Many busy athletes turn to shakes when they need a quick meal or snack.  Shakes can be fast, tasty, nutritious and portable. However, don’t be tempted to rely on commercially made shakes.  You’ll get much more out of a homemade smoothie.  Here’s my five best shakes for athletes and a few high performance tips to “Shake Up” your own smoothie repertoire: 

  1. Include some fresh/frozen fruit.  Fruit adds anti-oxidants, vitamins, fibre and carbohydrates needed for fuel.  Using frozen bananas will make your shake smooth and boost the sweetness without added sugar.   Keep bags of frozen fruit on hand to make an easy breakfast or snack in just minutes.  
  2. Include a source of protein.  Protein will help your muscles recover from workouts but it also help you feel full for longer.  Aim to include 10-20g of protein depending on how long you need to stay filled up.  Less protein is needed if you’ll be exercising in the following 1-2 hours.  Lower protein (5-10g) means faster digestion.  Higher protein (up to 20grams) is ideal for a recovery shake or to feel full longer after a meal. Research has shown that even the biggest athletes don’t need any more than 20g of protein after a workout to improve recovery.  Protein powders are handy but not necessary.  You can boost protein and nutrients by adding: peanut butter, milk, soymilk, yogourt, greek yogourt, kefir, cottage cheese, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pasteurized egg whites, skim milk powder, hemp hearts, tofu and even oatmeal.   Shake #4 uses Kefir.  It is like a super power yogourt.  Just one Tbs provides up to 5 billion healthy bacteria (about 10 times the content of regular yogourt).  These bacteria act like an army in your gut – fighting off pathogenic bacteria like e-coli and boosting your immune system. 
  3. Experiment with veggies.  Adding dark leafy greens can make your shakes look radically different both in colour and nutrition profile!  Start with the milder greens for less impact on taste (baby spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, baby kale) and you’ll reap the benefits of extra: iron, vitamin A, E, K, fibre, calcium, protein and even natural glutamine. 



Shake #1 Funky Monkey 
2 ripe bananas - peeled and frozen
2 cups milk
2 Tbs peanut butter
2 Tbs chocolate milk powder
Ice – as needed
Makes 2 large shakes
Per serving: 365 cal, Fat 11g, Carb 55g, Natural sugar 25g, Added sugar 15g, Pro 14g, Fibre 4g. 

Shake #2 Mixed Berry
2 cups frozen mixed berries (any combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 frozen banana
¼ c pasteurized egg whites
1ce  - as needed
1 cup 100% mixed berry fruit juice (no sugar added).  You can use raspberry, Cran-raspberry, cranberry blueberry etc...  Any juice will work.  
1-2 cups water
Makes 2 large shakes
Per serving: 190 cal, Fat 1g, Carb 45g, Natural sugar 32g, Added sugar 0g, Pro 5g, Fibre 5g

Shake #3 The Hulk
½ cup apple juice
2 cups baby spinach
3 cups fruit (1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup cored green apple)
½ cup pasteurized liquid egg whites
Additional water and ice to get the consistency you like
Makes 2 large shakes
Per serving: 215 cal, Fat 1g, Carb 45g, Natural sugar 25g, Added sugar 0g, Pro 10g, Fibre 5g

Shake #4 Strawberry Kefir 
1 cup frozen sliced strawberries (or fresh)
1 frozen peeled banana (or fresh)
1 cup plain Kefir (or strawberry)
1/2 - 1 cup 1% milk depending on the consistency you like
Add to Blender and grind until smooth.  
Makes 2 shakes (or one large)
Per serving (2): 155 cal, Fat 2.5g, Carb 25g, Natural sugar 16g, Added sugar 0g, Pro 10g, Fibre 2g

Shake #5 Heidi’s Portable Chocolate Recovery Shake
½ cup skim milk powder (available in the grocery store, baking isle)
¼ cup chocolate milk powder (ie: Nesquick)
500ml cold water

Add ingredients into a dry re-usable water bottle.  Pack into sports bag.  After exercise, add cold water and shake. For smaller appetites, half the recipe.  
Tip – use a wide mouthed re-usable water bottle that is dishwasher safe – for quick clean-up, rinse bottle immediately after drinking.