One of the most common questions I get from my clients is “What’s the best pre-workout power or recovery shake?” There are tons of them on the market that are all, nutritionally speaking, very good. Just walk into any health store and you will see that the shelves are lined with them. But, the problem is they are usually expensive, and nasty. And the concoctions that they blend up at the gym are often high in calories, carbs and fat. You might as well have some fries to go with that shake.
My solution? Blend it yourself! It’s quick, it’s easy and you can control the nutritional content and, more importantly, the flavor.
First, take a handful of clean spinach and a handful of clean kale and throw it in your blender. Remember when kale was a garnish? Not anymore! Dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, and magnesium as well as vitamins K, C, E and B. Good stuff, so get your greens on!
Then add one tablespoon of non-fat vanilla flavored Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is so much better for you than regular yogurt as it contains half the sugar, less sodium and twice the protein. Greek yogurt also contains probiotics which promote healthy digestion and a happy and healthy gut. And who doesn’t want that?
Next, toss in one handful of clean blueberries and four to six large ripe strawberries. You can choose other types of fruit if you want – bananas, peaches, pineapple, kiwi – but I always opt for berries as they are loaded with hearth healthy and cancer fighting antioxidants.
To get the protein that you will need to get you through your workout, add two scoops of a whey protein powder. I personally use Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey. It’s cleaner than others I’ve tried, tastes better and mixes well with water if you need a quick shake on the go.
After I throw all of these ingredients into the blender, I fill it up with coconut water. Let’s talk about coconut water. There are a lot of people who think it’s a fad and a marketing ploy, yada yada yada. I add it to my smoothies because it’s low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, loaded with potassium and, well, it just tastes a heck of a lot better in a protein shake than straight up water.
Blend it all to perfection and enjoy! And then go get your workout on, champ. But make sure you don’t have any spinach in your teeth before you do. Quelle horreur!
The Phoenix Effect, a metabolic bootcamp that gets you in shape fast, is offered exclusively at Mansion Fitness, 7914 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.