We train to recover. In a way, it’s that simple.
Yes, a lot of the hard work is put in at the gym, and eating the right things, and taking supplements. It’s all definitely the ‘input’ side of things, but skimp on the recovery part afterwards and all the hard work may as well have been for nothing.
The nutrients you eat after a workout, and then your night’s sleep, are the most important portion of the training cycle because without adequate recovery, your muscles will not grow as well, you won’t be able to concentrate and you won’t be able to go back stronger the next time.
And, if you really ignore this important part then you might even be doing yourself harm. Training is simply a stimulus for your muscles to overcompensate and grow back stronger and bigger…or your aerobic engine to come back with deeper and more resilient.
Training on its own actually depletes these things. What you do afterwards is what makes the difference.
So, with that fear factor thrown at you, let’s look at the recovery smoothie we have for the post workout window.
Protein, avocado, and banana are 3 of the ingredients, hence the silly name I’ve picked for this one.
If you’ve read the Fuel Smoothie 1: The Mochana then the ingredients complement this one quite well, and where it calls for half of an avocado, you could make this one up and store it in the fridge so you don’t waste any of the fruit (because you know how quick avocados go disgusting and brown).
I’m a huge fan of chocolate so this kind of recovery smoothie only makes sense to me. It leans towards chocolate also because I tend to buy chocolate flavoured protein powder. If you don’t have protein powder then consider getting a tub anyway.
And, if you don’t like that flavour then this can easily be made into a vanilla theme or something else. Just be mindful of the other ingredients so you don’t make something clash horribly.
Frozen Banana – 1
Frozen Strawberries – 1 cup
Frozen Raspberries – 1/2 cup
Chocolate Protein Powder – 1 scoop (there’s usually a plastic scoop supplied in any protein powder)
Avocado – 1/2
Cocoa Powder – 1 teaspoon
Almond Milk – 1 cup
Syrup – (agave/maple) 1 teaspoon
Ice – Add as necessary (perhaps only a 1/4 cup will be needed)
Replacements if necessary:
Soy milk or Coconut milk in place of Almond milk
Vanilla Protein powder in place of Chocolate
The Good Stuff
For a recovery drink, protein should definitely be a major component, which is why a dedicated protein powder has been put in the recipe.
Most protein powders you buy will have a 30g scoop or there abouts, and it’s difficult to get that much of this important macronutrient from any other form of food in that concentrated amount. In fact, it’s impossible.
So, protein powder it is. It’s also highly bioavailable and gets absorbed nice and quickly when you most need it after a workout.
The Provacana is quite heavy on the calories (it’s a bit over 400), which is exactly what you want after a tough session in the gym, or a long run, cycle or whatever your jam is.
Aside from a healthy balance of the macros; protein, carbs and fat, there is a good portion of fibre. Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron are present in abundance as well.
When to Drink It?
Being a founding member of the ‘Recover’ category, there is no doubt when it is best to drink the Provacana.
It will help you muscles regain and add strength, and give you a dose of much needed energy for the next day at work and another session on the weights.
The best specific time to drink it, however, is within the hour following any strenuous exercise. This is when your body will utilize the amino acids and vitamins most readily.
So, drink it:
30 – 60 minutes after a workout.
FUEL – ENDURE – RECOVER