For the golfer not wanting to step to the first tee on a full stomach, drinking breakfast might not be a bad idea. Smoothies offer a great solution. Not only are they super easy to make, but they are tasty and can pack the essentials needed to boost a round — not bust it.
Protein is important for repairing tissue during and after exercise, but it won't necessarily build muscle. For that, you need to exercise — there are no two ways about it. However, eating the right amount of protein in careful balance with healthy carbohydrates before heading out to the golf course can help you keep energized throughout a round.
Now, there are smoothies and then there are healthy smoothies. You'll probably want the latter because there's no sense packing stuff into a drink that tastes amazing but doesn’t do your body any favors. The ideal smoothie has some kind of fruit for sweetness (although bananas are favorites, keep in mind that they pack the calories), nuts or seeds for an emulsifying or thickening effect, an animal or plant-based milk product for calcium and vitamins, and some kind of sweetener such as agave, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar. Adding greens is up to you and anything from spinach to wheatgrass and avocados make the list of possible additions.
It's not necessary to own a super expensive blender when a simple old-fashioned one will work just fine. Use the following recipe as a guide and customize using your own favorite ingredients.
1 ½ cups frozen berries (any kind or a mix)
½ cup canned pumpkin or fresh avocado
½ cup plant-based milk (think almond, coconut, cashew, hemp, soy)
¼ cup yogurt
2 tablespoons nut or seed butter (tahini, almond, peanut, pecan)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with or without ice.
Sandra A. Gutierrez is an award-winning writer and author of four cookbooks.