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Make the Perfect Post-Workout Smoothie, 3 Ways

Three protein-packed smoothies for the morning, afternoon and evening.

Kayla Ramsey

After a workout, it’s important to have a recovery routine that’s just as thoughtful as the exercise regimen, especially if you want to do something active the next day. As a topical treatment, ice helps with the swelling, and therefore the pain, but drinking a shake with a combination of protein and carbs can also expedite recovery. There’s some debate about the amount of protein needed and about the ratio of carbs to protein that should go into a shake — and all of that will depend on what type of athlete you are and how much you weigh — but as a rule you’ll be less sore the next day if you hit the protein within 30 minutes of a hard workout. We asked Shom Chowdhury, founder of NYC’s Indie Fresh at Gotham West Market — a store and takeout spot that specializes in nutritious food without gluten, dairy and excess sugar — how to make three delicious post-workout smoothies: one for the morning, one for the afternoon and one for the evening.

Coffee and Almond Butter Smoothie

It’s breakfast and coffee in the same cup. In the morning, coffee is a must. So this smoothie will give that recovery and caffeine kick. “What I like about this drink is that it’s a meal, breakfast drink and mid-afternoon snack all in one,” says Chowdhury. “Can’t beat that.”
Makes: one 16-ounce smoothie
1 1/4 ounces almond butter
1 ounce almond milk
4 ounces coconut water
1 date
1/2 banana
1/3 ounce cocoa nibs
1 ounce Aloha protein*
1/2 ounce granola
8 ounces cold-brew coffee

*Aloha is a brand of natural plant-based protein, which can come from hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and peas. Chowdhury says you can any form of plant-based or whey protein in this recipe.

Preparation: Put all ingredients into a blender, mix to desired thickness (30-90 seconds) and enjoy.

Blueberry Cayenne Smoothie

The no-need-to-eat-lunch drink. “We wanted to develop a smoothie with absorbable protein that tasted good and could legitimately replace a meal,” says Chowdhury. People go crazy about calories. Too little leaves them wanting more. And too many will tire you out. This smoothie consists of a lean-form protein, and is packed with vitamins and other supplements. Its blueberries are a natural sweetener, says Chowdhury, and cayenne is a guaranteed energy boost. It’s the perfect smoothie to hold you off until dinner.

Makes: one 16-ounce smoothie
1 ounce whey protein
1/4 ounce Aloha protein
1 drop cayenne extract
4 ounces blueberries (or one handful)
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 whole banana
4 ounces coconut water
1 1/2 ounces almond milk
1/4 ounce of granola
1 1/2 ounces almond butter
1 1/2 ounces cold-pressed ginger juice
1/3 ounce of maple syrup

Preparation: Put all ingredients into a blender, mix to desired thickness (30-90 seconds) and enjoy.

Avocado Mango Matcha Smoothie

A green drink, for dessert? “For a shake on the go that doesn’t make you feel like you have to run 10 miles, this is my favorite,” says Chowdhury. Avocados are known to be a source of good fat, a better source of potassium than bananas, and great for post-workout hydration and cramp prevention, says Chowdhury. This smoothie uses a light protein, so it won’t fill you up. And it’s sweet, exactly what you want at the end of a day.

Makes: one 16-ounce smoothie
9 ounces coconut water
1 3/4 ounces of coconut milk
1/2 avocado
5 ounces sliced mango
2/5 ounce matcha powder
1 ounce spinach
1 ounce Aloha protein

Preparation: Put all ingredients into a blender, mix to desired thickness (30-90 seconds) and enjoy.

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