Healthy Pre and Post Workout Smoothies By Gene Kobilansky
First things first – if your overall diet is poor, pinning all your hopes on some miracle elixir isn’t going to save you.
Next, you might ask, “how will I make this delicious smoothie?” … With Flow into the New Year. I’m celebrating Flow Athletics’ one year anniversary and giving away a year’s supply of Flow, and a Magic Bullet, for all your blending needs. Total prize valued at over $600.
Moving on …
A Muay Thai practice is grueling and endurance based. Therefore, Nak Muay nutrient requirements differ from those of strength/power athletes and recreational exercisers. So make sure to keep in mind that the primary goals for most workout nutrition advice will differ from yours.
Additionally, more and more Nak Muay are turning to real food nutrition. Consuming real food throughout all phases of our training regimen – from the beginning of a training camp to the post weigh-in meal.
Each smoothie is built on a foundation of earth grown, natural ingredients. In some cases, I might suggest a few supplements to benefit high performance athletes.
Pre-workout Smoothie Recipe:
- handful of kale
- hemp protein (.25g/lb)
- one banana
- handful of blueberries
- half a handful of cacoa nibs
- raw honey, to taste
Fill the blender a quarter of the way with water or coconut water. Add 2 handfuls of kale, hemp seeds or protein powder (enough for 20g or .15g/lb bodyweight) and banana. Blend until smooth. Add other ingredients. Pulse-blend and add more (coconut) water to adjust consistency.
From a physical exercise perspective dietary protein is required to promote growth, repair damaged cells and tissue and for a variety of metabolic activities.
Protein consumption also leads to improved cognitive performance, according to researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Note: Hemp protein hasn’t been proven to be more beneficial than whey, but on a large scale it’s much more earth friendly. It grows tall and fast and its dense growth kills weeds vs. the environmental resource drain needed to get cow milk used for whey protein production.
One banana (potassium and a little manganese): Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and tyrosine.
Potassium is depleted in a fighters sweat, so we need to replace more than the Nutrition Board’s 4.7 g recommendation.
Being in the game mentally is crucial for an fighter’s success. A banana contains 12 milligrams of tyrosine, an amino acid that, according to the Franklin Institute, can enhance an Nak Muay’s alertness, ability to focus and level of motivation.
Finally, vitamin B-6 helps your body release energy from nutrients and one banana gives you about one-third of your recommended daily intake.
One of my top ten brain foods for combat athletes, adding more energy and flavor to the smoothie, blueberries may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function — and could slow age-related decline in mental function. But that’s not all. For athletes, blueberries can also improve muscular rate of recovery.
Most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Cocoa nibs contain 272 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams – fixing magnesium deficiency can help you maximise your mitochondria and enhance exercise performance.
The sweetness of the banana and honey balance out the strong flavor of the kale. They also add important energy in the form of carbs.
Enter the giveaway, so you can win a Magic Bullet and make this smoothie.
- 1 Cucumber
- Filtered water or coconut water
- 2 heaping tablespoons kefir or greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- pinch of ginger
- creatine 5g
- a little cilantro (to taste)
Based on Okroshka, this recipe is hydrating, refreshing and a great test for your new magic bullet.
Fill the blender a quarter of the way with water or coconut water. Add 1 cucumber, cut. 1 cup kefir or greek yogurt (great for recovery, lots of protein and good fats). Blend until smooth. Add other ingredients. Pulse-blend until desired consistency.
Ginger reduces muscle pain caused by exercise and gives a nice bite to the smoothie.
Chia seeds power the legendary endurance of the Tarahumara Indians, and it’s no surprise if one takes a look at their awesome macronutrient profile – one ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
Finally, the creatine. A remarkably safe and well researched supplement, creatine is the best (most proven) supplement for increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass of athletes. And interestingly, it appears that consuming creatine immediately post-workout is superior to pre-workout vis a vis body composition and strength.
What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? Share in the comments, let me know how you like our smoothies and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.