Three Easy Recovery Smoothies for Athletes (2022)

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Whether you're a runner, weight lifter, cyclist or more of a mental athlete, everybody needs recovery. These are the three best smoothies to help your muscles and mind recover from exertion.

We have a satisfying tart cherry and chocolate smoothie, a protein-packed green pineapple cashew smoothie, and a hearty blueberry hemp smoothie bowl.

Each recipe is optimized to promote muscle recovery to get you back out the door, stronger than ever!

Tart Cherry and Chocolate Recovery Smoothie

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This easy tart cherry and chocolate smoothie quells deep chocolate cravings. It's also ideal for muscle recovery. This creamy post-workout smoothie is packed with superfoods. Dark sweet cherries, beetroot powder, cocoa powder and tart cherry juice pack a serious recovery punch.

Let's break down each recovery superfood.

Tart Cherries: nitric oxide for increased muscle recovery

Studies show that cherries reduce inflammation. They increase blood flow and nitric acid throughout the body. More blood reaches your fatigued muscles, allowing them to recover and heal more quickly.

Cherries also contain powerful antioxidants that may help reduce blood sugar and the risk of heart disease. We're pretty impressed by these stats, not to mention the addicting sweet taste of the fruits. So we doubled up on cherry power for these chocolaty recovery smoothies.

We added a healthy dose of pure tart cherry juice. This stuff has all the same recovery-promoting benefits of the whole fruits, concentrated into a powerful liquid.

As the name suggests, the concentrate can be fairly tart, however. That's why we rounded out this chocolate cherry recovery smoothie with banana for natural sweetness without any added sweeteners.

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Dark Chocolate: antioxidants for improved bloodflow

For the chocolate factor in this smoothie, we had to bring in more antioxidants to fuel your recovery. We rely on FlavaNaturals to provide the high-antioxidant unsweetened cocoa powder we love.

Their unsweetened drinking chocolate packs nine times the recovery-promoting antioxidants of one regular dark chocolate bar. And without the sugar or added fat, this stuff is a must-have for any athlete's recovery smoothie needs.

Beet Powder: nitrates for better performance

And we couldn't forget to mention the beet powder in this recovery smoothie. Rather than an earthy, beety taste to this recovery smoothie, the beet powder actually sweetens things up a bit.

(Video) How To Make A Recovery Smoothie | Heather's Recipe For Triathlon Recovery

Beets are naturally sweet and have a lot of the same anti-inflammatory antioxidants as cherries (you can tell by their red pigment).

Beets also offer a healthy dose of nitrates. Nitrates are shown to improve athletic performance. They fuel your mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses of your cells you may remember from middle school biology. Several studies of cyclists show that beet consumption improves time to exhaustion and oxygen use of the athletes!

Pineapple Cashew Protein Recovery Smoothie

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Our refreshing pineapple cashew protein smoothie is a muscle recovery home-run. It's full of hydrating pineapple, fiber-full kale, protein-rich plant-yogurt and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

Pineapple: hydration meets immune-boosting vitamin C

Pineapple is highly refreshing. Its high water content makes it an excellent post-workout choice to quell that deep nagging thirst that comes with any kind of outdoor exercise in the heat.

The fruit also packs serious vitamin C. One cup of pineapple contains over 103% of your daily vitamin C needs. And did we mention this post-workout smoothie calls for a cup and a half of the tropical fruit??

Extra vitamin C is always a good idea, and especially for athletes. Training, especially in the cold or hot weather, takes a toll on your immune system. An extra hit of vitamin C from a natural source like pineapple after a tough workout boosts your immune system to keep you healthy!

Kale: one of the most nutrient-dense plants in the world

I'm sure you've heard it before. Kale is often hailed as a superfood responsible for all sorts of life-lengthening miracles. And, well, there's a great deal of truth to those claims. The green leafy veg packs vitamins A, K, C and more. Plus, it's very low in calories.

I always try to toss a handful of kale in my post-workout recovery smoothies. You can barely taste it, especially paired with fruit. But it offers extra fiber for digestion, along with all those vitamins and minerals.

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Plant-based yogurt: protein necessary for recovery

We tossed a healthy scoop of plant-based yogurt into this pineapple cashew protein smoothie. We chose oat milk yogurt because it has a relatively high protein content compared to other dairy-free options.

It also has a delicious taste that adds creaminess to the pineapple and kale in this smoothie.

Your body needs protein to rebuild muscle and recover from exercise. If you're training for an endurance event, it's especially important to fill up on healthy protein sources. Nuts and nut-based yogurts and milks, for example ensure that your muscles have enough fuel to grow and get faster!

This pineapple cashew protein smoothie is ideal for after an especially intense workout because it offers a healthy mix of carbohydrates and protein.

Studies show that consuming both protein and carbs within three hours post-workout helps promote new muscle production. So get sipping!

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Turmeric: an anti-inflammatory bonus

The final secret ingredient to this healthy and nutritious post-workout smoothie is everyone's favorite spice: turmeric.

(Video) 5 Healthy Smoothies | Shredded + Muscle

The yellow powder has a strong taste that's not for everyone. However, it's barely detectable blended into this protein-rich shake.

Four thousands of years, Indians have used turmeric, an indigenous spice to their country, as a medicinal herb. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, provides the anti-inflammatory antioxidants we're seeking after an intense workout.

Some studies suggest that your body best absorbs curcumin when you eat it with black pepper. While we weren't all that excited to add a crack of pep to this pineapple smoothie, feel free to add some if you're in the mood!

Or, you could always enjoy this protein-packed recovery smoothie with a side of toast topped with a bit of salt and pepper.

Blueberry Hemp Recovery Smoothie Bowl

The final best smoothie for muscle recovery is our blueberry hemp smoothie bowl. Its beautiful blue color and thick consistency makes an ideal base for your favorite smoothie bowl toppings.

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Blueberries, hemp and cashews offer the perfectly balanced post-workout meal of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein.

Blueberries: little antioxidant powerhouses

Not only are blueberries totally addicting, they're also considered the "king of antioxidant-packed fruits". With 84 calories per cup, these berries are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.

Plus they're 85% water, so they offer the hydrate your body craves after a tough workout.

The major antioxidants in bluebs are called flavonoids. They help reduce free radicals in the body, which can reduce your risk for cancer.

All that sun exposure during outdoor workouts means we need to think about protecting ourselves a little more this time of year. Sunscreen is an important first step, of course, but the cancer protection doesn't stop there!

Fill your blender with this blueberry cashew hemp smoothie bowl, and you're well on your way to a healthy, well-recovered day.

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Cashews and Hemp seeds: Bring on the post-workout protein

For the same reasons we packed our pineapple protein smoothie with plant-based yogurt, we pumped this blueberry smoothie bowl full of cashews and hemp seeds. The nuts provide healthy fats, protein and delicious creaminess to this bowl.

Studies link cashews to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This could mean a reduced risk for heart disease. That's something I doubt we need to convince you is important for athletes!

Whole hemp seeds, which we recommend for this blueberry smoothie bowl, also offer a lot of fiber. Opt for whole seeds over ground hemp because much of the fiber comes from the seeds' outer shells.

(Video) My Top 3 Smoothie Ingredients for Recovery | Easy & Cheap

Fiber helps stabilize your blood sugar and hunger levels. So even if you're in the middle of an intense training cycle for a marathon or other event, you can avoid the constant nag of hunger by eating enough fiber.

Top this blueberry smoothie bowl off any way you like

When it comes to topping for this blueberry, cashew, hemp recovery smoothie bowl, the sky's the limit. We opted for more blueberries, banana and granola.

Here are our favorite gluten-free granola recipes to get started:

  • Classic Gluten-Free Granola
  • Vegan Salted Caramel Granola
  • Pumpkin Spice Granola
  • Chocolate, Hazelnut, Raspberry Granola

Looking for more smoothie recipes?

Here are some of our other favorite ways to drink our breakfasts all summer long:

  • Green Smoothie Bowls 3 Ways
  • Vegan Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
  • Summer Smoothie Bowls 3 Ways
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If you make these recovery smoothies, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations onInstagram– tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.


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Three Easy Recovery Smoothies for Athletes

Print Recipe


3 best smoothies for muscle recovery: tart cherry and chocolate smoothie, pineapple cashew protein smoothie, and a hearty blueberry hemp smoothie bowl.

(Video) PERFECT Plant-Based VEGAN Recovery Smoothie For Athletes



Chocolate and Tart Cherry Smoothie:

  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1.5 cups frozen tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon beet powder
  • 1 serving cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons tart cherry concentrate
  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • Pinch of salt

Pineapple Cashew Protein Smoothie:

  • 1.5 cups frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups kale
  • ½-1 cup cashew milk, depending on how thick you like it
  • 1 5.3-oz container non-dairy yogurt (we used oatmilk)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch salt

Blueberry Hemp Smoothie Bowl:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • ½ cup cashew milk
  • Toppings: granola, blueberries, banana


For all smoothies, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more or less milk, depending on your desired thickness.


  • Serving Size: ½ of Each Variety
  • Calories: 546
  • Sugar: 56.9 g
  • Sodium: 877.8 mg
  • Fat: 17.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 95.1 g
  • Fiber: 10.8 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: smoothies for recovery

(Video) Recovery Smoothie #1


What is best in smoothies for athletes? ›

11 excellent examples of super smoothies for athletes
  • Almond milk + natural yoghurt + berries + cucumber + spinach + oats + avocado.
  • Milk + banana + blueberry + kale + oats + LSA.
  • Milk + banana + peanut butter + chia seeds.
  • Coconut milk + banana + baby spinach + kale + lime juice + chia seeds + walnuts.
20 Mar 2018

Are smoothies a good recovery drink? ›

Blending up a smoothie can provide the healthy mix of protein (our favorite), carbohydrates, and anti-inflammatory foods your muscles need to recover—no turning on the stove or elaborate cooking required!

Why are smoothies good for athletes? ›

Smoothies are a fantastic way for athletes to get loads of nutrients in with little time and effort. They help to increase your intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables which can help fight inflammation and speed up the recovery process.

What smoothies are good after a workout? ›

7 Tasty Post Workout Smoothies
  • Peanut butter and banana smoothie. ...
  • Strawberry coconut protein shake. ...
  • Key lime pie protein smoothie. ...
  • Fruit and protein smoothie. ...
  • Spinach protein smoothie (easy to make vegan) ...
  • Chocolate protein delight. ...
  • Almond protein smoothie.
22 Sept 2020

What do you put in a recovery shake? ›

  1. 1 scoop whey protein powder.
  2. 1 tablespoon flax seed meal.
  3. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder.
  4. 1 teaspoon brown sugar (Optional)
  5. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
  6. 1 banana.
  7. ½ cup frozen mixed berries.
  8. 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter.

What is the best recovery drink after a workout? ›

Best Things to Drink After a Workout for Recovery
  • Water. That's right, water. ...
  • Chocolate milk. It's not just for kids! ...
  • Fruit juices. ...
  • Fruit smoothies. ...
  • Sports drinks. ...
  • Coconut water. ...
  • Vegetable juices. ...
  • Green tea.

What foods help muscle recovery? ›

6 foods that help with muscle soreness and recovery
  • WHOLEGRAIN BREAD. That's right, don't ditch the carbs. ...
  • RICOTTA OR COTTAGE CHEESE. Another great toast topper, these spreadable cheeses provide a source of calcium. ...
  • NUTS. ...
  • LEGUMES. ...
  • SEEDS.

What is the best recovery after a workout? ›

Hydration after a workout is important — and drinking water is often the best place to start. As you sweat, your body drains its water reserves. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping, fatigue, headaches and poor physical performance. That's why keeping yourself hydrated is one of the keys to a strong recovery.

Are smoothie bowls good post workout? ›

Smoothie bowls can be a good source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to start your day or help you refuel after a workout.

Is Smoothie King a good post workout? ›

Why Smoothie King? As we've said, hydration is super important pre-, during, and post-workout, and smoothies are one of the best ways to balance hydration with needed nutrients.

Are smoothies good before a soccer game? ›

A fruit smoothie prepared with greek yogurt, milk and fresh fruit is a good option. Also, don't forget to hydrate. It's essential that you drink at least two cups of water before a game while avoiding sugary, carbonated, and caffeinated beverages.

Is it better to drink a smoothie before or after workout? ›

However, research suggests it doesn't matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout. Interestingly, your total daily protein intake is what matters most. While protein shakes around workouts and between meals are helpful, make sure you're getting enough throughout the day.

Are banana smoothies good for after workout? ›

A banana shake can be a good choice for a post-workout snack, as long as you use the right ingredients to avoid getting too many calories from your shake.

Is a fruit smoothie good after a workout? ›

Although smoothies contain natural sugars from fruits, consuming any kind of sugary drink after a workout can throw off your post-workout energy levels, resulting in a crash. She advises that if you must have a smoothie after exercising, it should be "rich in protein and low in calories."

What's the best post workout protein? ›

There are many different types of protein that you can consume post workout, but whey protein is one of the most popular and easily digestible options. Whey protein is a quick and easy way to get in some protein after your workout. Other good options include casein protein, soy protein, and egg whites.

How many protein shakes a day? ›

If you're of average build and go to the gym regularly, two protein shakes a day is enough to maintain your body mass. But if you're seriously involved in athletic sports, fitness practices and strength exercises, you may need to drink three to four protein shakes daily to sustain your physique and performance.

What supplements should I add to my protein shake? ›

Top 5 Superfoods to Add to Your Protein Shakes and Smoothies
  • Superfood #1: Cacao Powder.
  • Superfood #2: Spirulina.
  • Superfood #3: Goji Berry Powder.
  • Superfood #4: Maca Powder.
  • Superfood #5: Collagen Peptides.
25 Jun 2018

What drink has a lot of protein in it? ›

Best Sugar-Free: Iconic Protein Drinks Chocolate Truffle. Best for Muscle-Building: Soylent Complete Protein Shake. Best Superfood Powder: Sakara Protein + Greens Super Powder. Best for Food Sensitivities: Owyn Vegan Protein Shake.

How many hours a night does Tom Brady sleep? ›

1. He gets his beauty sleep. Brady goes to bed at 8.30pm every night to ensure he gets nine hours of sleep. His day usually starts before the sun is even up, especially during football season when he played in New England.

What protein does Tom Brady use? ›

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has launched two vegan protein powders ahead of the Super Bowl through his brand, TB12. Called Plant-Based Protein, the new product is available in two flavors, Chocolate and Vanilla. Each serving contains 24 grams of plant-based pea protein, no sugar, and 1 gram of net carbs.

Can Athletic Greens be mixed in a smoothie? ›

Athletic Greens can be taken with non-acidic juice, in a blended drink, or as part of a smoothie/protein shake.

Are smoothies good before a game? ›

Yes they are! One of the easiest pre-workout food options is a smoothie (or even easier – a protein shake!). Smoothies are great not only because they are simple and quick, but also because they can provide the body with the two most important pre-workout macronutrients: carbohydrates and protein.

Can you put AG1 in a smoothie? ›

How It Works. To use AG1, mix one scoop of the Athletic Greens mixture into 8 ounces of water. The company recommends taking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you don't want to mix it with water, you can mix it with juice, milk or in a smoothie.

Can I make a smoothie without protein powder? ›

Alternative protein sources to include in shakes

Here are some great sources of protein to include in homemade protein shakes: Milks: cow's milk, ultra-filtered milk (like Fairlife brand), pea milk, soy milk, hemp milk. Other milk products: Greek yogurt (dairy or nondairy), cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, kefir.

Can you eat right after taking Athletic Greens? ›

We recommend waiting 10 to 15 minutes after taking AG1 before eating. This helps ensure all of the nutrients are optimally absorbed. We understand that life is busy, so taking AG1 during, after or just before eating will still allow you to get the amazing benefits.

Can you drink Athletic Greens at night? ›

The AG1 formula was designed to be taken any time of day, morning or evening. That said, we recommend taking your AG1 first thing in the morning to start your day off right.

How many times a day should I take Athletic Greens? ›

Can you take Athletic Greens twice a day? The recommended dosage is once per day. However, you can take them 1-2 times per day depending on your body weight. Consult your doctor for more information.

How long after smoothie can I workout? ›

Smoothies make an ideal snack or meal before and/or after you exercise since they are portable, endlessly customizable, and will give you a boost without making you feel overly full. For best results, drink up at least 30 minutes before starting your workout and snack on something right after.

What should you eat immediately after a workout? ›

Good post-workout food choices include:
  • Yogurt and fruit.
  • Peanut butter sandwich.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk and pretzels.
  • Post-workout recovery smoothie.
  • Turkey on whole-grain bread with vegetables.

How long after smoothie can I run? ›

It can also make you feel sluggish during your run. As a general guideline, it's recommended that you wait 3 to 4 hours after a large meal before running. If you've had a small meal or snack, wait a minimum of 30 minutes or preferably 1 to 2 hours before going for a run.

Can I take AG1 at night? ›

The AG1 formula was designed to be taken any time of day, morning or evening. We recommend taking AG1 first thing or at some point in the morning to start your day off right.

How much does Athletic Greens cost? ›

Athletic Greens is Expensive

At the time of updating this article, you can buy a one-off bag of Athletic Greens for $99 plus shipping and handling, or you can subscribe for a single bag each month for $79 plus shipping and handling (prices are in USD).

Does Athletic Greens need to be refrigerated? ›

Because AG1 contains live probiotics and whole-food sourced ingredients, it must be refrigerated after opening. This helps preserve the integrity and efficacy of the ingredients. While unopened, the hermetic seal of the packaging prevents the need for refrigeration until you're ready to open.

What can I put in my smoothie for protein? ›

How to Add protein To Smoothies
  1. Plain Yogurt. Yogurt, specifically plain yogurt, is a great way to add protein to a smoothie while giving it a rich and creamy texture at the same time. ...
  2. Hemp Seeds. ...
  3. Almond Butter. ...
  4. Chia Seeds. ...
  5. Milk. ...
  6. Pumpkin Seeds. ...
  7. Peanut Butter. ...
  8. Silken Tofu.
23 May 2019

Can I use oats instead of protein powder? ›

You can easily make a delicious smoothie and consume it as an alternative to protein powder. Oats, peanut butter and banana together pack a sizeable amount of nutrients. Besides, it's also delicious, so adding it to your diet can be beneficial.

How can I get natural protein? ›

Protein foods
  1. lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo.
  2. poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds.
  3. fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams.
  4. eggs.
  5. dairy products – milk, yoghurt (especially Greek yoghurt), cheese (especially cottage cheese)


1. Your Healthy Athlete - Smoothies
2. ASAP @ Ohio State Football Nutrition with Sean McMickle: Power Recovery Protein Smoothie
(ASAP Athletic Strength And Power)
3. RECOVERY SMOOTHIE FOR RUNNERS! | Sage Running Nutrition Tips
4. How To Make 3 of My Favorite Recovery Smoothies!
(Cami Cakes)
5. We Made the Country's Greatest Sports Recovery Smoothies
(Ontario Volleyball Association)
6. Top 11 Superfoods For Endurance Athletes | Healthy Foods For A Balanced Diet
(Global Triathlon Network)

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