How to build a nutritious smoothie for athletes

Posted on November 13, 2019 by

Juggling training and competition commitments with other life factors like work and/or study can mean that athletes lead very busy lives.

This is where nutritious, simple, quick and easy meal or snack options can become really useful. They can save time and energy while still optimising health and performance.

Smoothies are a great example of this, as you just throw lots of ingredients in the blender and a nutrient-packed meal or snack is made in under a minute.

As we lead into the warmer months of the year, smoothies can be especially beneficial due their ability to aid hydration as well as provide essential nutrients depending on what you add to it.

You don’t have to include every ingredient every time: smoothies also have the potential to be very energy dense if you add too much of one ingredient type or may be too high in fibre and fat directly before training.

To build a balanced smoothie which suits your training demands and schedule, use the table below to understand what ingredients you should be including to meet your nutrition needs for pre-training, post-training or as a balanced meal in a drink.

Optional extras include 1-2 teaspoons of cacao, cinnamon, fresh ginger, mint, vanilla essence or honey. 


Some smoothie combination suggestions are:

  • Cow’s milk + Greek yoghurt + banana + baby spinach + rolled oats + peanut butter + honey
  • Coconut water + carrot + ginger + mint + celery + melon + chia seeds + rolled oats
  • Almond milk + Greek yoghurt + berries + cucumber + baby spinach + Weetbix + avocado
  • Soy milk + Vanilla protein powder + vanilla essence + LSA + untoasted muesli + kale + berries
  • Water + orange + lime + mint + spinach + ginger + kale + almonds


Other tips:

  • Frozen fruit and vegetables are great for smoothies
  • Over-ripe fruit give smoothies a sweeter taste
  • You can make a shake the night before and add cereal or seeds for more of a breakfast-style shake the next day
  • A source of dairy before bed can aid recovery and sleep quality overnight. A smoothie can be a great source of this

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