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Green Smoothie Kitchen: Three work-out smoothie recipes

Smoothies are at their most optimal after exercise when there is no quicker way to refill your body with energy

If the Rio Olympic Games, which started yesterday, have suddenly inspired you to leap out of your armchair and race down to the gym you’ve not used since May, or spin around the park on your bicycle, then David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl’s super-healthy fitness inspired smoothies will boost your work-out both before and after.

The pair behind the Green Kitchen Smoothies book is bestselling authors and bloggers who, while writing the book, found smoothies can be the answer to almost every meal situation and time of the day.

However, if they were to choose one occasion when smoothieswere optimal, it would have to be after physical exercise. When you are too tired to cook a meal, there is no quicker way to refill your body with energy.

The duo have created three different post-workout smoothies with ingredients that not only optimise the recovery after various types of physical exercise, but also taste incredible.

Green Hydration – post-cardio

Celery contains anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of sodium, while bananas are rich in potassium and spinach is high in magnesium – all of which are electrolytes that you lose when you sweat. Together with the hydrating coconut water and protein from the pea powder, they are the perfect ingredients to help your body recover and rehydrate after a workout. The lime and ginger, on the other hand, provide a fresh boost in flavour.

1 celery stalk (with leaves) (organic if possible)
1 frozen banana
1 handful spinach (or any other leafy greens, organic if possible)
1 tablespoon pea protein powder (or another high-quality protein powder)
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)
250 ml (8 ½ fl oz/1 cup) coconut water
juice of  ½ lime

Depending on the strength of your blender, roughly or finely chop the celery and add it to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag.

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Purple performance – pre- and post-workout

Beets (and other nitrate-rich vegetables) improve blood and oxygen flow in muscles and prompt them to use the oxygen more efficiently. Sour cherries are rich in antioxidants and help the body to recover from intense training, as well as reducing delayed-onset muscle pain. Drink beetroot and sour cherry juices and smoothiesregularly to gain the physical benefits.

1 small raw beetroot, peeled (approx. 80 g/3 oz)
1 tablespoon dried sour cherries or sour cherry powder (or goji berries)
60 g (2 oz/ cup) frozen raspberries
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or hemp protein powder (or more if you like)
½ – 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
350 ml (12 fl oz/1 ½ cups) almond milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Depending on the strength of your blender, roughly chop or grate the beetroot and add it to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the spiciness and sourness to your liking by adding more ginger or lemon juice if necessary. Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag (as featured below).

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Bluberry power – post-strength training

Focussing on fuelling your muscles after strength training is almost as important as the workout itself, because it helps your muscles to recover and grow. The body needs a combination of carbohydrates and proteins right after exercise and this smoothie has got those covered. A protein smoothie doesn’t sound very sexy, but this drink actually tastes a lot like a bottled blueberry pie. You can use any protein powder you wish, but look for a high-quality one with only a few pure ingredients. You can always ask your local health food store for advice.

1 ripe banana, peeled
150 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons Nut Butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon whey protein powder (or other protein powder of choice)
½  teaspoon ground cardamom
250 ml (8 ¼ fl oz/1 cup) almond milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)

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Roughly chop the banana and add it to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth.

Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag.

Green Kitchen Smoothies by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant £15) Photography: David Frenkiel

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