Earlier this week, I asked people on my Facebook and Twitter to share some of their favorite pre and post practice foods. The foods most people mentioned were sweet potatoes, kale chips, nuts, fruit, and granola bars. Two people said smoothies.
I love smoothies! They are my favorite thing for both pre and post practice. Since I have pinned a bunch of different recipes, I thought I’d share some of them here for you, (Note: I am not a nutritionist, I am a journalist who likes to research things, in this case, smoothies.)
1 scoop peanut butter protein powder (vanilla will also work)
1 TB natural peanut butter
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 banana (preferably frozen)
3-5 ice cubes
Since I also love chocolate, I like to add a tablespoon of cacao powder.
Blend and enjoy!
I really like this one because you get protein and a natural sugar boost before going into a long (and sometimes hot) derby practice. It also offers potassium (prevents muscle cramping and balances electrolytes) and healthy carbs.
5 raw almonds
1 red apple
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup non fat milk (I substitute unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3-5 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients
This is really more of a morning practice smoothie to me. But if it’s the end of the work day, and you still have a two to three hour practice to get through, this has plenty of protein and natural sugar to give you a boost,
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup chocolate milk
3 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water (I like to use coconut water for extra rehydration)
3 – 5 ice cubes
This is an excellent recovery smoothie for several reasons. The water or coconut water replaces what you sweated out during practice. The berries are high in antioxidants, and the vitamins prevent muscle soreness. Also, you get some much-needed protein. Protein after a workout helps you build lean muscle and prevent muscle soreness. If you really want to read all the details about how much to eat or drink, I found this article and this article.
Now if you are going to work right after practice, you may want something more substantial. When I was a morning news producer, my routine was to rush home from practice, shower, scarf down a salad and maybe a bowl of lentil soup, and then go. Booty Quake of Roller Derby Athletics recommended a bowl of lentil soup as a good post practice meal, so I feel pretty confident in recommending that to everyone… unless it’s still ridiculously hot where you live (like Texas). Then maybe stick with the smoothie.
Don’t neglect your body. You need to have something on your stomach before and after a practice to fuel your exercise and properly recover.