, it’s easy to switch up your glass or bowl depending on your mood, hunger level, and nutrition requirements. For long rides, choose pre-workout smoothies with less fibre to weigh you down, and more protein. For post-ride fuel, focus on foods rich in electrolytes to rehydrate the body. Liquid nutrition, as found in smoothies, speaks to our on-the-go lifestyles. We’re looking for healthy, delicious, beautiful food that feeds our bodies for sports, minds for work, and taste buds for pure epicurean delight. Smoothies present a substantial opportunity to get more of the good stuff in us, appealing not only to avid cyclists and athletes, but also to health-minded home cooks of all ages and cooking skill levels. These five playful recipes tick every sport nutrition box, allowing you to spend more time outdoors cycling than indoors in the kitchen.
You’ll need these necessities for blending up nutrition.
Any blender will do, but a quality high-speed blender, though expensive, will make the smoothie smoother, tastier, and faster. This is an investment kitchen piece you will have for life.
In small reusable containers, add half a frozen banana along with a handful of spinach and berries. When ready to serve, add to blender along with almond milk, ice, and your protein and fat addition of choice. Keep these on hand all week long.
In a pinch, keep protein powder in your cupboard for a fast fuel addition when you need it before and after your workout.
Fruit frozen at the peak of ripeness is often just as nutritious as fresh. Frozen fruit—available year-round—also happens to make a thicker, colder smoothie that tastes more like ice cream. Stock up on frozen berries and mangoes when they go on sale so you’re never without.
A smoothie can be sweetened naturally and thickened up tremendously with frozen banana. Peel, halve, and freeze ripe bananas, and then store them in a glass container so you’re never without.
Stick to mild-tasting greens, such as spinach and romaine lettuce, to add to smoothies. If you like kale, add that too, stem and all—the taste will just be more pronounced.
Looking for a boost of nutrition? Incorporate one to three ingredients from each category.
Protein: protein powder (whey or plant-based), hempseeds, nut butter, silken tofu, white beans, Greek yogurt, cows’ or goats’ milk
Carbohydrates: fruit, vegetables (roasted sweet potatoes, raw carrot, canned pumpkin, etc.), natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, agave, date sugar, etc.)
Fat: coconut oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, nut butter, soaked almonds, soaked cashews
Fibre: oats, raspberries, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cooked quinoa or quinoa flakes, cooked brown rice, white beans
Hydration: almond milk, cows’ or goats’ milk, coconut water, coconut beverage