Summer Time is Smoothie Time!

By Breanne Nalder, MS, RDN, PLAN7 Endurance Coaching Dietitian

Breanne in the process of creating a smoothie. Photo by David Harward

It’s been a long and wet winter and spring. Yes I’m stating the obvious, but let’s look on the bright side… summer is here and it’s likely to be hot hot HOT! Sometimes that calls for the mid-ride stop at 7-11 for a slurpee (aka sugar rush or brain freeze), and often we crave that post-ride smoothie. There’s nothing as refreshing as a chilled beverage on a hot day (including the adult kind), but the focus of this article is the SMOOTHIE. Let’s talk about all the ways we can use the blender to meet nutrition needs as well as quench that thirst!

You can blend a smoothie as a meal replacement to take on-the-go or to work. It’s a great way to conveniently pack nutrients into a cup without a lot of prep. After training is another great time to utilize a smoothie for immediate recovery, as we all know it can be hard to eat right after a ride, and you need to replenish hydration losses, so a smoothie is great way to meet all those needs.

Proper recovery should replace the energy and nutrients that were utilized during exercise to repair, rebuild and prepare for the next training bout and/or competition. During endurance exercise, glycogen stores (muscle and liver) are rapidly depleted. Thus, glycogen replenishment is a critical component of recovery nutrition, particularly when there is less than 24 hours between training bouts and/or competitions (e.g., two-a-day workouts, triathlon training, or stage racing). Athletes need approximately 1-1.2 grams carbohydrate per kg of body weight post exercise to maximize the rate of glycogen resynthesis. Although not a primary fuel, a small amount of protein must also be replaced post exercise to minimize loss of lean tissue and support tissue repair. There is also some evidence to suggest that protein consumed post exercise may expedite glycogen resynthesis. Athlete’s consume 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight at approximately the same rate and on the same schedule as that for carbohydrate.

Whether you’re blending up a sweet treat for a meal replacement or as recovery from riding, be sure to mix things up in the proper ratios for your body. It’s easy to go crazy with all the ingredients, and the calories add up quickly. This can be great for recovery, just be mindful of how much fruit, protein, etc. you need (If you’re not sure, give me a call and I’ll help you determine the numbers). I put together some recipes that you can use for a variety of smoothies. I hope you enjoy them, enhance them, have fun with the yum!

Note that milk alternatives (almond, rice, soy, hemp, etc.) are typically fortified with similar nutrients to milk, so would be fine alternatives to get the right proportions of macro and micro nutrients. So, no matter your preferences for food or drink, the most important thing to remember after every ride or race is to get your recovery nutrition in within 30 minutes of finishing, so your body can immediately absorb those nutrients and start to replenish its losses, rebuild damaged tissues, hydrate and prepare for the next ride. Keeping quality gas in your tank can only help your engine run its best and achieve your optimal performance capabilities on and off the bike.

Recipes!

Yummy Power Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-fat chocolate milk or soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 TBS peanut or almond butter
  • 1 TBS ground flax seeds
  • Ice

Nutrition Facts:

Kcals: 310 Carb; 45g; Fat: 13g; Protein: 9g

Green Machine

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup non-fat milk or soy milk
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • Ice

Nutrition Facts:

Kcals: 330; Carb 78g; Fat: 1g; Protein: 11g

Berry Bliss

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup non-fat, greek, or soy yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • Ice

Nutrition Facts:

Kcals: 30; Carb: 53g; Fat: 0g; Protein: 25g

Raspberry-Avocado Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup raspberry juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Nutrition Facts:

Kcals: 526; Carb: 67g; Fat: 30; Protein: 5.7g

*** this can be 2 servings, so drink one, save/freeze the other, or share the love!

Breanne Nalder, MS, RDN has a Master’s degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in Sports Dietetics at the University of Utah. She is a Registered Dietitian, the nutrition coach at PLAN7 Endurance Coaching, and races on the road and gravel on the professional level. For personal nutrition coaching, you can reach Breanne at 801-550-0434 or [email protected]

Smoothies are a great food choice for cycling. Photo by Breanne Nalder
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