My Favourite Post-Workout Recovery Smoothie

Super Recovery Coconut Lime Green Smoothie - Eat Spin Run Repeat.com

Hello friends!

How was your weekend? As I mentioned on Friday, mine was spent relaxing, spending some quality time with my mum for Mother’s Day, exploring the farmer’s market, and sleeping. I also ran a new-to-me route on Saturday morning, with plenty of scenery that I’ve never noticed before. One thing about doing a ton of long-distance training on a treadmill with only a TV and other gym-goers to keep you entertained is that it makes real outdoor runs seem so quick! Does anyone else find the same thing?

A little while ago I talked about my 3 secrets for making every early morning workout awesome, and this week I want to share my favourite post-run recovery smoothie with you. It’s full of powerful ingredients that help fight inflammation and promote quick repair and healing in our bodies, both of which are essential if you’re very physically active. Not only will this smoothie do fabulous things for your insides, but it tastes great too!

Super Recovery Coconut Lime Smoothie - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about each of the superstars inside it. Many are also useful when eaten pre-workout because they help to start the recovery process before you even begin sweating, but rolling everything into one post-workout smoothie is a really easy way to reap the benefits of all of them.

***Disclaimer: Always check with your doc first before taking new dietary supplements to ensure that they’re right for you.***

rainbow chard

Dark leafy greens

This is probably the most ‘well, duh’ ingredient on the list, but it’s a must-have. The darker the better. These gems are full of vitamin A (for immune function and organ support), vitamin C (which acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells from damage, and produce collagen to help heal wounds), and K (for healthy bones). They’re excellent anti-inflammatories, and some varieties contain high levels of folate and calcium, as well as potassium for proper nerve and muscular function. For a guide to all sorts of greens, check out this infographicand be sure to check out this post to learn why it’s important to rotate your greens.

baby kale

Bananas

Simple but oh so good for you, bananas contain potassium, an electrolyte that needs replenishing after exercise. They’re also a clean carb with natural sugars, and post-workout, the sports nutrition experts of the world recommend replenishing our bodies with energy in a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio. The banana takes care of the carb bit, without causing the spike in blood sugar (and inevitable crash) that refined sugars do.

frozen bananas

Protein Powder

As I’m sure you’ve heard, muscle is made from protein. As we work out, (particularly if you’re strength training), small tears form in our muscles that need to be repaired. This is where protein comes in. It’s also used for increasing the size and strength of your muscles, and the sooner you can consume a high-protein food after a workout, the better. There are lots of sources of high-quality protein, (think lean chicken, fish, beef, Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, chickpeas, beans, legumes, and seeds), and even if you’re vegan or vegetarian, there are protein powders that fit your dietary needs.

Vega Sport Performance Protein - New formula

As many of you know, I’m a big advocate of the ‘whole foods first, supplements second’ mentality, but when time is limited and you don’t have whole food protein sources on hand, protein powder is a great alternative. My preference is Vega Sport Performance Protein (plant-based, vegan friendly, gluten free, allergen free, no artificial sweeteners).

Coconut Water

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about coconut water lately, and it’s for good reason! As you’re well aware, exercise makes us sweat. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes (specifically sodium and potassium) which our bodies need to reduce muscle cramping and function optimally. Drinking water helps to re-hydrate our bodies, but straight-up water is missing these electrolytes. Coconut water not only provides them, but also delivers plenty of naturally-occuring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help to replenish energy levels post-workout.

Ground Flaxseed

The main reason I’ve included ground flaxseed in this smoothie is because of its high omega-3 essential fatty acid content. Omega-3s are found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, as well as enriched dairy, but these sources aren’t suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Flaxseed provides omega-3s in plant-based form, and like many of the other ingredients on this list, has anti-inflammatory properties. The addition of a healthy fat source also helps us to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals from the dark leafy greens. You can either purchase ground flaxseed, or the whole seeds (as shown above) and grind them yourself in a coffee grinder. Either way, be sure to store them in the fridge to preserve the quality of the oils.

Ginger

I was never into ginger as a kid, but these days I can’t get enough of it! Here’s the deal: Even exercise (which makes us look and feel fantastic) creates inflammation. Each time our muscles contract, they become slightly inflamed. More contraction = more inflammation, stiffness, and soreness, but there are foods that we can eat to help tame this. Fresh ginger has super powerful anti-inflammatory properties thanks its phytonutrients, which have been shown to relieve joint and muscle pain, and aid in recovery.  These benefits aside, ginger is also a fantastic natural cure for digestive issues and nausea, and can help strengthen your immune system.

ginger root

Maca Root Powder

Maca root has been used for years as a healing whole food, but as far as athletes are concerned, it’s used for improving adrenal function and enhancing stamina, endurance, and overall performance. Maca is an adaptogen, which means that it helps our bodies to respond more efficiently to stress, whether it’s workout-related or otherwise. It also helps to boost overall mood and reduce post-workout muscle soreness.

Vega maca powder

Cinnamon

I like to add cinnamon to practically everything, but it has a lot more going for it than just taste! Cinnamon prevents blood clotting and helps to promote healthy blood flow. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties.

Turmeric

Yep, that same bright yellow spice that you find in your favourite curry is a fabulous inflammation fighter! Turmeric helps to boost circulation, which during exercise, means that more oxygen can travel to your working muscles. Like ginger, it can be taken before workouts to boost the recovery process before you even start sweating, or afterwards to help speed the recovery process. This is all thanks to its active ingredient, circumin, which is a super anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Spirulina

This is a blue-green algae that is typically available a a powder, liquid, tablet or capsule. It’s one of the world’s most highly concentrated plant-based sources of complete protein, meaning that it provides all of the essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own. Like the other superfoods in this list, it provides a whackload of vitamins and minerals, has been known to increase endurance, and speed post-exercise recovery. A little goes a very long way!

Super Recovery Coconut Lime Smoothie - Eat Spin Run Repeat

And now, for the recipe:

Super Recovery Coconut-Lime Green Smoothie

by Angela Simpson

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 0 mins

6045910

Ingredients (1 large smoothie)

  • 2 big handfuls fresh dark leafy greens
  • 1/2 small frozen banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla flavoured protein powder (I use Vega Sport)
  • 1 cup coconut water, plus additional water if needed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk beverage, such as So Delicious
  • 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp maca root powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina (optional – this will make it super green)
  • 1 lime, peel and rind entirely removed
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except ice to a blender and blend until almost smooth.
  2. Add ice to the jug and blend again until smooth. Add additional liquid if needed until your desired consistency is achieved.

Click here to print this recipe.

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I love chugging a big one of these smoothies after my hard runs and heavy strength training sessions, but it’s also great if you’re feeling a little low on energy. I don’t know about you, but most green smoothies tend to significantly kick my energy levels up a notch. Greens for the win!

Now I want to know…

  • Do you have a favourite post-workout recovery meal or drink that makes you feel revitalized and re-energized?
  • What did you get up to this weekend?

31 thoughts on “My Favourite Post-Workout Recovery Smoothie

  1. Looks delish! Where did you get all your supplements? I was able to find maca root powder at bulk barn, but definitely not spirulina.

    Where have you found coconut water at it’s cheapest? That stuff is unfortunately not cheap!

    1. Hi Lisa!!! Yep, maca root powder can definitely be found at Bulk Barn, and I’ve seen spirulina too but I find that it’s cheapest at NationalNutrition.ca. I get most of my supplements there and they are located just outside of Toronto, so the shipments typically come in about 2-3 days. If you order over $75 (I think) shipping is free so I usually order a bunch of stuff at once, including my Vega protein powder and pre-workout energizer, spirulina, fish oil, and probiotics. As for the coconut water, I’ve been getting mine at Fiddleheads/Healthy Haven. You’re right, it’s not really cheap, but I get it as a treat once in a while! 🙂

  2. Thanks for walking through the benefits of each ingredient! I haven’t gotten into juicin yet but it’s everywhere so I think ya only a matter of time. Great post!

  3. thanks for all the helpful info, angela!! as discussed, i am loving those VEGA ONE bars, and i plan to try some of their other products, too!
    btw, i found out yesterday that you will be presenting to the LTR clinic in a couple weeks! it was one of those “six degrees of separation” moments. wish i was working that night!!! anyway, very cool that you will be sharing your knowledge with the new runners!!

    1. Morning Cathy! I was actually just about to email you to tell you about the talk at the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to it! I may end up going for a run with the group after depending on whether or not anything else pops up on my schedule that night, so if you’re not doing anything and feel like coming out it would be fun to catch up! (Although I’m sure you probably spend enough time at the store during the day so if you don’t come out I definitely won’t be offended!) 🙂 Have a great Monday!

      1. that would be so fun but i am always at the kitchener store on monday eves!! oh, to be able to be two places at once!

  4. I love how you broke down the smoothie into individual ingredients and talked about the benefits of each! Knowing that each component could have such a powerful impact on my health gives me that extra motivation to track all of them down. I have been wanting to try some of these foods for quite some time now, and this is just the push in the right direction that I needed. Thank you!

  5. Well I have to say I just made this smoothie. I just got back from a rather warm 10 miler. I’m not a fan of coconut water but have to say I enjoy it in this smoothie. Also wasn’t too sure about putting lime in, but it’s a must. All the flavors compliment each other. I also like knowing the benefits of each ingredient. Thanks for sharing, and I WILL be making this one again. Question though…would you consider this to be your breakfast if enjoying it after your morning workout?

    1. Ahh sorry Desiree, I thought I responded to this yesterday via the WordPress app on my phone but it looks like it never went through! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. As for my post-workout breakfasts, I typically eat something else with it, like fruit or some scrambled egg whites with veggies. I know some people can do just smoothies as a meal, but my bod just doesn’t feel full without at least a little bit of solid food!

  6. I 100% agree about outdoor runs seeming quicker than indoor ones! That is why I can hardly stand running on the treadmill! This smoothie is awesome… thanks for sharing what you put in it!

  7. You will have to share your new running route – my parents live in Waterloo so I often go running when I am there visiting, and I’m always looking for new and interesting routes!]

    Yummy looking smoothie by the way! I’ve been making lots of smoothies for my son as a good way to get lots of fruit, veggies and other superfoods into his diet.

  8. That smoothie sounds Delish! I’m going to try it after my next workout.

    For those that commented about the cost of coconut water – Costco sells it for a good price. It’s around $14 for 6 1L bottles of Coco Libre brand coconut water.

  9. Looks great, but a bit too expensive for me! 🙂 I’d have to cut out the maca, spirulina, etc add-ins. But the real whole foods (banana, spinach, water, coconut milk) seem great! I like to keep things simple – the way food and nature are best for the body .
    I always think “what if I were on a desert island” ? and I know the expensive trendy things wouldn’t be there then! Ha.

    Beautiful blog!

  10. Hi,

    Tonight after work-out I had this smoothie made of 1 banana, soy milk and 1tsp of powdered Spirulina. I should have added some ground flaxseeds as well. Nonetheless, it was one of the best post-work out choices!

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