This hardworking shake is loaded with ingredients that can jumpstart your recovery after a sweaty training session.
For most of us, busy mornings are a fact of life. And when you throw a training session into the mix, finding the time to eat properly afterward can be tough—especially if you’re not much of a breakfast person like Tonal strength coach Gabby Sansosti. But if you’re working up a sweat first thing, it’s essential to refuel the body.
“As we’re working out on Tonal, we are actively burning energy, so we need to replenish that in a timely manner,” explains Coach Gabby. That’s why she relies on “quick and efficient” recipes for rushed mornings.
“This protein smoothie is a very grab-and-go option,” she says. “The ingredients in it can help with muscle repair, hydration, and topping off those energy levels.”
“There’s a lot to celebrate in this smoothie,” says John Christie, a registered dietitian and the director of Curriculum Intelligence at Tonal.
When you break a sweat, you lose both water and salt, but electrolytes can help rehydrate and restore what you’ve lost, and this recipe is jam-packed with them. Natural coconut water contains several electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. According to research, including sodium-enriched coconut water as part of your post-workout routine can help replenish the body after exercise-induced dehydration. It also features spinach, “which is a great source of calcium,” says Christie, “while bananas are another great source of potassium and magnesium,” he adds, explaining that all of these electrolytes are important for recovery and muscle contractions.
Alongside the mangos, the bananas also double down as a source of carbohydrates. Research suggests grabbing carbohydrates and protein (which you’ll get from the protein powder) after strength training can help replenish your energy in the form of glycogen and jump-start new muscle protein synthesis after a challenging workout. Christie loves this post-workout recipe because it’s not just powder mixed with water or milk. “There’s protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates that come from natural, real-food sources like fruits — all of it in the format of a digestible smoothie that’s easy on the stomach.”
- 1 cup of coconut water
- A handful of baby spinach
- ½ cup of frozen mango
- ½ cup of frozen banana
- A small handful of flat leaf parsley
- 1 scoop of your choice protein powder (we recommend vanilla or a neutral flavor)*
- 1 chilled cup of water
Add all the ingredients except the chilled cup of water into a high-speed blender. Blend everything together. If the smoothie feels too thick, add more water until you get the consistency you prefer. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Tip: To turn this recipe into an opportunity to meal-prep, pack up the frozen ingredients, spinach, and parsley into individual freezer-friendly bags or containers so ingredients are all prepped and ready to go in the morning.
*You’ll find plenty of great-tasting plant and animal-based protein powders and supplements to help you meet your daily needs. In fact, there are almost too many, and it can be a little overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is no blanket regulation or testing of nutritional supplements, which means the supplement can contain ingredients not listed on the label. But our nutrition experts recommend looking for a protein powder that displays NSF or USP certifications on their packaging, so you can ensure you’re consuming good-for-you ingredients.