Why This Pre-Training Smoothie Recipe?
Many factors play a role in optimizing pre-training fuel. You don't have to pay attention to every factor on every workout. Short or easy workouts simply don't require this level of nutrition.
If your primary goal is weight loss rather than athletic performance, you can get away with less and concentrate mostly on adequate hydration.
When training for a long duration, at moderate or high intensity, and with the goal of optimal performance, you should focus in on the following nutrients.
It's important to use the right carbohydrates at the right times before training. For example, it can take several hours for a high-fiber meal to be absorbed and metabolized. If you eat a bowl of Fiber One immediately before a 4-hour ride, it may well still be setting in your stomach by the time you you're showering afterwards.
Instead, choose moderately fast-acting carbs—which are accelerated in the liquid form of a smoothie—from a variety of sources such as fruit, honey, chia and dairy, if tolerated, just a couple of hours beforehand.
Protein is also important before long training. As long as you choose sources that are easy for you to digest, proteins are a great compliment to carbohydrates. Many athletes choose plain dairy yogurt because it provides both a fast acting (whey) and a slow acting (casein) protein.
If you have any issues digesting dairy, choose a non-dairy protein powder or other source of whole-food protein.
There's good reason to consume these healthy bacteria before and after training. They can reduce gastrointestinal issues like nausea even in the short-term, and they increase the absorption of antioxidants. You'll find them in the yogurt of the pre-training smoothie.
The natural enzymes found in live foods, such as fresh fruit and organic honey, can aide digestion. Since many athletes experience digestion issues while training, the more enzymes included in pre-training nutrition the better.
The more work your body's doing, the more biochemical reactions take place. With more reactions, you can get more of a build-up of free radicals and oxidative stress. In both the short-term and the long-term, this can spell trouble at the cellular level. The antioxidants found in fruits and organic honey can neutralize these troublemakers.