When you want to build muscle, you need a diet that will support it. There’s no need to take steroids and stock up on bulks of protein powders. While some protein powder can help, you can get your protein from many other sources. It’s completely up to you how you want to gain it.
Protein is the important nutrient out of all for muscle building. The protein breaks down to help strengthen the tissue within the muscles. It aids in the repair and recovery period. You won’t just repair the tissues but build them stronger and bigger than before. The building of muscles is also not superficial. You do get extra strength in your arms, legs, and rest of your body.
Green smoothies are an excellent way to improve your health and strength. You can get all the nutrients straight into your body. There is little digesting needed, meaning the nutrients are easier to absorb within the intestines. Your muscles (and the rest of your body) will gain more of the necessary nutrients to help them grow, build, and strengthen.
You just need the best green smoothies. Here are the ones that you want to add to your weekly routine.
The Best Post-Workout Green Smoothie
There is only one post-workout smoothie you need. The great thing about this recipe is that you can constantly change up the ingredients. You just need to make sure you get the right type of ingredients.
You’ll want to get a liquid into your smoothie. Filter water, coconut water, or milk will be the best option. However, you can add some yogurt instead.
This recipe involves just five ingredients bases. We’ll then go on the type of ingredients you should add the types.
- 2 cups of leafy greens
- 1 cup of water/milk
- 2 cups of two different fruits (two ingredients)
- 2-5tbsp of seeds or nuts
- Put everything together in your blender and blitz until smooth
You can add more fruit if you’d like, but less is more when it comes to green smoothies. You want to choose fruits that will balance out the bitterness of the leafy greens, especially if you opt for collards or kale! Try to keep the stems from the leafy greens, as they include nutrients that are essential for building your muscles and improving your overall health.
If you want to give your smoothie more of a protein punch, add in some protein powder. Instead of the seeds and nuts, you can use nut butter. These will help to add a bit of creaminess to your smoothie, especially if you use water instead of milk.
Want to make your smoothie extra cold? Use frozen fruit rather than the stuff stored in the fridge. This will help you keep your fruits for longer since they can last weeks in the freezer! You can also add ice if your blender copes with the chunks.
Use the smoothie after your workout. The fruit will break down to give you the healthy carbs you need. You’ll get a boost of energy that is sustained. Your body will have used up extra energy during your workout, so needs replenishing to help with the muscle building and repair. The nut butter and milk (if using) will help to add protein to your smoothie.
Meanwhile, the dark leafy greens will add all the other nutrients you need. You’ll get the calcium, iron, antioxidants, magnesium, and more. These nutrients will give you more energy, build your bones, and help with the recovery process afterward. When your body works in harmony, you’ll get stronger and larger muscles.
What Should You Add in Your Perfect Post-Workout Green Smoothie?
Within the five ingredients, you have a little free rein. Don’t worry, because we’ll help you get only be best ingredients for the post-workout green smoothie.
Kale or spinach is the best leafy greens. When you stock up on leafy greens, look out for spinach and kale. Both are powerhouses when it comes to nutrients. They’re known as superfoods for a reason!
You’ll get iron, calcium, and much more in just one serving. There are debates over which green is better for you, but honestly, either one will work out. Spinach tends to have a less bitter taste to kale, so it often favored the most, but kale tends to have more iron and calcium.
Kale is also packed with a little more protein than spinach. You’ll remain fuller for longer without consuming a lot of calories. If you want to get rid of some of the bitterness, get rid of the stems. However, you’ll find you don’t get as many nutrients as you could have done.
You can get some benefits from collards, spring greens, and other dark leafy greens but kale and spinach are the best for the base of your smoothies.
Milk and Greek yogurt are good protein sources. Remember that it’s all about the protein. That’s why you want to choose a liquid that is going to help support your protein and energy needs. Milk and Greek yogurt are by far the best liquids for your protein sources. They are full proteins, meaning they have all the amino acids that you need within one serving.
When opting for either, look for the full fat and plain versions. Adding any flavors will just add unnecessary sugars. Light versions can also strip out some of the proteins! Yes, there will be extra calories, but the rest of your smoothie will be low, so it will all balance out.
The downside is the lactose. Not everyone can handle the natural sugars in milk and Greek yogurt. And they are animal products, which aren’t great if you want to follow a vegan lifestyle.
So, what are your options? Well, almond and coconut milk are good alternatives. They’re regularly used now to replace milk alternatives, and not just by those following a vegan lifestyle. They’re excellent for dieters as they are lower in calories, don’t have the natural sugars, and still have plenty of protein and calcium.
You can also choose soy milk if you’re allergic to nuts. Soy beans are full proteins, so you don’t lose out on the amino acids.
With all the options above, you get a creamy smoothie. This is something that water will miss.
Coconut water for the electrolytes. If you don’t want any milky bases, you can add a different liquid. While normal water is good, coconut water is better. This is packed with minerals that turn into electrolytes within your body. They will add far more benefit to your energy levels after your workout.
When you sweat, you will lose minerals that help with the replenishing of energy. You can struggle with your health if you don’t replenish them and will suffer more muscle cramps. Coconut water will put them back into your body, making it a worthy addition to your green smoothie.
Coconut milk offers some of the same benefits, but it’s not as good. Mineral water can help, but it’s not as good as coconut water.
Choose a sweet citrus/acidic based fruit. Look out for fruits that are citrusy or acidic. These can include oranges, lemons, and even pineapples. There are a few reasons for this.
The first is the water content. Citrus fruits are extremely juicy and will blend well with a smoothie. They’re also sweet and help to balance out the bitterness of the green veggies. You can forget that you’re eating them
Another major benefit is a number of nutrients that you’ll get the acidic fruits. They’re packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. These nutrients will help with the repair of your muscles while reducing inflammation and supporting your immune system. Your whole body recovers from the workout quicker, which means you’ll find it easier to build more muscle.
Then there’s the fiber count within the fruit. Your body will need something that helps to sustain its energy levels. The fiber will break down slowly, so you constantly have something to work on. Despite being low in calories, you feel fuller for longer and will keep your digestive system working.
Finally, there are the carbohydrates. While carbs are considered bad for you, they are also essential for improving your energy levels. Complex carbs that you get in fruit are essential for sustained and durable energy levels. You’ll replenish the energy that you used up during the workout and feel better for longer.
Always opt for the whole fruit. Don’t replace with juices, as they don’t have the fiber. You get all the carbs, but they’re simplified and put your health at risk.
Choose a fruit packed with antioxidants. The second fruit should be packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Berries are excellent additions to your smoothies, especially blueberries. They work well with all citrus fruits and the dark leafy greens.
The antioxidants are essential for supporting the whole health. When your immune system is supported, you don’t get the same inflammatory response within the digestive system and muscles. The whole-body repairs and your intestines will absorb more nutrients that you offer.
If you don’t want berries, then look out for bananas. They’re packed with potassium to replace the energy levels after your workout. They also make excellent creamy bases if you’re going to use coconut water for your smoothie. You’ll get a smoother taste and find it easier and more filling to drink.
Nuts and seeds for the protein power. The final ingredient is 2-5tbsp of nuts and seeds. Start on the lower end of the scale and add more if you feel you need them. The nuts and seeds won’t break down fully in the smoothies, so you end up with a few chunks.
Both nuts and seeds are full of protein and healthy fats. The two nutrients work together to sustain energy levels, reduce hunger, and support the metabolism. The healthy fats are used by the body to create ketones to keep the metabolism working. After your workout, you can burn more calories for up to 48 hours during the muscle repair but only if you get the ketones to help.
Healthy fats also support the brain health. When the cognitive functions are working properly, you will find the metabolism and muscle repair work more efficiently.
The nuts and seeds will also add selenium to your diet. This is a nutrient we tend to be deficient in and tend to notice through fatigue. Too many people assume the fatigue is due to lack of iron and forget about nuts!
Nut butter can add a creaminess to your smoothie if you choose to avoid bananas when using coconut water. They also add more healthy fats, as well as the protein for the muscle building. You can replace with sun butter if you have a nut allergy. Almond butter does tend to be the best option for protein, but peanut butter is a good and cheaper option.
When using nut butter, you’ll only need a tablespoon at the most. This can be high in calories. Look out for natural forms for best results.
Protein powder for the extra punch. Whey protein powder is the most popular option when you want the extra protein punch. It’s not necessary but is an option if you want to build more muscle quickly. You only need a tablespoon at the most for good results.
The downside to whey protein powder is that it is milk based. If you are vegan or allergic to dairy, you’ll need to look out for soy protein powder. It’s not as effective, but still a good option.
Turn into a pre-workout smoothie with oats. If you want to make your post-workout smoothie suitable for the pre-workout snack, you should add some oats to your drink. Oats will offer you more fiber and carbohydrates to get you through the workout. You want the boost of sugars within your system to use up while you get to work, but the sugars won’t break down in the bloodstream and set off your insulin response.
It’s time to turn your snacks into a powerhouse for your muscle building. The after-work out green smoothie is an excellent way to repair the muscles and add energy back into your body. All of this is without the calories that most other snacks would offer. You get the sustained energy levels while still creating a calorie deficit. Even the protein powder and nut butter won’t be detrimental to your weight loss efforts.
Get creative with your smoothies. You’ll soon have a list of green smoothies that are you’re go-to to build muscle.