This chocolate cherry recovery smoothie is a tasty treat after a tough workout!
I’ll finally get a chance to go out this Sunday for a semi-long run. I’ve had a lot of trouble with training the last few weeks, between my son being sick, me getting sick and overall lack of sleep on top of it. It was frustrating me so much, but I try to remind myself during weeks like those that it’s only a few weeks in the grand scheme of life – it’s not going to make or break me in terms of overall fitness.
So I picked myself back up, got to the gym quite a few times last week and will plan to finally go for a nice long(ish) outdoor run Sunday morning.
If you’re getting some long workouts in this summer, take a few minutes to think about your recovery fueling. Many people are surprised to learn that you don’t necessarily need a recovery meal or snack after every workout. In fact, if you’re doing shorter workouts (<1-1.5 hours), your everyday diet will be just fine for recovery. That said, if you won’t be eating for a few hours afterwards, it might make sense to have a small snack afterward – like some greek yogurt with fruit or a quick glass of chocolate milk.
But if any of ya’ll are doing long runs/rides – and especially if you have two a day workouts or back to back weekend races/events – think about structuring your meals so that you are going to eat or drink something within 30-60 minutes of finishing your workout. Ideally you want to include a substantial amount of carbs (likely 50-80 grams, depending on your weight) and about 15-25 grams of protein.
I know sometimes after an intense long run, I’m just not in the mood to eat right afterward. That’s where I find smoothies to be really helpful. It’s easy to get down a lot of nutrition in a quick drink, and that’s super convenient when you’re tired and just want to relax after all that hard work.
One of my favorite smoothies is this Chocolate Cherry Recovery Smoothie. It’s got chocolate milk and greek yogurt to add protein (along with carbs), a berry blend for healthy carbs that are also vitamin and mineral-rich, and tart cherry juice to (possibly) help with the muscle recovery and quelling pain.
That “possibly” stems from the fact that most research on tart cherry juice uses large quantities – like several cups a day – which is unrealistic for most people. But the research on those amounts does show that it may be helpful for reducing inflammation/pain after endurance exercise. There’s certainly no harm in trying smaller amounts and it may have possible benefits, so I’m all about that.
With just 4 ingredients and a quick pop in the blender, you’ve got a well-balanced recovery meal that you can sip on post-workout. I like to buy a pre-mixed “cherry berry blend” from the grocery store to make this, but if you can’t find that you can always buy frozen cherries and whatever frozen berries you can find.
Give it a try today and let me know what you think!
This chocolate cherry smoothie is a tasty treat after a tough workout! It's got an ideal blend of carbohydrate and protein for runners and triathletes.
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I used nonfat but you could use full fat too)
- 1 cup chocolate milk
- 1/3 cup tart cherry juice
- 1 1/4 cup frozen cherry berry blend (cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
Blend all ingredients & enjoy!
Nutrition analysis (approximate):
326 calories, 2 g fat, 60 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams protein