Smoothies are on-trend as they are healthy, tasty and help athletes fuel their bodies before and after workouts. Furthermore, you have to admit sipping a smoothie makes you look and feel cool. There is an inherently enjoyable element to this unique drink. However, if you are not careful, your delicious smoothie has the potential to be more of a sugary-sweet desert than a health beverage. Be mindful of what you put in your smoothie mixes and you will get the most out of this chic drink. Let’s take a look at the healthiest ingredients athletes add to their smoothies.
Mangos are scrumptious and surprisingly healthy. Though mangos certainly have natural sugar, they also contain fiber and protein that help rebuild muscles and promote proper digestion. Add in the fact that mangos’ elevated carbs help energize the body after a grueling workout and it is easy to see why so many athletes are incorporating these tasty fruits in their smoothies.
Kale is loaded with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients. As an example, kale has potassium, calcium, antioxidants and vitamin B6 to boost energy. Furthermore, kale is loaded with vitamin C, K and A to boot. You will be hard-pressed to find a more nutrient-dense vegetable than kale.
Mix some Greek yogurt into your smoothie and you will enjoy an influx of protein. Greek yogurt does not taste that great on its own yet it thickens up smoothies, giving more body to other ingredients such as almond milk, green tea, etc.
Avocados have the “good fat”, meaning monounsaturated fat that is healthy for the heart. Avocados also have potassium to boot. Most people are surprised to learn avocados have more potassium than bananas. Though avocados are fairly expensive, they taste fantastic, especially when mixed into smoothies.
Spinach is a fantastic smoothie ingredient as it is loaded with iron, vitamin B, vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is especially important for athletes as it thwarts the destruction of red blood cell membranes during strenuous activity such as runs, weightlifting, swimming, participation in sports, etc.
Pineapple won’t last long in your refrigerator yet it tastes amazing. Overlook the natural sugar in this fruit for the moment. Square your focus on pineapple’s plethora of minerals and vitamins. Pineapple also contains enzymes that combat disease and inflammation. In fact, these enzymes even promote proper digestion to boot. Finally, pineapples are a solid addition to smoothies as they contain bromelain that decreases the length of time necessary to recover from physical activity.
Honey is chock full of protein and fat that curb cravings for salty and excessively sugary treats. Furthermore, honey decreases blood pressure. It is believed honey’s health benefits primarily stem from its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. Add in the fact that honey nourishes tissue and you have yet another reason to add it to your smoothies before and after exercising.
Whole Hemp Seeds
Whole hemp seeds provide the fiber you need for digestive health and regularity. However, you are better off with whole hemp seeds as opposed to ground hemp. The bulk of the fiber is derived from the seeds’ shells. Fiber is particularly helpful for athletes as it stabilizes hunger and blood sugar. This way, you won’t feel nearly as hungry when participating in a triathlon, marathon or other athletic event.