Smoothies are a healthy way to start the day, but what about when it comes to working out?
Is it a good idea to drink them before you hit the gym or afterwards?
One of the best times to drink a smoothie is half an hour before you pump iron, as it will provide you a significant energy boost to power through the workout. It’s also worth considering replenishing your body post-workout with a healthy smoothie.
Everybody loves a good smoothie.
They’re chock full of vitamins and minerals, but more importantly, they taste great!
But where do they fit into your workout schedule?
In this guide we’re going to explore the reasons to consider consuming smoothies both pre and post-workout, so you can time them in a way that suits you.
We’re not going to claim that it’s better to take them pre-workout or post-workout, because in all honesty that won’t help you get the best results for your body.
Instead, we’re going to assess the benefits of drinking a smoothie at various times of the day around your exercise regime.
Pre workout is a recognized term in the world of fitness, because it’s an important window of consumption.
While some people fast going into a workout, stretch, or do breathwork to prepare themselves, others enjoy the lift that a good meal or drink can provide.
A good pre workout is meant to get you fired up for your upcoming workout so you can push for personal bests in the gym and sustain your energy throughout.
It’s not uncommon to drink a pre-fabricated blend of creatine or even drink a cup of coffee before getting sweat on, but there is a healthy option that is often overlooked.
And that’s the humble smoothie.
You might not think of a smoothie as being an energy-giving pre-workout designed to boost your performance in the gym, but there are a lot of reasons to give it a go.
The most compelling reason to drink a smoothie before a workout is that it can provide a blend of carbohydrates and protein.
It’s a commonly accepted fact in the fitness industry that there are two things your body needs to excel during physical exercise, and those are the macronutrients carbs and protein.
The carbohydrates serve the purpose of providing your body with an energy supply it can dip into, while the protein ensures your muscles have the amino acids they need to perform at their best.
But smoothies don’t have any protein in them, you might say.
Well, yes, while that is true, there is a simple solution: protein powder.
Smoothies on their own are essentially just blended fruits and sometimes vegetables, which will provide a lot of carbs, but not enough protein.
If you were to throw some protein powder into the mix, though, you would increase the potential of the smoothie to deliver the perfect combination of ingredients for a pre-workout.
If you don’t usually buy protein powder, or are skeptical about it, we suggest you give it a go since it also happens to be one of the best things you can take after a workout for muscle growth.
Just like with the pre-workout smoothie, for a post workout smoothie to work, you’re going to want to add a decent helping of protein powder to it.
One thing the body definitely needs in considerable amounts is protein.
Protein is the building block of muscles, and once you’ve broken down your muscles through rigorous exercise, you’re going to need it.
The goal of post workout supplements and nutrition is to replenish the body and provide it with everything it needs to thrive.
Specifically, you’re going to want more or less the same carbs and protein blend you would with a pre workout smoothie.
At this point, you might be thinking that drinking a smoothie both before and after a workout is necessary for optimal muscle growth and performance.
You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that, and many people do choose to fuel their bodies in this way.
One of the main reasons that the smoothie isn’t as popular as the protein shake, though, is that for many the idea of adding protein powder to fruits and vegetables isn’t palatable.
Whereas throwing dairy-based protein into a shaker of milk seems much more appetizing.
So, the conclusion here is that if you want to leave protein powder out of the mix altogether, then you’re best off just drinking the smoothies before a workout. Since unless you can add protein to the smoothie in some other way, it’s not going to be an ideal post-workout drink.
Other Times of Day
The smoothie is a versatile drink, and while it’s suitable in some ways for consumption before and after a workout, many people choose to drink it at other times of the day.
Here are some of the best times of the day to drink a smoothie:
After Waking Up
Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to get right.
If you care about fueling your body in the best way possible then it’s probably going to require a significant time investment on your part to prepare the right food.
That is unless you have something prepared in advance.
With the smoothie, you can pre-make a healthy blend of fruits and vegetables that will give you an energy boost first thing.
What’s more, it’s a breakfast that you can have on the go so you don’t have to worry about this meal taking up more of your time than it needs to.
Lunch time is another good time of the day to down a smoothie, especially if you’re constantly on the move and need something to keep you going.
While we wouldn’t go as far as to say a smoothie is a suitable meal replacement, if you add the right ingredients such as avocado or peanut butter, it can be a satiating drink.
That means you’ll have more time to focus on what really matters.
If you struggle to disconnect and unwind at the end of a work day, trying a smoothie at night isn’t such a bad idea.
There are some ingredients that are proven to have a positive effect on sleep and relaxation that you could easily blend up in a smoothie for great results. These ingredients include pistachios and tart cherries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Smoothies and Workouts
Is it good to drink a smoothie after working out?
Yes, it certainly isn’t a bad idea to chug a smoothie straight after a workout, provided it’s full of healthy ingredients.
It’s common knowledge that immediately after a workout the muscles are broken down and the body needs to replenish energy and support muscle growth.
Drinking a smoothie post-workout is a great way to boost your lowered energy levels and give your body the healthy fuel it needs to push through the day.
When should I drink a smoothie?
One of the best times to drink a smoothie is first thing in the morning, because it gives you a win straight after you wake up and helps lift your energy levels.
However, that’s not the only good time of day to get your daily smoothie in.
Taking on board plenty of vitamins and nutrients is a good idea at any time of day, particularly before and after a workout when you need them most.
Do smoothies make you fat?
Smoothies alone won’t make you fat, no.
However, if you’re putting extra ingredients in them like ice cream then you could potentially be taking on board more fat than you need to.
If you stick to fruits and veggies there’s little risk of putting on weight just by drinking smoothies, but to stay on the safe side limit consumption to a moderate amount.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Smoothies can give your body a kickstart both before you tackle a grueling workout, and after you’ve finished one.
If you want to know exactly what works for you, do some experimenting and see what feels best.