For those times when you want something, quick, easy, tasty and nutritious to eat... you can’t go past a smoothie.
Smoothies are great for so many reasons. They’re easy to make, great to take with you on the go and when well-planned, can hit your macros and help you reach your goals.
In this blog, we’re talking about how you can create delicious smoothies that provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to stay fuelled and healthy every day.
What should you put into a smoothie?
You might be thinking, “but can’t you add anything to a smoothie?”
Well, you certainly can! But to make it a balanced meal that keeps you satisfied until your next meal; we recommend following a little bit of a smoothie plan.
The best smoothies contain a good hit of protein, a source of healthy fats and some carbohydrates for fuel. You can make a tasty and nutritious smoothie by following this simple method…
- Choose a protein source: Adding protein will ensure you stay full and it’ll also help with muscle development too.
- Protein powder is ideal in smoothies it provides creaminess and flavour. Whether you prefer a whey based protein or a plant protein powder, both work great in smoothies
- Greek yogurt is a great option too, it’ll add creaminess and a higher protein variety like Chobani will help you reach your protein target too
- Silken tofu! This works well in smoothies by delivering a creamy texture and a hit of protein too
- Pick some delicious carbohydrates: carbs are what your body uses as fuel so it’s important to include them in your smoothie. They also generally make the base of a smoothie.
- Add fresh or frozen fruit. These provide flavour, sweetness and heaps of macronutrients that’ll keep you healthy. Berries are a great choice if you’re on lower calories as you’ll get more volume compared to a banana for example
- Oats will keep you going for longer! They’re especially useful if you’re making a higher calorie/higher carb smoothie
- We love adding nut butters to smoothies such as peanut or almond butter as they offer a rich, decadent flavour to a smoothie. Yum!
- Seeds are great too! Flax, chia and hemp seeds are packed with natural plant-based omega 3s that are essential for bodily functions and heart health.
- For a fat source that doesn’t affect the taste, we recommend MCT Oil. It’s awesome for performance and energy!
- Veggies such as fresh spinach or frozen zucchini and cucumber work well in smoothies and offer (trust us!) they’ll not only add an array of extra micronutrients but will help bulk out your smoothie too
- Add a superfood powder! Try adding a teaspoon of Green Fusion or Red Fusion to your smoothie for your daily boost of vitamins
- Natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup are great. But be aware these contain calories and are high in carbs
- Stevia or monk fruit are our fave low-calorie sweeteners. You can try a sprinkle of Sweetvia but remember a little goes a long way!
7 super smoothie recipes to try
Do I need to add protein to my smoothie?
You certainly don’t have to, but we highly recommend it! Without protein powder your smoothie will be mostly made up of carbohydrates and fats, missing the third macronutrients that your muscles crave, protein.
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and stimulating growth, this is why high protein diets are so popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. However, protein has many more benefits than just supporting muscle development.
- Reduce your appetite and keeps you feeling fuller for longer (increased satiety)
- Boost your metabolism and promote fat loss
- Support bone health
- Reduce cravings and snacking
- Boost muscle mass and strength
- Help maintain weight loss
It’s also a great way to give your smoothie flavour, sweetness and creaminess without adding extra carbs or fats. Protein is great!
Should I have a smoothie before or after my workout/training?
Smoothies make an ideal snack or meal before or after training as they’re quick to make, great to take on the go and are a lighter choice that won’t leave you feeling too full.
The best smoothies for pre and post-workout contain a combo of protein and carbohydrates.
The protein helps fuel your muscles and keep you anabolic during your workout and promotes muscle recovery after exercise. Carbohydrates are what your body uses as fuel, so a smoothie containing healthy carbs will give you the energy to work out and will replenish what you burnt through during the workout.
Smoothies are a great meal option after training as they’re refreshing, easily digested and combat any post workout ‘hanger’ you might have.
Plus, after a strenuous workout sitting down to a plate of chicken and rice is often the last thing you feel like. A smoothie is a lighter meal option that will deliver all the nutrients your muscles are craving.
How to blend up your smoothie
A powerful blender is the way to go for an extra smooth smoothie with no lumps. We love using a Nutribullet blender, but any blender will do, you may just need to blend for longer in a lower powered blender to ensure everything is combined. You can also use a stick blender if that’s all you have!
The trick to an easily blended smoothie is the order in which you add your ingredients. First add your liquid ingredients such as yoghurt and milk followed by smaller sized ingredients like protein powder and seeds with larger ingredients such as frozen fruit and ice at the top. If using a bullet blender, you’ll want to do this in reverse as the blade screws onto the top of the cup.
This ensures larger ingredients like ice or big pieces of frozen fruit don’t get caught in the blades!