Regardless of your daily workout regimen it is important to keep your blood sugar and energy level consistent through out the day. That means eating a 200-500 calorie meal or snack every 3-4 hours. Calories are so often looked at as the bad-guys but calories=energy and are ESSENTIAL for weight loss and maintenance as well as lean muscle growth. Ok science lesson (because I’m a nerd), a calorie is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water. Having this knowledge we can understand the nutritional definition of a calorie. From a nutritional standpoint food contains calories; these calories have energy producing potential equivalent to the amount of heat released into the body. To put it simply, these heat calories breakdown and release through the body, producing the energy our bodies use to perform everyday aerobic (activity that requires oxygen) and anaerobic (activity done without oxygen) life activities. If you want large amounts of energy to run through your body, you have to eat whole, natural foods. It’s all about the types of calories you are feeding your body. Empty calories (from processed foods, high-fat foods, high-sugar foods etc.) will leave you unsatisfied, cause your blood sugar to increase, and make you crave even MORE fat and sugary foods leading to excess calorie build-up, low energy levels, and weight gain (a vicious cycle). Calories from nutrient dense foods (such as whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fruits, and veggies) keep your stomach fuller for longer, your blood sugar steady, and your energy levels high!
Peanut-Butter Banana Smoothie
An energy boost for everyone! This smoothie will help keep your blood sugar steady through out the day to ward off fatigue and weight gain—and potentially lead to weight loss if incorporated into a daily healthy diet! This smoothie can be used as a meal replacement!
–2 bananas sliced and frozen
–1/4 cup oats
–1/4 cup peanut butter (try using natural peanut butter, it cuts out the saturated fat that regular peanut butter is high in)
–3/4 cup skim milk
Peanut Butter Energy Booster
This smoothie can be used as a meal replacement!
–1 large banana
–1 scoop of natural hemp protein powder (optional)
–2 tsp natural peanut butter
–1 handful of baby spinach
–1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (cinnamon helps control blood sugar)
Pre-Work Out Smoothies and Snack advice: To rev up your energy before a workout, eat a carbohydrate-rich snack 30 minutes to 2 hours before you start. The perfect pre-workout snack contains 60% calories from carbs, 20% calories from protein, and 20% calories from fat—but that is getting super technical and you don’t need to focus on the exact numbers (unless you want to of course). A good pre-exercise snack example includes ½ of a whole-grain english muffin with 2 tsps. hummus and ½ a cup of berries. Just be sure to keep your pre-work out snacks light—easy to digest and low in fat. This will help you exercise harder and build more muscle. It will also help increase blood flow to the muscles while they work.
–1 cup skim or soymilk
–1/3 cup brewed coffee
–2 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
–1 scoop chocolate flavored whey protein powder (depending on the intensity of your work-out you do not necessarily need this)
–2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
Note: These ingredients make about two servings. It’s best to drink only about ¼ -1/2 of this smoothie pre-workout and the remaining smoothie post-workout!
Any time of day Pre-Workout Smoothie
–1 cup strawberries frozen or 5 fresh strawberries
–Handful of raspberries
–3-4 fresh pineapple slices
–4 oz orange juice
Whey Protein Brand I like
Post-Workout Smoothies and snack advice: After a workout your focus should be muscle recovery. Within 15 minutes of an intense workout your muscles are crying out for you to refill their glycogen stores. Contrary to popular belief, you should not just load up on protein to build lean muscle after a workout. An effective post-workout snack includes a combination of foods high in carbs (60% of calories), high in protein (30% of calories) and low in fat (10% of calories). An example post-workout snack could include ½ cup of non-fat chocolate milk with a slice of whole grain toast, topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter. This snack contains an ideal carbohydrate to protein to fat calorie ratio post-workout. Here are a few post-workout muscle recovery smoothie ideas.
–1/2 cup canned pumpkin
–1 cup almond or skim milk
–1/2 a banana
–1 tbsp raisins
–1 scoop vanilla protein powder
–1/2 tsp vanilla extract
–Flax seed for an extra health boost
–Sprinkle in nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger
Berry Protein Smoothie
–1 cup frozen mixed berries
–1 medium banana
–1/2 cup cubed honeydew lemon
–4 oz Greek yogurt
–3/4 cup almond or skim milk
–1 scoop vanilla whey powder
–1/2 cup crushed ice
–1 scoop low-fat ice cream
–1 tbsp chocolate syrup
–1/2 cup low-fat chocolate almond milk
–1 scoop chocolate whey-protein powder
–1 medium banana
–1/2 cup crushed ice
Post-Workout pick-me-up Smoothie
–2 tbps peanut butter
–1/2 cup Greek yogurt
–1/2 cup almond or skim milk
–1 tbsp instant coffee (coffee crystals, un-made coffee)
–1/4 cup rolled oats
–1/2 cup ice
Check back next week for my final Smoothie Goodness Blog!