Healthy snacks are important for everyone! Athletes and non-athletes included. Snacking can be a helpful way for athletes to build muscle and recover after an intense training session or competition. Unhealthier foods that are high in sugar, sodium, and inflammatory fats can interfere with recovery and may reduce athletic performance. For a healthy snack, opt for fruits and vegetables with whole grains, lean protein, or low-fat dairy.
Exercise scientists have proposed 3 R’s to recovery from exercise: refuel, rehydrate, and repair.
Refuel. Carbohydrate-rich foods will help you refuel and replace glycogen stores for your next training session.
Rehydrate. Rehydrating with liquids will help replace fluids lost in sweat.
Repair. Protein might help restore glycogen, and will enhance muscle-repair processes.
This Strawberry Banana Smoothie fulfills the 3 R’s deliciously without hard-to-find ingredients or protein powders. It’s also quick and easy to make. This beverage will be extra refreshing if you start with frozen bananas or strawberries.
Strawberries, like other berries, are one of the most nutritious fruit: they are rich in vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. They also rank higher in antioxidant power than most fruits and vegetables. Berries also contain anthocyanin, a phytochemical that helps fight oxidative cell damage that can lead to chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Bananas are rich in fiber, and an excellent source of potassium, an essential mineral that most people don’t get enough of in their diets. Bananas also contain plant lectins, a type of protein being studied for disease-fighting properties.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.