The Nutrient-Dense Smoothie
Why: Too many triathletes rely heavily on packaged sports foods. These might be great for race day and for key workouts, but getting a substantial proportion of your daily calories from sports drinks, gels and chews is less than ideal and will leave you lacking in the nutrient department. Try to incorporate more real food and include a couple of nutrient-dense smoothies throughout the week. Green vegetables (with a little fruit to sweeten) are a convenient way to boost your nutrient intake.
When: Any time, especially for those in hard training and in need of extra calories. Substitute as a snack or use as a nutrient-dense breakfast.
What: Experiment with green vegetables such as kale or spinach as the base. Vegetables are more nutritious than most fruits, which are also higher in (natural) sugars. Other vegetables like beets, carrots, celery, cucumber and herbs are also great. Sweeten with a little fruit to make it more appealing.
Chia seeds are rich in protein and contain valuable Omega-3 essential fatty acids. When you soak the chia seeds in water, they expand and become gelatinous, adding thickness and substance to a drink.
1 tsp chia seeds
4 tsp water
1 green apple
10 fresh mint leaves
large handful of baby spinach or kale
½ cup fresh apple juice
1) Combine chia seeds with the water and soak for a few hours or overnight in the fridge (do this in a bigger batch and use 1 tbsp of the gelatinized mix).
2) Add rest of ingredients plus the chia seed mix to a blender and blitz until combined.