Smoothies and protein–a match made in running heaven!
If you are a frequent visitor to Organic Runner Mom you have probably already guessed that I am a smoothie lover. I have a speedy metabolism and drinking a protein packed smoothie is one of the best ways to quickly satiate my hunger . . . well, at least for a little while. Smoothies are a great vehicle for adding protein into your daily meal planning too and as we all know protein is often overlooked by athletes in favor of carbohydrates. But protein plays a very important role in the diet of an athlete.
Why do runners (and mortals too) need protein?
(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or registered dietitian The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food and exercise. When it comes to your health and fitness questions please consult a doctor or registered dietician.)
If you are a runner people are probably constantly asking you before a big race if you are carb-loading but no one ever asks you, “Hey! Are you protein-loading after the big race?” What you fuel your body with after a race or long run is just as important as the pre-race day carb-fest.
According to Karla Bruning on Active.com, protein is especially important, “to muscle recovery after a workout. It repairs muscle damage, diminishes the effects of cortisol—the so-called “stress” hormone that breaks down muscle—and, when taken with carbohydrates, speeds your body’s ability to replenish its glycogen stores, your all-important energy source for those long runs during marathon season.” It is also highly recommended by Bruning that you eat 30 (or so) grams of protein within 30 minutes after your run or other workout to maximize your recovery. If you are like me I know I often have trouble eating right after a hard run so a smoothie is often the perfect answer because you can pack it full of protein and it is often easy to digest.
Allegra Burton, RD, MPH writes on the site MarathonGuide.com that endurance athletes such as marathoners and triathletes need, “Endurance athletes need up to 50% more protein than sedentary adults. Protein should contribute 12-15% of total calories per day.” Wow! That’s a lot of protein! I’m all ears when it comes nutrition advice to help me improve my running performance and recovery!
A Smoothie Recipe with a Protein Punch–Stonyfield Yogurt!
I make a lot of smoothies and usually try to load them full of protein. To give my smoothies a boost I often use Tera’s Whey Organic Vanilla or Organic Dark Chocolate Protein Powder (Yum!). I also like using yogurt and was excited to try Stonyfield Organic Chocolate Underground Yogurt in a smoothie because let’s face it, why wouldn’t you want chocolate in your smoothie? Stonyfield yogurt is great because it is organic which means it is pesticide free which is something that I look for. Anytime I can choose organic and skip foods that could be laden with pesticides I’m all for it.
As a base for the smoothie I used a nicely ripe Fair Trade Banana, some crushed ice and Stonyfield Lowfat milk. Then I added the Stonyfield Chocolate Underground Yogurt. Along with these ingredients I added organic strawberries, Chia Seeds, and some Champlain Valley Farms Raw Honey (which is heavenly!). The resulting combination was refreshing with a modest chocolate flavor bursting through from the Stonyfield Chocolate Underground Yogurt and it was packed full of protein. This smoothie would be perfect after a long run but I enjoyed it instead as a pre-bedtime snack!
- Yield: 2 Servings (or one if you are super hungry like me!)
- 1/4 Cup Crushed Ice
- 2 Cups Stonyfield Lowfat Milk
- 1 Ripe Fair Trade Banana
- 1/4 Cup Organic Strawberries
- 1 Cup Stonyfield Organic Chocolate Underground Yogurt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1/2 Tablespoon Champlain Valley Farms Raw Honey
- Cut up strawberries.
- Add ingredients to blender and mix to desired consistency
- This smoothie will pack a Chocolate protein punch!
I hope you enjoy my recipe and that you will be moooooved to share some of your recipes with me too!