Smoothies are an easy way to fit in healthy eating on the go as a quick refuel post-workout.
Loaded with whole fruits, a liquid base like water, almond milk, or coconut milk, and typically some protein, smoothies can come packed with necessary vitamins and minerals.
Depending on your ingredients, you can tailor your smoothies to fit your fitness goals.
For muscle recovery, you’ll want a healthy mix of protein (our favorite), carbohydrates, and anti-inflammatory foods.
Have you seen our strength training workouts on the Aaptiv app? They’re great for all fitness levels.
We asked nutrition experts for their tips for building muscle recovery smoothies.
Read on to learn more and for their easy go-to recipes, perfect for post-workout recovery.
Protein helps to repair, maintain, and grow muscles. Alyssa Mandell Sparks, a holistic nutritionist and senior instructor at SPEIR Pilates prepares smoothies daily to maintain joint and ligament health.
“Your post-workout smoothie should offer you both protein and carbohydrates. We should be drinking this smoothie during the 30 minutes following our workout for optimal absorption,” she says.
You can add standard whey protein powders (like our favorite here) or look to plant-based sources of protein to enhance your muscle recovery smoothies.
Carbohydrates are an often overlooked ingredient for muscle recovery. “Everyone talks about protein being the essential macronutrient for muscle recovery, but carbohydrates are just as important,” says Dylan Ketchum is the co-founder of UpWild.
“A combination of the two is actually ideal. Carbs restore muscle glycogen levels, which are depleted during exercise. Protein helps to repair damaged muscle fibers.”
Whole fruits are an easy way to add carbohydrates and fiber to your smoothies. The carbs will aid in muscle recovery and the fiber, typically from the produce skin, will help keep you feeling full longer.
It’s vital to include anti-inflammatory foods, like broccoli, pineapple, and ginger, in your muscle recovery smoothies.
These foods can help alleviate inflammation associated with muscle soreness. “I take collagen daily (these have great reviews) to help with joint and ligament health. Whether in the form of a pill supplement or in powder form for my smoothies,” Sparks says.
“Both options are great. The amino acids in collagen have anti-inflammatory and joint builder benefits.”
If your taste buds get bored easily, add non-traditional ingredients, like bone broth and gingerol, to your smoothie.
“Gingerol (the bioactive compound that gives ginger its flavor), is fantastic for fighting inflammation, and helping to ease the soreness of overworked muscles,” says Jenna Tanenbaum, co-founder of GreenBlender.
“Ingredients that include vitamin C, like mandarins, are key for a healthy immune system, which will help you fight inflammation regularly.”
The collagen and glycine found in bone broth help soft tissues recover. [They] aid in supporting your digestive and overall immune health.
“It’s really easy to start drinking bone broth ritualistically as you’re also getting protein, glucosamine, essential amino acids, and a host of other nutrients,” says Soo-Ah Landa, the founder, and CEO of BRU Broth.
Muscle Recovery Smoothies
Our experts shared their go-to muscle recovery smoothie recipes. Work these into your meal planning this week for some post-workout bliss.
Chocolate Dream Smoothie
By: Alyssa Mandell Sparks
1 cup coconut milk
1 serving protein powder (such as Vital Protein Collagen Peptides)
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted almond butter
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon coconut butter
1 large date, pitted
Blend all ingredients together, and enjoy!
The kick from the cinnamon provides more than flavor, it brings you a high source of antioxidants, as well anti-inflammatory properties, that your body will crave post-workout.
By: Dylan Ketchum
1 cup oat, rice, or nut milk
1 scoop plant protein powder
1 handful ice
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 handful blueberries
1 teaspoon coconut flakes
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Blend, and serve.
Pomegranate Beet Smoothie
By: Green Blender
5 ounces beet—scrubbed, chopped
2 mandarins, peeled
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 inch ginger
1 teaspoon pomegranate powder
1 cup of water
Blend, and serve. The mandarins and lemon provide a pure burst of vitamin C in your daily post-workout treat.
Bone Broth Smoothie
By: Soo-Ah Landa
16 ounces Bru Broth Hot Greens
1 cup greens (options: spinach, kale, or green veggie mix)
1 Persian cucumber
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Note: Use organic vegetables when possible.
Blend, and serve.
Now that you’re ready for your post workout smoothie, next step is finding your perfect workout. Check out the Aaptiv app for more!