The Perfect Pre- and Post-Workout Blends

Written in collaboration with Ève Crépeau, Dt.P.

With the temperature skyrocketing and shade a meager respite, we decided to put our hearty snacks aside in favour of fresh, hydrating alternatives.

Smoothies are an easy option, perfect for an athlete’s breakfast or midday snack and chock-full of vitamins. They’re easily digested, hugely hydrating sources of energy that leave you more sated than regular fruit juice, as they contain loads of fibre—need we say more?

There are a plethora of smoothies you can prepare, depending on your taste and the ingredients you have on hand. For a pre-workout smoothie, the goal is to select something that will hydrate and energize you, while if you’re planning on having it after a workout, you’ll want to respect the proper glucose-to-protein ratio (explained below).

Pre-Workout Smoothie

Working out on an empty stomach isn’t usually a good idea. Whether when you get up or on your way in from work, you should consume a glucose-rich snack that will boost hydration and be easy to digest before exercising.

To fuel up properly without feeling bloated while you’re active, you’ll want to choose glucose-rich foods like fruit—or a smoothie!

The ideal pre-workout smoothie contains a solid dose of fruit, a bit of milk, soy-based liquid, juice or water (to taste).

One of our favourite smoothies is this cantaloupe-kale-ginger treat. Just throw everything below into your blender, and have at it!

  • ½ cup cantaloupe
  • ½ cup kale
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup white grape juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger

You can also sub grape juice for a soy-based drink, add more fruit (to taste, as there can never be too much!), drop in a dollop of maple syrup and add ice for texture.

The Post-Workout Smoothie

If it’s critical to snack before exercising, it’s equally essential to eat within thirty minutes of finishing your workout. Athletes who exercise frequently, whether it’s to gain muscle mass, lose weight, or simply improve their performance, must not neglect this important intake of nutrients and calories essential for proper recuperation.

After exercising, it’s important to eat a snack or meal with a 3-to-1 glucose/protein ratio (i.e. food that contains three times more glucose than protein). Glucose, which can be found in fruit, grain and dairy products, helps your body replenish its energy stores, while protein helps repair the microtears to your muscles as well as participate in muscle growth. 

But wait! Lots of people forget to take glucose with protein once they’ve trained. Without glucose, your body won’t have the energy it needs to develop the muscle mass you’ve earned and ensure optimal recovery.

The perfect post-workout smoothie contains protein-rich food such as soft tofu, Greek yogurt, an egg or powdered milk and three times that in glucose in the form of fruit, grain or dairy. This smoothie can be stretched with a soy-based drink, milk, or water. Add maple syrup if you like it sweeter, and if you love chocolate, drop in some cocoa powder.

One of our favourite smoothies is this avocado and banana beaut. Here’s how to make it:

  • 150 g soft tofu
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup (or to taste)

Depending on your taste, you can replace the water with a soy-based liquid or orange juice, or add spinach or kale for extra vitamins if you have them on hand.