Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to optimize your health. In addition to the many benefits of regular activity, the synapses and mechanisms that occur during and after workouts have been shown to boost feel-good hormones, help relieve symptoms of depression and improve self confidence.
While there are lots of pros to regular activity, it can also be followed by some uncomfortable days and muscle soreness. As a result, nourishing the body with quality nutrients after a strenuous workout plays an essential role in speeding up recovery time. Smoothies make a great post-workout meal, as the liquid form allows for quick delivery of nutrients to the muscles, without the burden of expending excess energy on digestion.
This Ginger-Berry Smoothie recipe makes a great post-workout meal, with ingredients selected specifically to aid in muscle repair and recovery time. Some of the key ingredients include:
Blueberries – studies have shown that antioxidants in berries can be beneficial in helping to repair from exercise-induced muscle damage. Blueberries specifically demonstrate both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against oxidative stress and aid in recovery.
Leafy Greens – leafy greens contain antioxidants that help to combat inflammation in the body, thus resulting in less muscle soreness and faster recovery time.
Ginger – a 2010 study in the Journal of Pain showed that ginger may help reduce muscle soreness. Taking 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger per day may assist with the delayed onset of muscle soreness and reduce inflammation in the body.
Coconut Oil – a 2003 study conducted by C Beermann and colleagues found that coconut oil helps to burn other fats and increases metabolic rate, thus aiding in lowering body fat levels. What’s unique about coconut oil is that it contains media chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are metabolized in the body differently than longer chain fats. MCTs can go straight to the liver and be used for energy immediately .
Tahini – tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s much more absorbable than regular sesame seeds and contains over 20 per cent protein, healthy fats and a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, copper, magnesium and healthy omega 3 fats.
Hemp Seeds – hemp seed contains 25 per cent protein and more essential fatty acids than any other plant source. The seeds are one of the best proteins for building muscle and promoting overall health because its nutrient density is greater than other protein powders and they are filled with bioavailable enzymes and good bacteria to facilitate the conversion of amino acids to muscle.
Ginger-Berry Smoothie (Workout Recovery)
- 1 large handful of spinach
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup of mixed blueberries and strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 inch chunk peeled fresh ginger (you can also use dry ginger, just add to taste depending on how strong you like.)
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- Half a cup of plain coconut yogurt (if you don’t have coconut yogurt just increase your non-dairy milk slightly.)
- 1.5 cups of hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
Peel ginger, then place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour ingredients into two glasses and garnish with coconut flakes, berries, cinnamon etc.
Great workout and now, happy muscles! 🙂