The Ultimate Guide to a Super Smoothie for Young Athletes & Adolescents
Smoothies, they're an easy breakfast option for people on the go, it's therefore no surprise that they can be a huge hit with our busy young athletes. With summer just around the corner, we're almost certain we'll be seeing a spike in popularity, so how can you go about making your smoothie a nutritious start to the day?
Choose the Right Fruit Source
When thinking of smoothies, fruit is at the forefront of our minds. It's important, however, that smoothies are based on whole fruit rather than fruit juice. While juicing does retain vitamins and minerals, the processing strips the fruit of its fibre which plays an important role in contributing to fullness and keeping hunger pangs at bay. A good tip is to freeze fruit to create a luxuriously thick, and ice cold refreshing drink.
Sneak in Some Veg
We've said it once and we'll say it again: vegetables are the most underutilized secret weapon to easily improving our diets. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, it's important that our young athletes strive to include 5 serves per day. Adding a handful of baby spinach or kale to your favourite smoothie blend, will not only go un-detected taste-wise but is also the perfect way to sneak some extra veg into your day.
Amp Up the Protein
At The Academy one of our core nutrition principles is to include a good source of protein at all meals. This is essential not only for supporting muscle growth, but also to contribute to a satisfying meal. When making a smoothie, we don't need fancy and expensive protein powders to achieve this! Instead, we can base the smoothie on a cup of milk, and adding higher protein greek yoghurt or creamy cottage cheese, you'll be sure to meet your protein needs.
Add a Dose Wholegrain Fibre
So far we've talked about fibre through the addition of whole fruit and vegetables, but extra fibre can also be achieved by the addition of whole grains such as oats or bran. Better yet, because wholegrains undergo minimal processing you'll be adding a whole host of vitamins and minerals.
Nuts & Seeds Provide Healthy Fats
As with protein and fibre, fat acts to keep us full to create a satisfying breakfast that will see you going through till lunch. An easy way to achieve this is by blending through nuts or seeds. Another alternative that will make a decadent, creamy smoothie is the addition of peanut butter or avocado.
Focus on Flavour
Though a teaspoon or two of honey or other sugar is ok, it's important to realise that smoothies already contain a good hit of sweetness from the fruit and that there are many more exciting ways we can add flavour. Using herbs, spices or vanilla extract can add a good depth of flavour without excess sugar. However, if extra sweetness is needed, one or two fresh dates can provide a concentrated source of fruit sugar, as well as some additional fibre.
Applying some of the above tips each time our athletes make a smoothie will not only ensure a nutritious start to the day, but will also prevent breakfast boredom through fresh and flavourful smoothie combos