Post Workout Smoothies for Athlete Recovery


If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to refuel your body after a workout, you might want to try post workout smoothies. 

Post workout smoothies are not only delicious, but they also provide you with essential nutrients that help you recover faster and build muscle. 

A post workout smoothie can be packed with protein, carbohydrates and key nutrients to support your recovery after a tough game, workout or training. It can help to replenish your energy stores and ensure you meet your sports nutrition plan goals.

In this post, we’ll share some of the benefits of post workout smoothies and some of the best ingredients to include in them.

post workout smoothies

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Why are post workout smoothies good for you

Smoothies are good for you after a workout because when you exercise, your muscles use up glycogen, which is a form of stored energy. This means that after a workout, your muscles need to replenish their glycogen levels. (1)

Additionally, you need protein for muscle recovery to repair the micro-tears in your muscles that happen during exercise and protein also helps to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. 

This is where post workout smoothies come in handy. They can help you:

  • Replenish your energy levels and prevent fatigue
  • Rehydrate your body and replenish electrolytes
  • Repair muscle and support muscle growth and adaptations
  • Reduce inflammation and soreness
post workout smoothies for recovery

What should be in a post workout smoothie

Protein for post workout smoothies

One of the key components of post workout smoothies is protein. Protein is essential for muscle synthesis and recovery, as well as for maintaining your overall health.

 You can get protein from various food sources, such as:

  • Low-fat Greek yogurt is a thick and creamy yogurt that contains more protein than regular yogurt. It can help you feel full and satisfied, as well as provide you with calcium and probiotics.
  • Cottage cheese is a soft cheese that contains casein protein, which is a slow-digesting protein that can help you prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery. It also has calcium and phosphorus important for bone health.
  • Milk contains both whey and casein protein, which can provide you with a balanced mix of fast and slow-digesting proteins. It also contains calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, which are essential for your health.
  • Silken tofu offers a boost of plant based protein (8 grams/6 ounces), and also adds creaminess to your post workout smoothie. It also has calcium, iron and potassium.

Additionally, there may be times where it is more convenient to add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie for more protein. However, most athletes should be able to meet their protein needs from foods.

When you need to reach for protein powder, first check out our post on how to choose a protein powder.

Here are some common protein powder types:

  • Whey protein powder is a fast-digesting protein that comes from milk. It contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs and can help you increase your muscle mass and strength.
  • Plant-based protein powder includes protein from soy, pea, rice, or other plant sources. It can be a good option for vegans or vegetarians. It can also provide you with other benefits, such as antioxidants, fiber and minerals.

Carbohydrates for post workout smoothies

Another important component of post workout smoothies is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body and can help you restore your glycogen levels and prevent low blood sugar. 

You can get carbohydrates from various fruits, vegetables or grains, such as:

  • Bananas are rich in potassium, which is an electrolyte lost in sweat. They also contain fiber and help make smoothies creamy. Bananas, both frozen and fresh, are often used as a based in many smoothie recipes.
  • Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help you reduce inflammation. They also contain fiber, which can help you feel full and support your digestion.
  • Oats are whole grains that can provide you with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and B vitamins. They can help you stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied for longer.

Healthy fats for post workout smoothies

You can also add some healthy fats to your post workout smoothies to enhance their taste and texture. Healthy fats can also help you absorb some vitamins and minerals better and support your brain function and hormone production.

Some good sources of healthy fats are:

  • Avocado is a creamy fruit that can provide you with monounsaturated fats, which can lower your cholesterol levels and improve your heart health. It also contains potassium, fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • Peanut butter is a nut butter that can provide you with polyunsaturated fats, which can reduce inflammation. Along with other nut butters it also contains protein, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6.
  • Chia seeds are tiny seeds that can provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve your brain function and mood. They also contain protein, fiber, calcium, iron and antioxidants.

How to make post workout smoothies?

Making post workout smoothies is very easy. All you need is a blender and some ingredients of your choice. Here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Choose your liquid base. You can use water, milk (dairy or non-dairy), yogurt (regular or Greek), or juice (tart cherry, orange or apple).
  1. Add your protein source. You can use low-fat Greek yogurt (plain or flavored), cottage cheese (plain or flavored), silken tofu, protein powder or milk (skim or whole).
  1. Add your fruits and vegetables. You can use fresh or frozen fruits (bananas, berries, mangoes, pineapples, etc.), leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.), or other vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber, etc.).
  1. Add your healthy fats. You can use avocado (half or whole), peanut butter (one or two tablespoons), or chia seeds (one or two teaspoons).
  1. Blend everything together until smooth and creamy. You can adjust the consistency by adding more or less liquid or ice.
  1. Enjoy your post workout smoothie!

Ideas for post workout smoothies

You can experiment with different combinations of ingredients and flavors to suit your preferences and energy needs based on the performance plate method

Here are some examples of post workout smoothies that you can try as well as our suggestions on our high fiber smoothie post:

  • Chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie: Blend together one cup of milk, one scoop of chocolate whey protein powder, one banana and two tablespoons of peanut butter or nut butter.
  • Berry spinach cottage cheese smoothie: Blend together one cup of , one cup of cottage cheese, one cup of mixed berries and one handful of spinach.
  • Mango avocado oat smoothie: Blend together one cup of orange juice, one cup of low-fat Greek yogurt, one mango, half an avocado and half a cup of oats.
  • Protein rich almond butter and banana smoothie: Blend 1 frozen banana, sliced, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder.
  • Peaches and cream smoothie: Blend 2 cups of peaches, peeled and sliced, 1 cup of low fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon honey and ice.
  • Ginger and papaya Smoothie: Blend 1 cup of papaya, cubed/sliced, 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, grated, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder and coconut water.
  • Simply strawberry smoothie: Blend 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1 cup of almond milk, ½ cup cottage cheese and some honey to taste.
  • Kale smoothie: Blend 2 cups of kale leaves, stems removed, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 2 teaspoons of honey and some ice.
  • Carrot cake smoothie: Blend 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped, 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of silken tofu, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 1 cup of almond milk and ice.
  • Green smoothie: Blend 2 cups of spinach leaves, 1 frozen banana, sliced, 1/4 avocado, peeled and pitted, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, 1 cup of coconut water.
  • Chocolate strawberry smoothie: Blend 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup of silken tofu, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and chocolate milk.


Post workout smoothies are a simple and effective way to replenish your body after a workout. They can provide you with protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and other nutrients that can help you recover faster and build muscle. 

You can make your own post workout smoothies with a blender and some ingredients of your choice. 

Post workout smoothies are not only good for you, but they also taste amazing.

 So what are you waiting for? Grab your blender and start making your own post workout smoothies today!

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