A study out of Stanford University School Of Medicine demonstrated that insomniacs cut the time to fall asleep by half, slept longer and enjoyed a better quality sleep after beginning to cycle 20-30 minutes every other day. And that’s just one of the benefits cycling can have on your life. But now that you’re riding, how do you keep energy going into your body when you are putting so much out? The answer is a smoothie one. Yes, a simple-to-make smoothie, with all the right ingredients can keep your body moving in the right direction, whether you’re coming or going on your bike.
A smoothie to start the day
Before you kick start your kickstand, you want to get your body in shape to stay in shape. For cycling, you need energy to not just get moving, but to keep moving in order to get the aerobic benefit and build muscle tone. The smoothie habit is a healthy one to adopt, as it adapts to your active life. Energize first thing in the morning with fresh ingredients that taste good, are quick to blend and provide the boost of nutrients a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal just can’t provide.
Beyond the banana
Fruit provides important vitamins but also great flavor that can mask some of the other less tasty but oh-so-healthy additions. Of course, bananas make for the consistency, but also provide fiber, vitamins, and potassium. Other fruits kick up the flavor and the vitamin contribution as well. Then add some spinach or a bit of kale to a cold green tea or even coffee base, blend in almond milk and you will have just the morning lift to get you going. Explore the many combinations to make your perfect morning smoothie, adding honey and other healthy flavors until it’s just the way you like it.
A Smoothie Ride
Just as you need the right bike, with all the right bike parts to keep your bike running strong, it’s important to stay energized and hydrated to keep your body running strong. Again, a smoothie you can take along will make the going easier and keep your health on the right track. A coconut water based smoothie contains electrolytes, to which you can add seasonal fresh, low-calorie fruits like watermelon, a better choice than fruit juice. Hemp, ground flax or chia seeds will blend in a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. This sip-n-ride mix will not only taste delicious, but will give you way more cycling stamina than water alone.
Bringing it home
Getting off the bike and jumping into a chocolate peanut butter smoothie is not only flavorfully rewarding, but with peanut and unsweetened cocoa powder mixed into regular or soy milk with a drop of honey, you’ll feel like you’re cheating while you’re replenishing yourself with goodness. Even a drop of protein powder, vanilla extract or a banana will dance on your tongue and bring nourishment back to your belly after a strenuous ride. Again, make your smoothie your own by trying different combinations of healthy ingredients.
Even more body benefits in smoothies
They are easy to make and easy to carry along, and smoothies can have health benefits for cyclists beyond being the well-balanced super-food you can treat yourself to without guilt. Depending on what you add, a smoothie any time can act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to keep your joints in check for the long run, so you can keep taking those rides comfortably for many years to come. They don’t say “A smoothie a day will keep the doctor away,” but with the right recipe, it very well could.
Remember that every single green drink you create is an investment in your quality of life — now and always