17 High-Protein Post Workout Smoothies (Maximize Recovery)

Post workout smoothies aren’t just a quick way to refuel, they help to repair muscle damage and promote muscle growth when you include a good dose of protein.

It turns out the data is showing that women need to refuel within 30 minutes of a long run or hard workout if they want to get the maximum benefits of building (or not losing it from running) and keeping that fired up.

What’s the best smoothie to have after a workout?

I love a green smoothie because it includes a bunch of minerals, nutrients, antioxidants and carbohydrates to help the body recover. And when done right, keeps me from suddenly be ravenous later in the day.

But it’s not just about a quick hit of carbs to replace glycogen stores, you need protein!

This is what will take your smoothie to the next level and ensure that it helps you to stay full, maintain muscle, quicken post workout recovery and prevent a massive blood sugar spike.

Especially for runners over 40 we know now that the post workout 30 minute refuel window is real. You want to get in at least 30 grams of protein in that time frame to help prevent further muscle breakdown, which is why a smoothie often works so well.

You aren’t always interested or are too busy to sit down to a full meal right away.

A few other post workout smoothie benefits:

  • Easy, fast
  • Can help with muscle soreness
  • Quickest absorption of nutrients for the body
  • Less digestion needed {important after hard workouts}
  • Uses up all my leftover veggies
  • Yummmy {technical term}
  • Prevents rebound hunger later from skipping that meal
  • Helps you recover faster to workout the next day
  • Sneaks in some additional veggies to your meals

And if you don’t even have time for a smoothie, perhaps one of these BCAA’s for runners will be a better fit.

15 Smoothie Protein Add Ins

You don’t just have to rely on protein powder. It’s a great easy option, when you find one that works for you and is largely made with clean ingredients.

But there are other vegan and whole food options to enhance your smoothie.

Many of these will require a higher volume and more calories than powderso you might mix and match if you are also trying to keep the total calorie count lower.

  • Hemp seeds: 3 tbsp is 9.5 grams
  • Chia seeds: 3 tbsp is 9 grams
  • Tofu: 1/2 cup is 10 grams
  • Flax seeds: 3 tbsp is 6 grams
  • Greek yogurt: 1 cup is 13 grams of protein (makes for a super creamy texture)
  • Peanut butter: 1 tbsp is 4 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds: 1 tbsp is 3 grams
  • Spinach: 1 cup is 6 grams (a reason you see it in so many green smoothies)
  • Rolled Oats: 1/2 cup is 7 grams
  • Egg: 1 medium is 6 grams of protein
  • Spirulina powder: 1 tbsp is 8 grams (just beware it has an intense flavor)
  • Kefir: 1 cup is 11 grams
  • Cottage cheese: 1/2 cup is 11 grams
  • Dairy free milk like Flax milk: 8 grams of protein per serving
  • Protein powder (best protein powder options): will range from 15-30 grams of protein per scoop

Whey protein is often looked at as the most ideal source for muscle building.

But you need to know how your body reacts to whey. For me it’s an intolerance and thus creates additional inflammation. Additionally, you don’t want to go for the cheapest powder because of all the added ingredients, so take a second before picking your protein!

17 Post-Workout Smoothie Recipes

What is the best post workout smoothie recipe? The one you have on hand, will drink and isn’t crazy high in sugar.

I have issues paying for things I can make at home…like smoothies.

BUT I know that sometimes we all need to break out of the same ol’ same ol’ rut. And we need to find things that taste good, so we will actually stick with a routine of enjoying them.

Here are some of the many different options I blend for my green (and sometimes other color) smoothies. There are ideas here for the new to green smoothies and the long time drinkers that need to freshen it up.

Remember you can increase the protein content with any of the add-ins listed above.

Avocado Bliss

Super great for skin and getting digestion flowing!
Dairy free milk, avocado, spinach, mango, lime, vanilla protein powder.

Beet It

Detox and cut inflation
Beets, cucumber, green apple, spinach, carrot, ginger, vanilla protein powder, water

Kalicious

Knocking off the expensive WF version at home is easy and with more options
Green apple, spinach, 1/2 banana, kale cucumber, celery

Bust out of a green smoothie rut with 17 fresh ideas #plantpower #protein Click To Tweet

Mochaccino Dream

Have a full day requiring lots of energy post run?
1 cup unsweetened organic flax milk, Vega Mocha Protein Powder, spinach

Purple Power Smoothie

Give your digestion a boost and feed those muscles a variety of nutrients.
1 cup unsweetened vanilla dairy free milk, 1/2 banana, 1 cup kale, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup red cabbage, vanilla stevia

Cranberry Orange Smooth Moves

Vitamin C to boost the immune system!
1 small orange, 2-3 baby carrots, 1/4 cup cranberries, lemon juice, 1 cup Silk cashew milk

Tropical Refresher

Summer is coming and this one replenishes the electrolytes and feels like a treat after a hot run
1/2 frozen banana pineapple coconut water spinach kale hemp seedsturmeric smoothie

Hunger Fighter

Usually a day or two post run I have the HUNGER. This helps!
Grapefruit, lemon, carrots, ginger, pumpkin seeds, vanilla protein powder

Almond Butter Dream

Really…do I need to say anything more?? Ok this is an extra tasty protein packed recovery drink
1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 cup greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Love Grown Oats {gluten free so I like them best}, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 avocado, ice cubes, Vega Chocolate Protein

Tumeric Colada

Fight inflammation, build immunity and make a body happy.
Tumeric, ginger, frozen banana, pineapple, baby carrots, 1 cup unsweetened organic milk, 1/4 avocado – optional, but I still usually add kale and a little stevia

Berry Bliss

The power of berries is undeniable and hey with summer they are so cheap!
1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 orange, 1/2 frozen banana, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond milk, 1 cup kale, 1 cup water, vanilla protein powder

Summer Bright

Taking advantage of the bounty of fresh summer fruits to replenish glycogen after a marathon long run training session.
Peach, raspberry, pear, spinach, kale, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ice cubes, protein powder

What About Prepared Post Workout Smoothies?

Not interested in making your own or just like to have something on head for days you’re extra busy?

Please DO NOT grab most of the common one’s you see in the store. They are largely filled with juice, which means they are lacking any fiber, high in sugar and have no protein.

My good friend and Registered Dietitian Serena Marie says no food is off limits, but juices are one of the few things she really doesn’t recommend. It won’t keep you full and you’ll very likely get a crash hours later from the sugar.

Option 1: Daily Harvest

I’ve been using Daily Harvest for awhile and am pretty stoked about the ingredients. The cup stays in the freezer, then I pull it out after a long run when there is nothing in the fridge.

Toss it in the blender, add water and protein…let the muscle recovery begin.

No freakout to head to the store and I know I’ve got an option that’s all whole food ingredients.

Daily Harvest Discount Code: RUNTOTHEFINISH– $25 of first order

Click here to checkout their smoothies >>Daily Harvest Discount Code

Option 2: Splendid Spoon Smoothies

I’ve also tested out Splendid Spoon smoothies.

They require absolutely ZERO work and are vastly superior to what you’ll find on the grocery story shelves. They contain only whole food ingredients and toss in some great protein options. As well.

I’ve done a deep dive comparison of the two brands and provided discount codes if you’d like to test them out.

8 More Protein Shake Recipes

And because that’s not enough, you’ve gotta checkout some of my favorites from other bloggers:

How often do you drink a smoothie?

What’s your favorite way to get in healthy post workout nutrition?

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