Training without nourishment is like driving without gasoline. Your body cannot sustain you if you don’t sustain it. Smoothies are an excellent way to take in nutrients in a balanced way that hydrates as well as it improves your ability to build muscle.
Smoothies Help With Hydration
Hydration will keep your electrolyte balances correct as long as you avoid too much pure water. Drinking fluids that don’t have sugar, salt, or potassium can lead to hypernatremia, a condition that’s potentially fatal and, at its worst, causes cerebral edema.
Hypernatremia is a common complaint after marathons, but training without fluids will raise your electrolyte levels to dangerous heights. The balance between fluids and electrolytes are thus quite important.
There are hundreds of electrolyte products on the market, but adding chia seeds and coconut water to your smoothies will do the trick better. You need potassium-rich fruits like bananas and iron from rooibos tea. Add one teaspoon of table salt to every litre of smoothie for its sodium chloride.
Helps With Muscle Recovery
Muscles cannot build themselves without amino acids, but protein supplements rarely carry all you need to support intensive exercise. You need 22 of them to build muscle and tone, so add protein sources like soy, yoghurt, whey, and eggs to your healthy smoothie recipes instead.
Without protein, your muscles will waste away from exercise. Raised muscle enzymes can cause neuromuscular problems and dystrophy. Serious endurance trainers need between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
If you have a more sedate routine, you need about 1.1 and 1.2 grams per kg. Food-based proteins like yoghurt and eggs give you a solid mix of the right building blocks, and soy is almost entirely made of protein, so it’s a superior source.
Supply’s Your Body with Energy for Workouts and Recovery
Vitamins have a huge range of powers that support your fitness training. They provide the energy you need for endurance and anaerobic exercise and replace what your body uses more of during training.
Thiamine, added through wheat and bran, must be replaced if you’re exercising, or you’ll develop a deficiency. Riboflavin, taken in through spinach and almond smoothies, supports aerobic exercise by making sure cells have the energy they need.
Vitamin C, added through berries, provides the energy to perform at the gym and prevents adrenal fatigue. Fruit is a healthy way to add vitamins to your smoothies, but if you believe the hype, some are super-foods that can cure everything from post-exercise muscle cramps to the common cold.
The word “super-foods” is merely an invention of marketing. It has no understood definition. You must achieve the right balance of vitamins and minerals, which is far better done by consuming a greater variety of foods.
By adding a range of fruit and nuts to smoothies, you not only take in more vitamins, but ones that are synergised to ramp up your body’s absorption of other nutrients. Smoothies let you consume a variety of vitamins and minerals at once while hydrating you, so they’re the real “super-food” here.
Harvard recommends a daily diet that includes yellow fruit and kiwi, nuts, leafy vegetables, and red pepper. Fruit smoothies raise your calorie intake to support your fitness training. Your exercise routine can burn 500 calories, over the 1800 calories a more sedentary lifestyle will burn each day.
Your smoothie should contain a thousand calories if you’re eating a lean diet. A smoothie with 60 grams of protein, cereal, and fruit will achieve this count. Combine different coloured fruits and you’ll be well on your way towards the wholesome vitamin intake needed to sustain your exercise.
Can Help Your Body To Prevent Muscle Damage
Antioxidants have been found to reduce muscle damage in running so the red and yellow fruit in your smoothies can help prevent those painful injuries that keep you sedentary for weeks on end.
Endurance training requires quick recovery with less downtime, and if your diet is short of antioxidants, you’ll achieve the opposite. Deficiency creates oxidative stress, which prevents healing.
There is a potential risk, though. Overdosing on vitamin A is dangerous, and taking in more than the necessary antioxidants can increase your odds of getting certain cancers and delay recovery.
Take in the correct amount of antioxidants, no more, no less, and you’ll gain the benefits. This means avoiding supplements and limiting your consumption of antioxidants to food sources.
Athletes have unique needs. Endurance athletes need extra carbs and protein, best taken in through banana and yoghurt smoothies. Bodybuilders need protein, and those who rely on aerobic exercise require branch chain amino acids.
No nutrient has a magical effect on your body until you develop a deficiency, and so we must return to the importance of variety. Use multi-ingredient smoothies to keep every nutritional requirement covered, and you’ll enjoy a more productive workout.
Roy Jones is the lead editor of Blend It Nutrition, a website focused on smoothies, juicing and shakes. Check out our blog for the latest information on the best ingredients and recipes for smoothies.