I'm not a morning person.
Every day, I try to leave myself enough time to fully wake up, take the dog out and prep myself for the day. But after hitting snooze a couple more times than I should, I scramble to get the essentials together. Sound familiar?
Although piecing my morning together is hectic, I always make sure to grab breakfast. This advice is probably engraved into your skull, but eating a healthy breakfast is absolutely essential to having a productive day. It helps maintain blood sugar levels, revs up your metabolism, and produces adequate energy for athletic performance.
Breakfast smoothies are a good way to get a quick, healthy meal. Here's why:
1. They're easy
You don't even need to prep your shake the night before like I do. Really, all it takes is grabbing some frozen fruit, vegetables, protein source (generally protein powder), and a liquid and boom!—you have breakfast.
2. Helps you eat your vegetables
A shake allows you to add 1 or 2 servings of vegetables without altering the taste. Generally, I have athletes keep frozen kale and spinach on hand at all times and put it into their breakfast smoothies. Then add their favorite fruits and nut butters to mask the taste. If you know you need to get your vegetables, but the thought of suffering through a salad every day makes you cringe, try starting with a hidden serving in your smoothie every morning.
3. Usually, it's the healthiest choice
Since most of us don't have time to cook a healthy breakfast, the choices are slim to none. This is where a smoothie comes into play. Grabbing a piece of fruit when you're heading out the door is great, don't get me wrong; but it's not enough to sustain athletes who need serious game-time fuel.
4. It keeps you satiated
One of the biggest issues I hear about from athletes and general nutrition clients is mid-morning hunger and lack of energy. Guess what? A breakfast smoothie will fix both of those problems. One of the beauties of making a shake is that you can take it with you anywhere. You don't have to force it down, and you can extend the time you're drinking it. Longer consumption time equals no mid-morning hunger and stable blood sugar and energy levels.
Also, when you make the smoothie right, it's packed with a ton of protein and fiber, which helps keep you full and allows for proper digestion. Adding protein powder obviously increases your protein intake, while berries and leafy vegetables provide the proper amount of fiber. Put in a serving of each.
5. It's packed with nutrients
A smoothie should contain 5 parts:
- Vegetables (frozen kale or spinach)
- Healthy fats (nut butter, coconut oil, avocado, seeds)
- Protein (powder or hemp seeds)
- Fruit (berries or banana)
- A liquid base (water or nut milk).
Hitting each of these categories is like ingesting a multivitamin, except it keeps you full and energized.
My favorite muscle-building smoothie:
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 serving whey protein (25-30g)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup water
My favorite general health smoothie:
Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen kale
- 1 serving vanilla whey protein (25-30g)
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup water
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