Smoothies for Pre-Workout and Post-Workout

Smoothies are ideal for pre- and post-workout nutrition. This will help you build more muscle mass. You have to eat enough of the right foods to rebuild your muscles bigger. Even if you gain weight, you will be leaner because muscle takes up less space than fat.


The rigors of weight training breaks down your body and you need proper nutrition and rest to rebuild your body bigger and better. Protein consumption, in particular, is critical if you want to build muscle.

See Top 5 Fat-Burning Bodyweight Exercises

How to Use Smoothies for Workouts and Snacks

1. Pre-workout nutrition should mainly include carbohydrates and proteins. During intense training, your body depends on fuel from glycogen made from the carbohydrates that you eat.

Consuming smoothies 1-2 hours before a workout will build up your glycogen stores. When your glycogen stores are low, your performance will suffer.

Research has shown the effectiveness of pre-workout protein drinks (such as whey). Your muscles get 2 times as much benefit from a pre-workout protein drink compared to having just a post-workout protein drink. You can add protein to your smoothie drink.



2. Post-workout nutrition is important to help your body recover from intense exercise. You don't need to eat immediately after your workout but there is a 30-45 minute window where replenishing your body's fuel (carbs, protein, fats) will optimize your tissue's repair and growth.

The post-exercise meal should consist of carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of healthy fats. A drink, such as a smoothie, is good because it is quickly digestible. A ratio of 2g carbs/1g protein is what you need.

3. Protein provides the main building blocks for your muscles. Daily protein needs should be calculated according to body weight (not by percent of calories). Generally, daily protein targets (grams per pound of body weight) are:

  • Recreational exerciser, adult 0.5-0.75
  • Competitive athlete, adult 0.6-0.9
  • Growing teenage athlete 0.8-0.9
  • Adult building muscle mass 0.7-1.0

For example, if you weigh 190 pounds and want a high protein intake (1.0 gms/lb), you'll need 190 grams of protein. Protein should be eaten with every meal to insure adequate supply during the day.

Drink daily about a half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight (180 pound person would drink 90 ounces). Since your muscles are comprised of about 70% water, don't dehydrate yourself. During exercise, drink about a cup of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.

For exercise lasting more than one hour (or during games), a sports drink with carbohydrate and protein is needed.

Also, what you eat for snacks can mean the difference between out-of-control weight gain or weight loss management/fat loss/muscle-building.

The American Dietetic Association also recommends healthy snacking. Snacks bridge the gap between meals and can help you eat less at regular mealtime.

Going too long between meals can cause you to load up on sugary carbohydrates to get quick energy. These types of snacks are usually high in calories, not very nutritious and cause rapid ups and downs in blood sugar levels.

You can use fat burning, delicious smoothies to help manage your weight. Many times, you may be looking for healthy snacks or meal replacements to control your calories while maintaining your energy during the day.

Here are 3 smoothies you can use:

CHERRY BERRY SMOOTHIE

1 cup low-fat cherry yogurt
1/4 cups cranberry juice
1 cup frozen, pitted cherries
3/4 cups frozen, unsweetened blueberries

Combine the yogurt and cranberry juice in a blender. Add the cherries and berries. Blend until smooth. Makes about 2-1/2 cups, serves 2.

BLUEBERRY-BANANA SMOOTHIE

2 bananas
1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup plain yogurt
Handful, sprinkled walnuts

Peel bananas, slice and place on a cookie sheet. Put in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and place in blender. Slice berries and add to blender. Pour in yogurt. Blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve.

BERRY BLUE SMOOTHIE

2 cups fresh or slightly thawed frozen blueberries
1 (8 ounces) container low fat vanilla yogurt
1 (6 ounces) cups low-fat milk
1 (12 ounces) can pineapple juice
3 tablespoons honey
12 to 16 ice cubes

Place all ingredients, except the ice cubes, into container of electric blender and blend on high until smooth. With blender running, add 2 to 3 ice cubes at a time through the center opening in the lid until all ice cubes have been added. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.






About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.