Just finish a long, intense run or ride? It’s time to refuel! Getting some carbohydrate and protein within 30-60 minutes of your sweat sesh is key to muscle recovery and replenishing those energy stores. And what better way to do that than with some tasty, easy-to-make post workout smoothie recipes!
Keep in mind – you don’t need to worry about recovery meals and snacks after every single workout. For short workouts, your everyday nutrition takes care of your recovery needs. But if you’re doing two-a-days, if you’ve just done a long (1.5+ hour) or very intense workout, or if have some tightly scheduled back to back races – that’s when recovery meals become essential.
Why a recovery smoothie? Sometimes after a tough workout, you might actually feel a short-lived loss of appetite. You pushed yourself hard, and the last thing you might feel like doing 30 minutes afterward is eating a big meal. Post workout smoothies make it easy to get a lot of good nutrition in a quick drink.
All of the smoothies below have carbs and protein – and the protein comes from real food sources like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, edamame, hemp, or other foods. Protein powders are of course fine to include in a smoothie too and there are plenty of great recipes out there using powders. I just wanted to give ya’ll some other food sources to experiment with!
15 Post Workout Smoothie Recipes
1. Pineapple Kale Smoothie from TheFitBlog
I love the pineapple kale combo in a smoothie! In my nutrition e-book, I actually have a fairly similar recipe to this. The sweetness of the pineapple acts as a great counterbalance to that leafy green flavor of the kale. Plus, this recipe uses greek yogurt to boost the protein content of the smoothie.
You guys – it’s carrot cake in a glass! Who doesn’t want that as a post workout treat?! I love that this post workout smoothie from Well Plated by Erin incorporates a vegetable – I know we often use leafy greens in smoothies but it’s nice to have some variety!
3. Wild Blueberry Pancake Smoothie from Snacking in Sneakers
If you like blueberry pancakes, you’ll love this smoothie. It’s essentially that pancake flavor in a glass! This smoothie uses part skim ricotta to boost the protein intake while adding a lovely creaminess.
4. Creamy Coconut, Avocado and Hemp Smoothie from Beyond Mere Sustenance
This is one hearty and filling smoothie, thanks to the addition of avocado and hemp! A full serving packs in a little over 500 calories and 20 grams of protein, plus healthy carbs and fats. This is ideal for those of you that don’t feel hungry for hours after a long run, but know you need to get a good meal in post-workout.
5. Mango Ginger Turmeric Smoothie from Lively Table
I’m obsessed with this for a recovery smoothie for runners. It’s got healthy carbs from mango and oats. It’s got 16 grams of protein from the oats and yogurt. And it’s got possible anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to ginger and turmeric. Heck yes!
6. Wild Blueberry Tea Smoothie from Nourish Nutrition
There are just 3 ingredients in this tasty smoothie. It’s perfect for a post-workout snack when you need something quick and easy.
7. Chocolate Cherry Recovery Smoothie from Snacking in Sneakers
This recipe features tart cherry juice, which is thought to help with muscle recovery after tough workouts! Plus, it includes chocolate milk – who can say no to that?!
8. Pineapple, Cherry and Banana Post Workout Smoothie from Fox & Briar
5 ingredients makes this a simple post workout smoothie to throw together quickly. I like that the liquid base in here is coconut water – great for replenishing potassium losses after a workout!
9. Banana Blueberry Kefir Smoothie from The Organic Kitchen
Linda and I have been Instagram pals for a while now and I know her food is on point. Her smoothie uses kefir (drinkable yogurt) as the main protein source, and bananas and blueberries for healthy carbs. Plus, you add in finger limes, which I’m dying to try after reading her post!
10. Peach Recovery Smoothie from Healthy Seasonal Recipes
This smoothie is sure to be a summertime favorite – great to sip on out in the sun after your long run. Some fresh juicy peaches add a lovely sweetness to this smoothie, while greek yogurt adds protein.
11. High Protein Smoothie with Vanilla Bean from Amy Gorin Nutrition
I went to a session at a conference a few years ago that talked about how vanilla was a non-habituating flavor. In other words, with most flavors, we ‘get used to it’ with each bite, but with vanilla, it tastes just as magical each time. I can’t find anything to back this up online, but I’d believe it if it’s true! I love vanilla flavored things, this smoothie included. Plus, this smoothie gets it’s real-food protein from an interesting source – blending in edamame!
12. Pumpkin Spice Almond Smoothie from Smart Nutrition
Fall will be here before we know it, so get your pumpkin spice recipes ready! This recipe is a great way to mix in seasonal flavor with your post-workout drink. Plus, it fits right in the ideal 3:1 to 4:1 carb to protein ratio for recovery meals after a run!
13. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from Triad to Wellness
PB&B is a classic athlete favorite, whether it’s topped on a piece of toast, sandwiched in a bagel, or mixed into a smoothie! This version uses powdered peanut butter to up the protein intake without making the smoothie too calorie heavy – great for athletes looking to control weight.
14. Vegan Energy Boosting Smoothie from Kara Lydon
Most smoothies with real-food protein use dairy products – great for many, but can be a bummer for vegan athletes. This smoothie uses a combo of vegan-friendly add ins to make a tasty post-workout drink with the carbs and protein your muscles need. Tofu, hemp, and walnuts are all part of it!
15. Wild Blueberry Ginger Peach Smoothie from Street Smart Nutrition
Cottage cheese in a smoothie? Yes! Even though I’m not a cottage cheese fan in its plain form, I can totally get down with it in smoothies (or blender pancakes).