The Best Recovery Smoothie

There's no shortage of people who feel as if they can simply toss a bunch of ingredients into a blender and call it healthy. For the sake of this reality, we shall call them blender-maniacs. In order to avoid being one of those guys, this instructable was created by two athletes from the University of Notre Dame. Recovery smoothies are an everyday essential in order to sustain peak performance, and with the help of professional nutritionist Kevin Ricks at Notre Dame, we have come up with the perfect concoction for anybody to enjoy after exercise. Every ingredient in this smoothie has its value in helping the human body recover and function, and the finished product is quite tasty! Don't just stand there... start blending!

What you need:

Ingredients:

1. One beautiful banana (can be frozen or fresh)

2. 1 cup of frozen fruit (in this smoothie, we used strawberries and blueberries)

3. 1-2 handfuls of spinach (again, frozen or fresh)

4. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

5. 1 scoop of grass-fed whey protein (vanilla if possible for the best taste)

6. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

Tools:

1. Blender (remember to follow blender safety guidelines... watch those hands!)

2. A measuring device (should have "cup" increments)

3. A tablespoon

4. Your favorite cup!

Step 1: Toss Them Fruits In!

First, plop that banana in there. Bananas are rich with potassium, which helps regulate nutrients, waste, and hydration levels. They also help avoid cramping! Sidenote, please do not judge us on how our banana looks. Bruised bananas have hearts too (and nutrients).

Next comes the berries. Strawberries and blueberries are rich with natural sugars and antioxidants. That sounds pretty fancy, but in simple terms, this just means they help reduce inflammation after exercise. Remember, any frozen fruit works well, so feel free to use 1 cup of fruits like mango or cherries to keep your taste buds guessing!

And here comes the Irish! Just kidding, it's just the spinach. It is pretty much fact that most people don't love spinach, but we promise you can't taste it (and your body will love you for eating it). Spinach is a nutrient-rich green, and you can't grow unless you eat your veggies!

Coming in hot are chia seeds. Despite being an absolute hassle to pick out of your teeth, chia seeds are high in fiber and healthy fats. You honestly don't need chia seeds but throw them in because they are a superfood and we could all use some more of that in our lives.

Now, every day is a beach day, so you're going to need some protein to help rebuild those muscles. At Notre Dame, many nutritionists recommend Certified Grass Fed Whey protein from the brand Garden of Life. There are many proteins out there with a lot of bad stuff in them, as well as a lot of excess sugars. The protein in this smoothie is sugar-free and "clean" of bad ingredients. Thanks to the sugar and great taste of the fruit, there is no need to have a protein that is high in sugar just for better taste.

Lastly, is the liquid. We chose to use almond milk, as it provides healthy fats and a healthy heart. This is better than regular milk, as it is lower in sugar and has fewer calories. Keep in mind, water is an excellent liquid to use as well, but almond milk does have a few extra health benefits for recovery.

As you will see in the pictures above, one of the best parts of smoothie-making is watching that bad boy come to life, color by color. It truly is a process, so trust it.

Step 2: Blend That Puppy!

Now it's time for the real show. We hope nobody in your house is napping because it's about to get loud. All you have to do now, in the lyrics of Salt-N-Pepa, is "Ah, push it!" If you don't get that reference, this is awkward, so just go ahead and push the "blend" button. Also, remember to put the lid on!

Step 3: Drink It...

The moment you've been waiting for! Fill your favorite cup and reward your body with the fuel it deserves.

Smoothies are fantastic because they are so quick and easy to make, while also providing you with a lot of the same nutrients you would acquire from a full and healthy meal. We hope you enjoy our recipe, and if not, hope you at least had some good laughs along the way. Cheers!

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