Hello friends! This beautiful green smoothie will refresh & replenish you, no matter how blistering it is outside. It’s getting hot, hot HOT here in Manila, although I see from my weather app that it’s still blessedly cool in some parts of the world. It’s not like we really have Spring here. It pretty much goes straight from “warm but tolerable” to “super hot” in a matter of days. None of this “April showers” business… we save the rainstorms for July. And call them typhoons.
But I digress. In heat like this, I find myself needing to have something cold & refreshing after our “even my shins are sweating” bootcamp workouts. There is a season when I like to have pancakes after a workout… but anymore it’s just too hot for that, and I want something to help me cool down, as well as replenish my lost nutrients.
This green smoothie does the trick. It’s light, filling, and so cold that I have to be careful about how fast I drink it. It’s full of electrolytes like potassium to help my body rehydrate, and has plenty of carbs to replenish my glycogen stores. I also added protein powder to give it extra staying power & refuel my tired muscles. This makes it different from my previous “favourite green smoothie” which is perfect for pre-workout because it’s super-light and empties from your stomach quickly… no fear of seeing it twice, haha.
Let’s talk about protein powders for just a minute. There are sooo many out there… how do you ever choose?? Here’s what I look for in a protein powder:
- First and foremost, either unsweetened or sweetened with stevia. Many protein powders the artificial sweeteners aspartame or acesulfame-K. Recent studies have raised suspicion around these sweeteners as to their impact on gut health and metabolic processes like insulin release and blood sugar regulation. I think it’s safer to go with a natural herbal sweetener like stevia.
- For a whey or whey & casein protein (basically a milk-based protein), I like to choose one that is grass-fed and free of hormones or antibiotics.
- For a vegan protein, I like to choose a blend of pea and hemp or pumpkin seed protein. This blend gives a good mix of all the essential amino acids.
- I look for one that doesn’t contain inulin or chicory root fiber… my digestive system does not do well with these fibres, causing me gas & bloating. I found this out the hard way during my contest prep last fall.
But why use a protein powder at all? Good question. I’m certainly not a pusher of protein powders, and I think most people likely get adequate protein from their normal diets. However, after a workout, your muscles will recover faster if your post-workout meal or snack contains a mixture of carbohydrates and protein, rather than pure carb. I use the protein powder to help me achieve this. You can also do it by adding 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seeds or nut butter. It’s really up to you here. These are my favourite protein powders that are either available here in Manila, online with delivery to Manila, or in the US.
I hope you love it too. Stay cool, friends!