Smoothies are a great way to get the nutrients you need in a concentrated way that won't weigh you down before a serious performance. Don't limit your smoothie drinking to just before races; they can also provide a fast-fueling option for getting post-race recovery nutrition. Of course, what separates a smoothie that will promote performance from a sugar-loaded drink that will do just the opposite is the right blend of nutrients. What you throw in the blender also dictates whether the drink will fuel your pre- or post-race needs.
Before:Blends for sipping prior to a race effort should be easy to digest and higher in simple carbohydrates. The goal of this drink is to boost energy available to be used in your race effort. This is also a great chance to play with supplements and nutrients that could increase performance gains. There are also a few additives that could help boost performance, such as caffeine, beets, cordyceps, maca, branch chain amino acids (BCAA) and B vitamins, that might make good enhancements to your pre-workout smoothie.
Intense Short Race:
This blend should be simple to digest because you don't want to go into a hard effort with a full stomach, feeling weighed down or bloated. It should also be high in carbohydrates to promote topping off fuel stores available for immediate burning.
Coconut Water + Pineapple + Mango
Almond Milk + Maple Syrup + Banana
Espresso + Coconut Milk + Banana + Turbinado Sugar
Beet Juice + Blueberries + Almond Milk + Banana
Endurance Road Race:
These events are long and include sustained stamina with random bursts of intensity. You need a blend with lasting power; mostly carbs but also some protein and fats.
Avocado + Coconut Oil + Banana + Orange Juice + Dates
Peanut Butter + Banana + Strawberries + Oats
Coconut Milk + Sweet Potato + Banana + Maple Syrup + Chia Seeds
Almond Milk + Almond Butter + Cold Brew + Zucchini + Cocoa