When I finish a long run or tough workout, making food is usually the last thing I want to do. Exhausted, I just want to lay on the couch or take a long, hot shower. But getting calories in within 30 minutes of finishing your workout is vital for recovery - in her book Eat Smart, Play Hard, sports nutritionist Dr. Liz Applegate highlights the importance of consuming calories during this crucial window.
So what's a tired, sweaty, hungry runner to do? Eat, or shower? That's where this Super Simple Post-Run Smoothie comes in. You can make it in 3 minutes and can even drink it in the shower - yes, I've been known to sip on such a smoothie in a hot shower following a freezing New England long run.
This recipe checks all the boxes on protein, carbohydrates, convenience, and taste. The chia and almond butter add some healthy fat, and the banana and vanilla make it taste like a milkshake :) Give it a try after your next hard workout!
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 spoonful of chia seeds
1 heaping spoonful of almond butter
~10 oz. of vanilla soymilk (or other milk of choice)
Put all ingredients into a single-serve smoothie cup (I use the Ninja Pro Blender with 16 oz. single-serve cups). Pro tip - put the protein powder and chia seeds in last, so that they don't get stuck at the bottom and can blend properly. Simply blend and you're done - so easy!
Smoothie in hand, now you can shower, relax on the couch for a bit, and know that you've gotten in the recovery calories you need during that 30-minute window. A full meal is still important, so make sure that once you've rinsed off or watched an episode of the Mindy Project, you're preparing a real meal -- like these quesadillas with pico de gallo or black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. Remember, fueling well is just as important as the miles you're putting in!