What Athletes Should Know about Juice and Smoothies

If you are extra daring, try adding beets to your concoction. Studies have suggested that beet juice can accelerate muscle repair and decrease soreness after a hard workout. Clean Juice, a North Carolina native business, has embraced much of this recent research. The company even includes beets in its “Athlete Shot” to help aid in recovery. Clean Juice has formulated many prod- ucts that can maximize recovery while tasting great. Visit Clean Juice’s website to find the closest location to you.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES

Picking fruits that are low in sugar can ensure that you have plenty of good tasting juice without solely relying on sugar as an energy source.
Picking fruits that are low in sugar can ensure that you have plenty of good tasting juice without solely relying on sugar as an energy source.

If there is one thing a semi-destructive high-intensity workout can promote, it’s inflammation. As a result, monstrous amounts of ibuprofen are being consumed daily in training rooms around the country. The use of other similar over-the-counter medications can result in everything from stomach ulcers to heart problems in older individuals.

But there are less risky and naturally anti-inflammatory foods that can be added to homemade sports drinks. Some of these include ginger, turmeric and fish oil. Ginger has been used for generations to calm uneasy stomachs. Turmeric, which is often found in Indian food, has also become a very common additive to decrease inflammation. It is said that a little black pepper should be blended with turmeric to maximize and activate its benefits.

Many raw cod liver oil supplements are citrus flavored and a quality product will likely not taste fishy when added to the other ingredients you compile. It is worth experimenting with these remedies to experience their potential benefits, but please discuss the dosages with your chiropractor or nutrition consultant.

RECOVER WITH MINERALS

If there is one sports-related question that gets asked the most in a chiropractic office, it’s, “What are some natural sources of minerals and other supplements that can help with cramping and tight muscles?”

Many people have learned to ditch table salt and start using sea salt or Himalayan salt at home. These now-common salts are great sources of cramp-stopping minerals. One mineral that gets a lot of notoriety for its muscle-relaxing benefits is magnesium. Some people have taken Epsom Salt baths when training gets tough. Even adding black pepper can give some much-needed minerals for recovery. A common theme is that harsh flavors can be masked by the other ingredients, making them easier to consume.

INCLUDE PROTEIN AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS

As an athlete, you probably already have a pile of supplements, such as protein powder, amino acids and maybe even creatine. Although this can be a totally different discussion, you absolutely can add these to your customized drink. Make sure you know how supplements interact with each other before mixing.

A smoothie is probably more ideal than juice for consistency and drinkability with these types of supplements. If you are already mixing these supplements in a shaker bottle, it is most likely okay to add it to your juice or smoothie mixture. There are so many options when making your own custom sports concoction. Every person will have different tolerances and preferences for different ingredients. You may find that one drink you make is a good pre-workout snack while another recipe works better as a recovery drink.

When you make tweaks, be sure to take a mental note of how you feel after consumption. The goal is to find a com- bination that makes you feel good and has a collection of healthy ingredients that you are lacking elsewhere in your diet. Although taste should not be the primary factor, it still is important. If you enjoy drinking it, you will be more likely to consume it regularly and receive its benefits.

Green Smoothie Recipe

2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 frozen banana – sliced
Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve.
MAKE IT HEALTHIER: Use slightly unripened bananas for less sugar. You can substitute peanut butter with any other (sugar-free) nut butter.

Did You Know?

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.

Resources

There are some helpful and informative articles about daily nutrition needs available on the Centers for Disease Control website.
Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables
Children Eating More Fruit, but Fruit and Vegetable Intake Still Too Low

PHOTOS: Clean Juice

About Justin Gianni 4 Articles
Dr. Justin Gianni was raised in the Triangle where he found a love for running in high school. He was fortunate enough that his passion led him to a career as a Division 1 cross-country runner at Elon University and more importantly it introduced him to the world of health and wellness. With a strong desire to pursue a profession that would allow him to be involved with those fields, he attended chiropractic school at New York Chiropractic College. After graduating he returned to the area where he was raised and currently practices at Chiropractic Nutrition Center in Cary, N.C. At this clinic he is able to work with patients who have a variety of conditions, both sport and non-sport related. While chiropractors are most commonly recognized for working with neck pain, back pain, extremity injuries and headaches, he also works with patients who want to improve their overall health. He incorporates nutrition and a variety of other strategies when putting together a patient care plan and knows that giving each person a strategy that is customized to their needs and unique situation is essential.

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