I'm a smoothie junkie. There, I said it. I like smoothies for breakfast before hard training since I don't perform well immediately after eating solid food and I'm a notoriously late sleeper and am usually rushed to get out the door. I also prefer a good smoothie recipe over commercial "recovery" drinks, which are typically little more than refined sugar and protein. The sugar load is so high in many of these that they replenish fat cells as well as muscle glycogen. I don't know about you, but I can do without my fat cells being replenished for a while.
With the right equipment (I'm a member of the Vitamix cult) you can liquify practically any food. This makes it easy to tailor drinks to your nutritional needs. It also makes it easy to add more vegetables to one's diet. I believe this is the single best thing most of us can do nutritionally to improve our health. I usually load all of my smoothies with spinach since it's such a nutritional powerhouse and surprisingly doesn't negatively effect the taste. You can use virtually any vegetable, however. Variety is a good thing when it comes to eating well, so try mixing it up.
This Mixed-Berry Pre-Workout Smoothie recipe is one of my favorites before training in part due to how well the flavors complement Beta Red.
The first thing you might notice is that there's a lot of stuff in here. In reality, it makes two servings and could easily be shared. I, however, have a large appetite. The size of this recipe may also be too much if you don't have a high-power machine. If this is the case for you, try cutting all ingredients in half.
- Pour water in container and add spinach, celery, cabbage, and avocado. Begin blending on lowest setting, gradually increasing until ingredients are liquified.
- Add Beta Red, yogurt, and protein powder and blend on low setting until thoroughly mixed.
- Add frozen berries. Blend on low setting, increasing to medium setting until all large chunks are gone.
- Add ice cubes. Blend on low setting, increasing to medium, then high until everything is smoothie consistency. If you prefer your drink to be more liquid, and less like frozen custard, use less ice.