After an intense exercise session, you must fuel your body to replenish the depleted glycogen stores and help your body rebuild and strengthen its muscles. Here are 8 refreshing recovery drinks loaded with superfoods; the nutrient rich foods that are especially beneficial to your health and well-being. These will give you the much needed glucose replenishment, while quickly restoring the electrolytes levels to normal. Rehydration is a major part of the post-workout recovery process.
To make them more refreshing, use frozen or chilled ingredients; add ice if you wish. You can also make them before your exercise routine and keep them in the fridge, so they are chilled and ready anytime you want them.
#1 – Chocolate, Banana Smoothie
This is one refreshingly cool and chocolaty treat that not just tastes amazing, it’s also bursting with health. In this recipe, bananas are blended with Greek yogurt and cocoa. Banana is considered a superfood as it’s filled with many nutrients like fibre, potassium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Bananas are called the number one fruit for athletes. The tryptophan content in bananas helps to improve mood and boost memory power. You can use frozen bananas rather than fresh ones, to make a thick slushy smoothie.
Greek yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. These are the good microorganisms that keep your digestive tract healthy while strengthening the immune system. Just like bananas, Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium and potassium. Decreasing the sodium intake, while increasing the potassium intake, is an important dietary change for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Greek yogurt is a fulfilling treat after a tiring workout. It is rich in amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle tissue repair and regeneration. Greek yogurt is also rich in Iodine, which is needed for proper thyroid functioning and ultimately a healthy metabolism.
This one looks really appetizing when served in tall glasses, garnished with slices of fresh banana
#2 – Red Velvet Smoothie
Loaded with superfoods, you’ll be surprised just how yummy this tastes. Raw red beets and strawberries are what gives that attractive red colour while almond milk, dates, cocoa and agave nectar add up to make this a really healthy drink. Agave nectar is said to be a healthier choice than sugar as it has a relatively low glycemic index value.
Red beets are an incredible source of vitamins and minerals: beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron are, but a few of them. Ancient Romans are known to have used these medicinally as an aphrodisiac. The high amounts of boron in beets boost the production of human sex hormones.
Cocoa contains iron, magnesium, flavonoids and many other antioxidants. Raw Cocoa nibs are a better choice if you can get them, than super refined cocoa powders. The Cacao nibs add a better texture and taste to your drink. They are also said to substantially increase saliva activation.
#3 – Toasted Coconut & Fig Almond Milk Smoothie
Toasted Coconut and dried figs add an unusual flavour to this delicious smoothie. You can substitute with dates, if you don’t have any figs. Use any brand of almond milk or make your own from soaked almonds. Almond butter, raw honey, frozen bananas and cocoa are the other superfoods in this refreshing summer drink.
Figs contain numerous beneficial nutrients, including phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins A, B1, and B2, and minerals like calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine and manganese. Figs contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. The insoluble fibre aids bowel movements and the soluble fibre helps slow digestion while stabilizing and lowering blood sugar levels. Figs are also known to help lower serum triglyceride levels.
#4 – Apple Banana Chia Seed Smoothie
The highlight of this refreshing summer drink is Chia seeds. The superfood Chia seeds are one of the best sources of Omega fatty acids, the powerful antioxidants which are believed to slow down aging and encourage tissue regeneration.
Chia seeds are great for hydration as they are hydrophilic. This means they dissolve easily in water and will not give that gritty feel on the tongue like some of the other seeds, when blended into a drink. Chia seeds expand when they absorb liquid, so they naturally thicken any drink they are added to. This one is great choice for diabetics too, since Chia seeds slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine. You can grind Chia seeds into a paste and store them, so that it can be easily added to any drink.
Yoghurt, apples and bananas are the other superfoods blended into this drink. Apples contain a wealth of antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fibre that can help reduce the risk of developing many diseases like cancer and heart disease.
#5 – Papaya-Banana Smoothie
The superfood papaya is the key ingredient in this incredible recovery drink. Blending papaya into your drinks creates a very creamy and smooth texture. Papaya has plenty of active enzymes that aid digestion.
Flavoured with vanilla and blended with Greek yogurt, this smoothie is rich in protein and calcium, both of which aid muscle and bone growth. A great way to enhance the health benefits of this drink is to add an additional superfood like Aloe Vera. This is a natural diuretic. It is better to use the thick gooey natural stuff, though you can also use Aloe Vera water. A little goes a long way, so use just a spoonful of the thick stuff, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
You can substitute the bananas in the recipe with pineapple if you wish. Pineapple is a refreshing addition to any summer drink; it is an unusually high source of vitamin C, even higher than in oranges.
#6 – Passion Fruit Hurricane
Cool yourself down after a sweaty workout session with this exhilarating fruit cocktail that blends together pink grapefruit juice and passion fruit puree with dark rum. Serve chilled, garnished with a wedge of fresh grapefruit.
A popular citrus fruit, the grapefruit is a marvellous source of nutrients like vitamins A, C, folate, fibre, choline, limonins and lycopene. It is well known for its antioxidant and immunity boosting properties. It aids digestions and helps lower cholesterol.
Passion fruits have high levels of Vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin-ß. Rum is said to be beneficial in alleviating arthritis as it aids in increasing the mineral density of bones. When taken in moderation, there are extensive health benefits associated with dark rum. It is well known as a great reliever for muscle pain.
#7 – Easy Raspberry Mango Iced Tea
Just imagine sipping a cup of iced tea on a sweltering hot summer afternoon. What could be more delicious and refreshing than this Raspberry Mango Iced Tea made with mango nectar and fresh raspberries? When making this drink, add English green tea bags to hot water and allow steeping for five minutes. Add the mango nectar and honey to this after the tea has cooled and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with raspberries and lots of ice.
Other than Vitamin C, red raspberries have powerful antioxidants like quercetin and gallic acid which protect against cancer, heart disease and age-related decline. The high ellagic acid content in raspberries gives it chemopreventative properties; regular consumption of raspberries can help inhibit, delay, or reverse carcinogenesis.
Green tea contains bioactive compounds that are highly beneficial for your health. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and catechins. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee, but its caffeine content works synergistically with the amino acid L-theanine to improve brain function. Green tea has been proven to boost the metabolic rates in the short term. This property of green tea is believed to aid weight loss efforts. According to research, green tea drinkers have lower risks of cardiovascular disease.
#8 – Cashew Ripple Strawberry Shake
This one feels more like a dessert than a drink, as the cashew butter adds a rich creamy taste. This healthy vegan summer drink uses superfoods like soy milk, strawberries and watermelon. It is wiser to use an unsweetened version of soy milk for your smoothies, as there will be natural sweetness in the other ingredients like the strawberries.
The fat in soy milk is mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. This makes it a much better choice than dairy milk that has high saturated fat and cholesterol content. Soy milk has powerful phyto-antioxidants as well as both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which protect blood vessels from lesions and haemorrhages. The phytoestrogen content in soy helps prevent the loss of bone mass in your body accelerating the calcium absorption.
Cashew butter is great for the immune system and for increasing muscle and skin tone. It contains a lot of essential amino acids and is loaded with phosphorus, copper, iron and magnesium. You can also substitute the cashew butter with peanut or almond butter in this recipe. Remember to serve this thick chilled concoction with a spoon rather than a straw.
If you want to learn the secrets of foods that will help you turn back the hands of time and restore your natural vitality and slimmer body, then check out the Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days program here:
Rick Kaselj, MS