Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Strawberry Almond Smoothie - Maximize the Benefits of Your Workouts

Scanning the college blogosphere I’ve read many posts about staying healthy at college or university. A common suggestion for students is to exercise regularly. It's great advice but not exactly new. I’ll bet you were taught exercise was good for you back in grade school.

You may already know that exercising regularly is beneficial to your health but do you know what you should eat after you exercise to maximize those benefits? If that question caused you to pause, check out the statements below and see which one best reflects your post workout eating plans. 

A.“Hello Cookies! I’ve worked hard and I deserve you…oh, yes I do!”
B. “Sports drink me baby!”
C. “Smoothie for me, smoothie for you" (as you pat your tush or belly)
D. “Miller Time!”

If you answered “C” you’re on the right track. The trick is choosing the right smoothie. An Oreo Fudge Chocolate Chip Smoothie isn’t exactly the recovery drink of champions even though it does sound delicious. This tasty Strawberry-Almond Smoothie has a lot more to offer you. I found some interesting food facts in a recent issue of Outside Magazine that'll explain why: 

Strawberries: have lots of carbs to replenish deleted glycogen stores and antioxidants to counteract exercise induced tissue damage.

Almonds: contain a natural anti-inflammatory and lots of electrolytes to help fight muscle fatigue and cramping. They’ve also been proven to inhibit LDL cholesterol from clogging arteries by as much as 50 percent.

Honey: helps promote muscle retention during recovery and, in raw form, contains enzymes that in aid in digestion.

In the past I've often snuck in a sweet treat or beer to reward myself after a workout.  However I've learned that giving yourself a free pass eat whatever doesn’t complement the effort and time you dedicated to your workout, it sabotages it.

Song Suggestion: Exercising, music and food make me feel good. To keep the good vibes flowing after exercising I like to have energizing tunes playing when making my smoothie. "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz is one of those songs.  

Strawberry Almond Smoothie
A thick power smoothie with almonds, strawberries and honey 

1/4 cup almonds
5 large strawberries, stems removed
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In a blender, blend together all ingredients until smooth.

Makes: 1 power smoothie

More Post Workout Smoothie Recipe Ideas
Pineapple Mango Smoothie
Peaches and Cream Smoothie
Raspberry Yogurt Smoothie

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