Cycling Nutrition: Green Summer Smoothie

Summer’s endless days are welcome for many reasons. Most important are the opportunities to ride more often and ride longer on each ride. Like always, make sure you take care of yourself after those summer spins. Have a recovery drink chilling in the fridge for when you finish, and eat healthy the rest of the day. That means getting your daily supply of fruit and vegetables. For many of us, ingesting those nine servings can prove to be a challenge, especially if we aren’t near a kitchen. Thankfully, blenders are good for more than just making margaritas, as smoothies are an easy way to eat your veggies.

Here is one of my favorite veggie smoothie recipes, perfect for keeping cool on a hot summer day. It’s easy to digest, has a bright, refreshing flavor, and is rich with vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory foods.

Summer Veggie Smoothie (Makes enough to fill two drink mix shaker bottles)

  • Two good handfuls/2-3 cups of greens (kale, spinach, chard)
  • Two celery stalks
  • One cucumber
  • Half an avocado
  • Two pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 grams fresh turmeric root
  • Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Two cups of water/almond milk/coconut water

For cyclists, this easy-to-process combination of foods will be digested fast and effectively. You’ll be ready to ride with no bloating and nothing to inhibit the uptake of whatever quickly-accessible fuel source you use for your ride. Sugar is kept to a minimum by excluding fruit. Yes, dates are used for a touch of sweetness, but can be swapped out with coconut sugar or stevia for even less sugar. Dates however, are rich in potassium, which helps to balance fluid and electrolyte levels, and vitamin B6, which is important for red blood cell formation.

If you need some more sugar, here’s a bonus smoothie recipe I’ve been making for breakfast lately. Sweet and delicious, it packs in 10 grams of protein to go with all that sugar.

Banana Date Protein Smoothiedate smoothie

  • One banana
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • Three Medjool dates
  • One tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • One cup water