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My Daily Post Run Fuel (It's a Smoothie)

Updated: Mar 8

I get asked all the time about fueling and nutrition as a runner. It can be complicated. A lot of people want to slim down or lose a few pounds, but it's really challenging to train in a caloric deficit and can be dangerous. What I'm focused on in fueling, which I feel has helped me, is trying to get nutrient-dense fuel down shortly after training. I have a habit of pushing fueling off until later. When I've done this in the past, my body would not be able to recover because I wasn't providing it with the energy and nutrients it needed after hard training. I've gotten a lot better, and most days, shortly after runs, I make a smoothie. I've made a version of this smoothie for almost a decade, but I made some significant tweaks a few years ago. It's nearly perfect now. So that's my tip. Take this recipe, change it, make it yours, blend it all up, and enjoy.

banana spinach oat milk walnuts smoothie for recovery after running

I ran the numbers a few places, and depending on where you look, this thing has at least 32g of protein, which you can easily make higher by doing another scoop of protein powder. I've been using Ka'chava. It has a ton of other micronutrients. I really enjoy it, but I'm sure there are many other incredible options as well. I had used Garden of Life protein and greens for over 5 years, and they are also a great option. Based on my recommended daily amounts (RDAs), the amount I'm supposed to be getting of each nutrient, this thing has ALL of the Calcium, Vitamin A, Folate, B12, B2, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc, B5, etc, etc, etc. You get it. And this should go without saying, but anytime you get those nutrients from real food, they will be more absorbable than from a pill or supplement. That's also why, for Greens, I've always used the Super Greens blend from Sprouts. It's spinach, kale, chard, and mizuna. Most greens are packed with minerals, but this one is on another level for Iron and vitamins A, C, and K. It's easy to replicate getting any or all of those greens from any store.

Another pro tip is that I have and use a Vitamix blender. They're expensive, but dang, they're worth it. It can liquefy anything. The texture is on another level. I've used mine 1-2 times daily for at least 5 years, and we're still going strong. If you're blender is lacking in the performance department, wait to add the liquid ingredient until the end. Then slowly add just portions of the liquid, blending in between.

The last thing I'll leave you with is some tips on customization that have helped me. Smoothies are very personal. Every person likes theirs slightly differently. Adjust the amount of Ice, milk, and water to get yours how you want it. You'd be amazed by how an oz of water, one way or the other, drastically changes how much you like it. The same goes for ice cubes. The temperature really will impact this thing. So, blend it up, test it, and then alter it. More Ice will cool it down, milk can thicken it up, and a little water can help if it's too thick. And remember the goal is to get fueled properly and to enjoy this thing! Okay, I'm done, enjoy!

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 1 handful of walnuts

  • 1 tbsp almond butter

  • 1 scoop of Protein Powder

  • 1 cup frozen organic (wild) blueberries 

  • 1 Large handful of greens

  • 2 bananas

  • 1 cup oat/almond milk

  • 1 pitted date (optional)

  • Sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)

  • 1-2 cups of Ice

  • Usually needs 1-5 ounces of water, depending on how you like the thickness

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