Pre-Game Smoothies for Fast Fuel

Knowing how to feed your athlete can be overwhelming. Especially when it comes to pre-game fuel. Protein? Carbs? Sugar? Hydration? How much? WHEN?

Luckily, I have an easy solution.

SMOOTHIES.

They are easily customizable to your athlete’s tastes and once you have everything on hand, they can create a healthy habit by making the same thing, every time. Oh-and they can make it themselves!!

No more guessing. No more rushing around.

Smoothies are a quick and easy pre-game fuel and it’s even easier to keep everything you need on hand. No supplements or protein powders necessary.

HERE’S THE DEAL:

  • Carbohydrates should be the main focus of a pre-game snack. 

  • A bit of protein will help sustain the energy they receive from the carbohydrates.

  • This should be consumed ONE HOUR before activity. 

What they choose for those components is really up to their likes and dislikes. All smoothies can be changed up for allergy or dietary concerns.

HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE OPTIONS:


CLASSIC BANANA STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (Protein)

  • 1 frozen banana (Carbs)

  • Handful frozen strawberries (Carbs)

  • Handful baby spinach (Carbs)

This is a classic smoothie that has a taste most young athletes love. It’s sweet without any added sugar, and contains plenty of carbs for quick energy, plus some extra greens which is ALWAYS A GOOD THING.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (Protein)

  • 1 frozen banana (Carbs)

  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (Protein)

  • 2 tbsp rolled oats (Carbs)

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder 

If you have an athlete that loves chocolate milk, this is the perfect solution without all the added sugar. This is a great option as a post game recovery smoothie as well. If allergic to peanuts, swap out the peanut butter for an allergy friendly sunflower butter.

TROPICAL PARADISE SMOOTHIE:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 frozen banana

  • Handful frozen pineapple

  • 1 seedless clementine (peeled)

  • Handful baby spinach

This smoothie is for all those young athletes that love the rink but like to dream of the beach. It’s a delicious and fruity smoothie that will keep you energized right until the end of the third period.

Now, some of the specifics...


WHY FROZEN FRUIT?

Two reasons.

One: CONVENIENCE. A freezer full of fruit will last a lot longer than fresh and has the same amount of nutrition.

Two: This will keep the smoothie colder, longer, and can make it creamier (more like a milkshake) which can be more appealing to some.

WHY BANANAS?

I include bananas in every smoothie because I truly believe they are an athlete’s best friend. Not only do they contain natural sugar and carbs needed for energy, they also contain potassium and magnesium which are electrolytes that these athletes need. Bananas also contain fibre, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They are truly a superfood. If you don’t like bananas, that’s perfectly fine-but do try to have them in a few different smoothies to see if there is one you like. You might be surprised!

WHY SPINACH?

How many dark leafy greens does your young athlete eat? If that answer is “TONS!” Then go ahead and omit the spinach. If your answer is like most of the general public, which is “None”…this is a great way to start getting more vegetables into them. And I promise they cannot taste it. Promise-but use BABY spinach. The full grown spinach or kale can be earthy and doesn’t blend as well.

BONUS INGREDIENT:

Plain Kefir.

Kefir is a fermented dairy product (like a thin yogurt) that contains probiotics. If you can add a couple of tablespoons of plain kefir to any smoothie, the probiotics will help maintain a healthy immune system. It is derived from dairy-so if there are intolerances-look for non-dairy kefir. You can find kefir at most grocery stores in the dairy aisle, near the yogurt.

Do you make smoothies? I would love to see them! Post on instagram and tag @Hockey_Snacks!

Want more recipes like this one? Join us in our free Facebook Group: "Prepare Your Athletes!". It's full of quick and easy recipes you can start using right away to help fuel your young athlete. 

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