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Muscle-Building Power Smoothie

smoothie 08

There are times when you may need an energy boost and a remedy to ease your muscle pain, especially after a strenuous exercise session.

What’s a better way to nourish your body than drinking this delicious plant-based power smoothie bursting with energy, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients?

This chocalicious recipe will satisfy your chocolate cravings and replenish your body. Adding to that, this recipe is dairy-free and vegan, made with fresh and all natural ingredients.

This easy, creamy, slightly decadent, yet guilt-free smoothie has a delicate blueberry and dark chocolate hint that can easily become your daily staple. Adding to that, hemp seeds’ mild nutty taste complements the darker taste of blueberries and chocolate combined together, giving this smoothie a magnificent aftertaste.

Of course, you can add protein powder to this smoothie, though I am not too keen on whey given its taste as well as nutritional value (we will explore that in our next post with Dr. Costello … STAY TUNED for Part 2). I didn’t quite like the taste of the plant-based protein powder I’ve tried so I’ve left them out.

Before we get to the recipe, let’s explore the delicious superfoods used in the smoothie, and how they can nourish your body.

Featured Superfoods  

Blueberries

I love blueberries because of their antioxidant properties. They are termed “superfoods,” and rightfully so.

Blueberries are especially important to athletes and can potentially help your muscles recover faster.

 

blueberries

Blueberries’ anthocyanin can reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. Our muscles incur micro-tears after a strenuous workout, and this causes inflammation, which leads to delayed onset muscle soreness. By ingesting blueberries, you can potentially reduce muscle pain naturally!

For a more intense blueberry flavour, I’ve added blueberry essence to this recipe!

Bananas

Not exactly an exotic”superfoods”… but don’t underestimate these common creamy fruits. Bananas can prevent muscle cramps by replenishing your potassium lost through strenuous exercises. Bananas can also enhance digestion.

Raw Cacao

This recipe contains raw cacao, which contains flavonoids that give you anti-oxidant benefits. The slightly bitter raw cacao powder complements the sweet and tangy taste of the blueberries, as well as the milky texture of the sweet banana.

Spinach

In addition, spinach is a great source of vitamin K that can improve bone health and boost athletic performance (on top of its amazing eye-protective qualities). Sources state that spinach contain plant-steroids that can potentially improve muscle performance. Of course, spinach is also a good source of protein.

I like spinach more than kale in smoothies because they are not as bitter. However, you can replace spinach with the super green kale for an extra boost of nutrients!

Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs also contain flavanoids which provide anti-cancer benefits. For an extra energy boost, cacao nibs contain theobromine, a stimulant that has a similar, but lesser, stimulating effect as caffeine.

So I wouldn’t worry too much about having cacao nibs during late afternoon or at night. However, if you are really sensitive, you may want to leave out the cacao nibs to sleep better. Enjoy this perfect treat post-workout, or even pre-workout!

Cacao nibs

Source: http://photo.elsoar.com/

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds give the smoothie an extra oomph of complete protein and depth, and help your muscles recover faster.  And don’t forget that chia seeds can sustain your energy and regular your blood sugar levels.

Chia seeds are also believed to have hydrophilic properties, prolonging hydration, helping retain moisture and regulating the body’s absorption of nutrients and electrolyte balance.

Moisture is very important to your body especially if you work out and sweat a lot, since water regulates our body’s temperature and transport nutrients and waste.

Hemp Seeds

Like chia seeds, hemp seeds are also complete protein and easy for the body to assimilate. Hemp seeds are also high in fibre, vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Hemp seeds have a mildly nutty flavour that gives the smoothie depth and fullness.

Muscle-Building Power Smoothie

power smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of coconut water
  • 1 cup of organic frozen blueberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
  • ½ tablespoon of chia seeds
  • ½ tablespoon of hemp seeds
  • ½ tablespoon of cacao nibs
  • ½ cup of spinach
  • 2-3 drops of natural blueberry essence
  • 4-5 cubes of ice
  • ½ tablespoon of raw granola to top on smoothie

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth. You may want to add the cacao nibs last to blender to preserve its crunchy texture.
  2. Sprinkle the smoothie with GoRaw granola bits, and you’ve got an energy drink that rivals Red Bull. 😉

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