Smoothies have become synonymous with healthy eating. Whether you’re making one for breakfast in the morning or opting for post-workout recovery, mixing combinations are a convenient way to get nutrients into your body quickly. However, your smoothie is only as good as what you put in it. You can fully customize smoothie recipes to meet your body’s needs and taste buds, tweaking ingredients to maximize nutrients, gain muscle, or lose weight. It has become a mind-boggling endeavor to identify what is healthy and what is smart marketing.
As a sports dieter, I made smoothies for athletes for years. So let’s dive into some of the add-ins that get top marks on why they’re good for you, and how to combine them into the ultimate smoothie for your goals. Note: Ideally, these supplements should be taken daily to achieve their full effect, as many are not stored in the body to be used on the following days.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. In the simplest sense, you can think of collagen as the glue that holds us together. It is the key structural protein that ensures the strength, elasticity and regeneration of our connective tissue, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones. The amino acids needed to make collagen in the body are different from those needed to build muscle. That’s why we think it’s a great addition to smoothies.
Best choice: Important collagen peptides
Why we like it: This product combines two high quality sources of collagen (grass-fed bovine skin and a collagen peptide formula that has been shown to boost collagen in tendons and ligaments) plus vitamin C, which has been shown to increase bioavailability (how easily something is absorbed and used by the body).
Try also: Vital proteins collagen peptides. The formula also contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to increase its effectiveness.[$25; vitalproteins.com]
Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances are herbal compounds used in herbal medicine to protect the body from biological and physical stressors. Recent pharmacological studies are rationalizing their effects at the molecular level, but more research is needed.
Best choice:: Navitas Organics Superfood + Adaptogen Blend
Why we like it: This blend combines three of the most powerful adaptogens (Maca, Reishi, and Ashwagandha). The herbs and mushrooms give it an earthy, slightly nutty taste that blends seamlessly into smoothies.
3. Probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes
This trio is important for gut health. When combined, they can reduce inflammation and heal damaged intestinal linings associated with leaky gut (which exacerbates celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome). Creating homeostasis in your gut can improve everything from digestion and nutrient absorption to more surprising obesity and depression.
Top choice: Floré from Sun Genomics Balance
Why we like it: Floré Balance is a unique supplement that contains six high quality, internally verified probiotic strains, prebiotic fiber, and immune support ingredients that have been shown to support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut. Each ingredient has gone through years of research and multiple levels of scientific rigor to validate its benefits. A good probiotic should have up to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) and at least five different strains per bottle, according to Harvard Medical School. Floré Balance has 80 billion CFU / g, making it a high-dose prebiotic and probiotic. You can buy it in powder form or pour each capsule into your smoothie (make sure to keep them in your refrigerator; these are live microorganisms). To make sure you’re getting the optimal blend, take the brand’s personalized probiotic and gut flora test. Your custom probiotics subscription is $ 99 per month. and they offer free rewording until you feel an improvement.
4. All-in-one vitamins and minerals
Sometimes it is difficult to get all of the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables in one day. Boosting smoothies with all-in-one powders is the easiest way to solve this problem. The quality of these powders is extremely important. So, in this case, you are really paying for what you get (i.e., higher quality diet with no impurities).
Top choice: Athletic Greens
Why we like it: One scoop of Athletic Greens contains 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food ingredients that aid digestion, gut health, nervous system support, immunity, energy production, healthy aging, and hormonal and neural support.
Other superfood add-ins that will give your smoothies a boost include:
- Go RED Superberry Exercise Restoration Blend: This exercise restoration blend is loaded with powerful antioxidants to aid cell repair, alleviate muscle damage caused by exercise, and support the immune system.
- Laird Performance Mushrooms: Mushrooms are powerful foods that offer a ton of health benefits. This powder combines chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane and maitake mushrooms. It’s the perfect addition to your smoothie to add to your overall wellbeing and keep your body and mind energized throughout the day.
- Cherry Pie Cherry Juice: Pie cherry juice is one of the most popular recreational drinks for athletes because it contains some of the highest levels of anthocyanins – antioxidants that are responsible for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation caused by exercise.
- Ayni Smooth Digestive Superpowder:: This supplement combines bioavailable prebiotics, digestive enzymes and adaptogens in one tasty powder. Turmeric and cinnamon (adaptogens) fight inflammation; Maqui berry (antioxidants) and prebiotic inulin (prebiotic) feed good bacteria in the colon and improve nutrient absorption; and Cat’s Claw (adaptogen) helps cleanse the GI tract, while green papaya (high fiber digestive aid) promotes regularity. Cinnamon and turmeric are the main flavor profiles, but its general earthiness makes it especially good with chocolate protein powder.
The best smoothie recipes for men
Best smoothie for relaxation
If you work long hours but train for a half marathon in your spare time, you need a smoothie that is loaded with nutrients that will promote exercise and aid recovery from early morning workouts.
Best smoothie to build muscle
If your goal is to gain muscle mass and strength and you are exercising five days a week, you need to prioritize protein. If you’re struggling with poor appetite in the morning or after a workout, this smoothie is easy to come by.
Best smoothie for weight loss
If you want to lose 10 to 15 pounds in the next three months while maintaining muscle mass, drink this smoothie as a replacement for your usual breakfast. The recipe is great for someone who is dairy or lactose intolerant.
Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, is the nutrition and team sports dietician coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
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