How Smoothies Became the Go-To Way to Refuel Post-Workout

Smoothies as a great post-workout food
Photo by Jugoslocos on Unsplash

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If there’s one thing that most people don’t like about working out, it’s how hungry they get right after. It can be tempting to down a few protein bars or chug a protein shake after your workout. But they don’t always hit the spot! That’s why smoothies became so popular—they’re easy to make and delicious. But not all smoothies are created equal. Many of them are packed with as many as 700 calories per serving. This is way more than you need post-workout. Consider these tips and smoothies if you want an easy way to refuel without exceeding your daily calorie budget.

Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to recover post-workout

In ancient times, people often used food to recover from exercise. For example, the famed Roman gladiator Spartacus is said to have eaten his slave-boy’s liver after a hard battle against a rival king. And in ancient Greece, athletes consumed vast amounts of meat after competition to replenish their bodies with protein and other essential nutrients.

But nowadays, we don’t need to eat an entire person or animal after we work out. We can just drink smoothies!

In ancient Greece, athletes used to plunge themselves in the vats of wine

Ancient Greeks were also known for their love of wine. Athletes were known to drink vats of it after a workout to help with muscle recovery. The alcohol content in the wine was believed to help stimulate circulation, leading to faster healing.

The theory holds today. One study on rats found that those whose diet included alcohol gained more muscle mass than those who didn’t. Another experiment found similar results when testing out beer and grape juice as post-workout drinks. The rat subjects experienced increased testosterone levels after consuming either drink compared with plain water alone.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the concept of post-workout recovery became more scientific

In 1805, Scottish physician James Currie published his book Hygeia: Or, Essays Moral and Physical on the Pursuit of Health, by which he coined the term “hygiene.” This resulted from increased scientific research and marked a turning point for health care professionals. The idea of treating your body like a machine quickly became replaced with an understanding that it is much more complex. And needs to be treated as such.

In 1912, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville wrote one of his most influential books titled How to Live 100 Years Without Aging or Being Sick: A Study Based on Scientific Principles Which Regard Food as Equivalent to Drugs For Maintenance of Health and Cure Of Disease. In this treatise, he introduced many ideas around nutrition, including eating smaller portions throughout each day rather than three large meals, drinking plenty of water during exercise, eating foods low in fat, eating fruits and vegetables daily, avoiding alcohol consumption altogether (it interferes with liver function), getting exercise every day, sleeping 7-8 hours per night, staying away from refined sugars because these have been stripped down from their natural fiber content, leaving nothing but empty calories, eating lean meat sparingly if at all (lean meat has less protein than most other meats, so you need more grams/serving).

The smoothie started gaining popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s health food craze

Smoothies were popularized initially in the U.S. during the 1960s health food craze, but it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990’s that smoothies took off. Many people started drinking smoothies to get their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables during that period.

Recently, it has become common for individuals to use smoothies as meal replacements or snacks instead of high-calorie junk food choices like candy bars or pizza slices.

God did not create all the smoothies equal

Keeping a few things in mind can ensure they fit into your diet while still tasting great and providing the nutrients you need to refuel post-workout.

Many of us have been there. After a workout, you’re thirsty and hungry. But you don’t want to eat anything that will slow down your recovery time. So what do you reach for? A smoothie! Smoothies are delicious, packed with vitamins and minerals, and refreshing after a hard workout.

Some can be high in calories (and sugar), while others are low in carbs. So what gives? It depends on what you combine with the liquid base of the smoothie: water or milk (or any other liquid). If your drink is mostly fruit juice or coconut water, it will be higher in calories than if it’s mostly water. Then again if there’s granola mixed in, those numbers will change again because now we’re talking about oats instead of fruits, which makes things even harder to calculate. Some people might think “granola is healthy!”. But granola means “grain,” so if granola has whole grains like oats or quinoa flakes mixed, those things might increase calorie content exponentially. This brings me back around full circle where I started. Calculating calorie counts based on ingredient ratios only matters when comparing one drink against another because everyone has different needs. 

So what should you do if you want a post-workout smoothie but don’t have time (or energy) to make one yourself?

There are options if you’re pressed for time and energy after a workout and don’t have time to make your smoothie.

  • A local juice bar or grocery store might offer smoothies. They might not be super-nutritious, but they will get the job done.
  • You can also buy a smoothie from a vending machine at your gym if it has one. Just know that this will probably not be the most nutritious option. The ingredients are usually pre-packaged and often contain artificial sugars. But if you need something quick, this may be an acceptable choice.
  • If none of these options appeal to you, consider buying one at one of your favorite smoothie chains. Read through the nutrition information first so that you don’t accidentally end up with something unhealthy!
  • Finally—and this may require more time than just making some fruit juice—you could always make your post-workout smoothie home!

Post-workout smoothies are a delicious way to refuel after your workout.

Post-workout smoothies are a delicious way to refuel after your workout. They can help you recover from a workout, rebuild muscle tissue, and even recover from an injury. What are some of the benefits of drinking a recovery smoothie?

Faster recovery

The nutrients in these drinks can help replenish glycogen stores in your muscles and aid in muscle repair.

Greater strength gains

The research found that athletes who consumed protein supplements immediately after workouts experienced greater strength gains than those who didn’t take the supplements. Similarly, when participants consumed whey protein before sleep each night for 14 days—followed by seven days without supplementation—they saw significant improvements in muscle mass.

Better endurance

Better endurance during exercise sessions or sports competitions due to better fuel delivery throughout activity duration.


Smoothies have become the go-to way to refuel post-workout. They are convenient, easy to make, and most importantly, they taste good! Now that you know how smoothies became the go-to way to refuel post-workout, it’s time for you to enjoy them too.