Health 29th Jan 2020

Pre & Post Workout Smoothie Collections

Pre & Post Workout Smoothie Collections

If you want to have a good workout, it’s important to have the right fuels for the type of workout you are doing.

There are three main types of fuels the body uses. Let’s take a look at how our body utilizes these fuel sources during workouts.
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What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are long and short chains of sugar molecules commonly known as sugars, starches and fibres. Carbohydrates are the body’s first choice of energy to use for our brain, muscle, and red blood cells. Amongst the three categories, sugar is the most direct source of energy, comprised of one or two sugar molecules. Foods from this category are often associated with having a sweet taste, such as berries, bananas, apples etc. Starches are long chains of sugar molecules. They take longer to become energy for our cells as these longer chains requires digestive enzymes to break they down for absorption. Foods from this category are often associated with the term ‘carbs’ from popular diets. Some examples include: chickpeas, black beans, and sweet potatoes. Whole food sources of starches and sugar often contain fibre, which doesn’t contribute to energy (or calories), because it doesn’t get broken down by digestive enzymes completely, but they serve important functions such as improving satiation, cleansing the colon and regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

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Why are Carbohydrates Important For Exercise and Performance?

During physical activity, carbohydrates are the most efficient fuel the body can break down for quick access. This is especially true for short duration and high intensity exercises. Good examples of these are cross fit, sprinting and HIIT (high intensity interval training). Sugar molecules are stored in the liver and muscles for sustained energy as exercise duration increases. To improve your performance for short duration and high intensity exercises, consider adding small amounts natural sugar such as ¼ cup berries or ½ apple to your workout shake 1-2 hours before your session.

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What are Proteins? Why is Protein Important for Recovery?

Proteins are complex structures of building blocks called amino acids. When high protein foods (like almonds, eggs and salmon) are consumed, our digestive enzymes break down these proteins into amino acids that are vital for muscle growth and repair. Resistance training, such as weight lifting, bench pressing, body weight exercises, increase your daily protein needs from 0.8 g/kg (body weight) per day to 1.2-2 g/kg per day depending on the length and intensity of your training. There are three amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that play a significant role in muscle repair process: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Consider eating BCAA-rich foods such as eggs, whey protein, lentils, chickpeas, brown rice and almonds within 2 hours post-workout to improve recovery and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.

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What are Fats? Why are Fats Important for Exercise and Endurance?

Fats are structures of fatty acid chains. New studies suggest that healthy fats have the potential to improve endurance athletes' performance. We have limited storage for carbohydrates as we can only store carbohydrates in our muscles and liver for a total of approximately 400-600g, however, we have a much higher reservoir of adipose tissues. For example, a healthy 65 kg (144 lb) woman who has 25% body fat can store 16,250g body fat. Stored carbohydrate starts to deplete after about two hours of moderate intensity exercise, so the ability to become metabolically flexible and tap into fats for energy is important to improve endurance training, whether you’re a long distance runner, swimmer, cycler, or hiker. A special type of fatty acid, called medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are beneficial as it can be converted to available energy faster than other types of fats. If you want to improve your endurance, consider adding healthy fats such as 1tsp nut butter, 1 tsp MCT oil or hemp/flax oil, or ½ avocado to your shake before endurance training.

If your fitness program consists of a combination of strength, endurance and resistance training, consider using the tips above to change up the ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats when preparing your pre and post workout meals. Feel free to change up the smoothie recipes to make them suit your training.

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Pre-workout: Power Berry Smoothie

Pre workout: Power Berry Smoothie

Serving 1

Ingredients

1 tsp beet powder

½ cup organic mixed berries

½ organic cucumber

1 tsp MCT oil

1 tsp almond butter

¼ banana

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Additional filtered water if desired

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Post-workout: Green Recovery Smoothie

Green Recovery Smoothie

Serving 1

Ingredients

½ scoop whey protein powder

1 big leaf of kale

1 tablespoon spirulina

1 kiwi

½ avocado

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Additional filtered water if desired

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Products Mentioned

Salus Red Beet Crystals

Sealicious MCT + Omega 3 Oil

Prairie Naturals Organic Spirulina Powder

Garden of Life Grass Fed Whey Protein

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If you want to have a customized fitness/nutrition plan including pre and post workout meal ideas, book your nutrition consultation with Tahlia here (https://finlandiahealth.janeapp.com/#/staff_member/14).

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Author Bio


Tahlia Sage








Tahlia Sage is the founder of Tahlia Sage Wellness and a partner of Healing House Natural Wellness, and instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Her coaching practice helps clients achieve their wellness goals by embracing functional foods and healthy lifestyle changes. Tahlia’s own health challenges and weight issues prompted her to pursue an education in nutritional science and holistic nutrition. Tahlia empowers her clients to regain balance with easy, concrete steps.

Disclaimer: If you are pregnant or suffer from any illness, please seek advice from your healthcare provider regarding safe exercise practices. This article is for information purposes only. 

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