After a long bike ride, there are a lot of people who do not necessarily want anything to do with actual food. It makes sense in some ways, as people do not want to stuff their body with a bunch of food if they are pretty exhausted. Instead, drinking something can be a much better way to get back into the swing of things.
While water does a great job of rehydrating a person’s body and getting important fluids back into the system, something more substantial is necessary so that people feel like they are filled up and getting the nutrients they need.
Not feeling like eating a full meal? These post-ride meals will help the body make a full recovery, keeping a person powered and motivated to keep going.
1. Chocolate peanut butter protein recovery smoothie
There is very little to dislike about a chocolate and peanut butter beverage (Amazon). Those who truly enjoy these two indulgent snacks will have no problem drinking a smoothie after a ride.
As long as some protein powder and fruit is thrown into the mix, it can be a pretty healthy recovery drink as well.
People can play around with the recipe, but most people will start with a cup or two of milk, and then start adding ingredients such as a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, a scoop of protein powder, a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, and a banana.
Combined these ingredients together and it makes for a recovery drink that almost feels like a dessert.
The added ingredients like whey protein and a banana can really help out after a long ride. The whey protein can help with the recovery, also giving the body the amino acids they need to help with gaining muscle and dropping weight.
There is a reason why so many people use whey protein when they are working out.
As for a banana, it is very high in fiber, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. They are really going to help fight against any cramping issues that some people run into, and it is a healthy fruit overall.
So many athletes rely on bananas to get the job done and make them feel like they are putting something in the body that makes perfect sense.
2. Green Recovery Smoothie
Greens might not be for everyone, but with the right combination of ingredients, it can be very tasty as well. It is not going to be as sweet and indulgent as a chocolate and peanut butter smoothie, but there are some additional health benefits that people really enjoy.
Like other smoothies, Green Plant Based Protein (Amazon) is a strong base of a person’s favorite type of milk. After that, think about combining ingredients such as spinach, pineapple, and bananas. Add some Greek yogurt to bulk up the smoothie a bit, and it is a very healthy choice for people to count on.
The pineapple and banana help out a lot with not only taste, but providing a good amount of vitamins and minerals. They are pretty easy to consume, and they also are perfect for smoothies since they are so easy to process.
By far, the key ingredient here is spinach, as it provides so many health benefits. By just getting a simple serving of spinach, a person does not have to worry about calories at all.
What they do get is a huge boost in potassium, folate, calcium, fiber, and more. It is a bit of a booster overall for those who might not get enough greens in their diet in the first place.
3. Strawberry Recovery Smoothie
Some people love the taste of fruit as the overpowering flavor in their drink. If that is the case, it really does not get any better than a Strawberry recovery smoothie (Amazon).
A lot of people love the taste of strawberries, and when combined with a few other powerful ingredients, it can be a very healthy option.
Adding fruits to milk can definitely provide some health benefits for any individual out there. Throw in at least a handful of strawberries so that it is the most dominating flavor.
Even with a banana also put into the smoothie, it is not going to throw off the taste much at all.
Also, make sure to combine Greek yogurt and even throw in some Chia seeds for some added benefits as well. It is might not seem like much to put a tablespoon or two of Chia seeds into the mix, but they help out for people who just got off their bike.
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, and multiple antioxidants. It also just so happens to help out with providing enough omega-3 for people to count on as well.
Strawberries might not be the absolute best fruit in the world for ultimate health benefits since it is a little high in sugar, but they do provide some nice qualities overall.
In particular, the antioxidants in strawberries can help with some long-term health issues that some people might be facing.
There is also the thought that it is one of the most beloved fruit tastes in the world, so drinking something like this after a ride will not be challenging at all.
Other Powerful Ingredients to Consider
As the three options above show, there is a pretty basic formula when it comes to creating a recovery drink or smoothie. Some of the other powerful ingredients that are worthy of checking out are healthy options that people have as part of the daily diet.
Mango, Blueberries, and Other Healthy Fruits
These are all going to be great for providing some natural sugars that a person needs, and all the vitamins and minerals that will keep the body going strong.
Getting a daily dosage of fruits is a great way to feel healthy all the time, and as part of the smoothie makes it that much easier. It is also a great way to make something taste that much better.
Fruits can also be a great snack if a smoothie is currently unavailable. They are usually pretty easy to throw into a bag, and they are filling enough.
Avocado, Dates, Beats, and Other Vegetables
It’s very hard to find a way to have too many vegetables after a ride. They have so many different vibe ingredients in them that a person should always try to get at least something into every recovery shake.
These are the best vegetables, and they’re going to make a person feel a lot more full after.
Not everyone’s going to be crazy about the flavors of these vegetables, so have them blended in with something else that might be a little more tolerable. All in all, they are nice ingredients on the list, but should never be the most dominant.
Almond Butter, Oats, and Other Small Add-Ons
It is always worth thinking about other smaller add-ons for a shake like almond butter and oats. They might not seem like they do that much, but it allows people to add some additional nutrients without making it too overwhelming.
By themselves, the flavor might not be there. They also might not be filling enough. However, combined with everything else compliments the smoothie so well.
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Major Keys to a Perfect Post Cycling Drink or Smoothie?
After looking through some of the top choices out there, it is probably pretty clear on what a person should look for when they are trying to find their new favorite post cycling drink or smoothie.
Even if none of these sounds like the perfect option, there are people who can play around with taste and find something that works for them if they try hard enough.
Drink It at the Right Time
There seems to be a pretty common time to drink a recovery smoothie for those who are trying to stay as healthy as possible.
For a full recovery that makes the most sense, try to drink the smoothie somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour after the ride is completed.
What should a person do before that? Try to get as many fluids into the body as possible. Even drinking something as simple as water is a great option right after the race, as the body is likely dehydrated.
Smoothies are going to help with rehydrating the body as well, but nothing quite works like water itself.
It might seem a little rigorous to only be able to drink a product 30 minutes to 60 minutes after a ride, but there will still be benefits no matter when a person ends up putting something in their body.
Carbohydrates are Crucial
Going on a long ride means that a person is going to use up a lot of their built-up carbohydrates. It is important to have carbs ready to go before taking off on the bike ride, but it gets even more important during the recovery process.
That is because the body needs carbohydrates so that it can function properly, recover for the next day, and so much more.
Carbohydrates are something that has received a bit of a bad rap over the last few years, but there really is no reason to avoid them if a person is living an active lifestyle.
They are part of the fueling process, and making sure that there are calories in the body that are from carbohydrates is super important.
The carbohydrates can come from just about any source, but a lot of people will try to stay with something that is pretty healthy overall.
This might take some getting used to for people who are not always eating healthy right after a ride, but it makes sense to go in this direction.
Protein makes a Difference with Muscle Repair and Building
The body goes through quite a bit when going on a long bike ride. Protein is going to help the muscles recover, and also build up to be fairly strong.
There is a reason why bodybuilders are always consuming protein, and the same concept goes with this as well.
Do not think of protein as something that is necessarily going to lead to bulking up, but it is going to strengthen the muscles and make them better overall.
Protein can come from natural foods, but some people also throw in powder when they are using a smoothie.
It is just more convenient, and they come in a variety of flavors so that a person can get what they want and not really throw off the taste of the drink as well.
Mess around with a few protein options, and there is bound to be something out there that makes sense.
Find a Flavor that Stands Out
The flavor of a recovery drink can make all the difference in the world. Some people do not want to touch a drink if it is not one of their favorite flavors.
It makes sense, as a person is already pretty worn out after a ride, so they do not want to force something down that does not taste good to them at all.
It might take some time to find a perfect flavor, but it is worth messing around and seeing what is out there. The better it tastes to an individual, the more likely they are to really get into it.
A recovery drink can be just as efficient as a full meal, so that is why messing around with the taste matters so much.
Do not Ignore Also Drinking Water
This is never a scenario where a person needs to pick one or the other. It is a smart idea to drink as much water as possible right after the ride, and periodically throughout the rest of the day as well.
Remember, getting at least eight cups of water each day is a recommended amount for people who are living an active lifestyle. Increasing that amount even more as someone who is riding during strenuous times can be very crucial as well.
Try to make sure that water is in the body before going on the ride, and it is always worth having a bottle ready to go while riding as well. The last thing a person wants to do is ever feel any of the repercussions of being dehydrated after a long ride.
This is especially true in the summer, as a person is likely to sweat more and lose more of their water weight during the ride.
Do Post Cycling Drinks and Smoothies Live Up to the Hype?
Some cyclists are going to absolutely love post cycling drinks and smoothies, while others know them as nothing more than necessity.
It is not the only solution to getting nutrients back in the body and recovering in a smart way, but it is rather convenient. As long as a person is ready to put in a little bit of work to prepare the drink or smoothie, everything else should go pretty well.
Remember that at the end of the day, this is just one solution that can work. Some will be hungry enough that they want to eat a full meal, while others will opt for something like a snack or recovery bar built specifically for convenience.
The most important part is getting something that works for each cycle, and eventually sticking with it.