Delicious and Nutritious Smoothie Recipes for Runners

Whether you’re looking for nutritious breakfast options or post-long run recovery drinks, smoothies are an excellent go-to menu item for runners. Smoothies offer the double benefit of energy and hydration, two vital components to fuel your best workout.

Girl drinking fruit smoothie after running
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Pre-Workout Smoothies

For a pre-run breakfast, you want some simple carbs to give you energy and protein to help stave off hunger and let you go the distance. Smoothies with low-fat dairy (like yogurt or milk) will provide a source of protein and natural sugar, as well as simple carbohydrates from fruit.

Keep in mind, however, that everyone's body is a little bit different in terms of digestion and exercise. If you experience nausea when running on a full stomach, have your smoothie at least one hour before heading out for a run, or wait until you get back.

Post-Workout Smoothies

For post-run recovery, drink plenty of fluids and replenish your energy reserves with starchy ingredients packed with complex carbohydrates and protein like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and veggies. Protein helps repair your muscles for faster recovery after a tough workout.

Some natural fat (like from peanut butter or chia seeds) supports recovery but may cause indigestion if consumed during a pre-workout drink. Avoid higher-fat ingredients in a pre-run smoothie, but feel free to add them to your post-run mix.

These healthy, delicious smoothies deliver nutrients to boost performance and recovery. Add water as needed to thin out your smoothie mixture as you blend. After placing all the ingredients to the blender, mix well until you achieve your desired consistency.

Get a Natural Nutrient Boost

Add a handful of fresh or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach to any smoothie for a boost of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Spinach has a mild flavor, so there will be minimal impact on your smoothie's ultimate taste. After just a few extra seconds in the blender, your smoothie is instantly upgraded to a healthier version.

1

Banana Berry Blast

This smoothie is packed with flavor and includes simple carbohydrates from berries as well as protein from yogurt. It's great for either pre- or post-workout.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup ice

Choose plain Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and free of added sugar. Too much sugar can cause cramps and diarrhea.

2

Watermelon Smoothie

This smoothie is refreshing after a hot run and is also surprisingly satisfying. You can freeze watermelon chunks ahead of time so you can prepare it faster when you want it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup ice
3

Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Close your eyes while you’re drinking this tasty and refreshing smoothie and you just might think you’re relaxing on a tropical island. Banana is a good source of potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramps post-run. To boost protein and healthy fats, add ground flax seeds, almond, or peanut butter.

Ingredients

  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana (large, cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup almond milk
4

Mandarin Orange Smoothie

Get a big blast of muscle-repairing vitamin C with this delicious and filling smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and unseeded
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice cubes
5

Mango Smoothie

Mangoes are full of vitamins, minerals, and potassium, so they’re an excellent fruit to add to your pre- or post-run regimen.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 mango, diced and chilled
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (low- or non-fat cow's milk or almond, oat, cashew, or hemp milk)
  • 6 ice cubes
6

Chocolate and Banana Smoothie

This tasty smoothie will satisfy your sweet tooth while serving up protein and carbohydrates for a pre- or post-workout drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup low- or non-fat milk, or alternative milk such as almond or oat milk
  • Unsweetened chocolate powder to taste
7

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

The protein in the peanut butter makes this smoothie a perfect long-run recovery drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit

A Word From Verywell

Although smoothies aren't required to fuel a workout, they can become a nutritious and refreshing addition to your day. A high-quality blender, along with a mix of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, is all you really need to experiment with different flavor combinations. Use up fresh produce before it starts to go bad by tossing them into the blender for an exciting new recipe.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Murray D, Miller KC, Edwards JE. Does a reduction in serum sodium concentration or serum potassium concentration increase the prevalence of exercise-associated muscle cramps?. J Sport Rehabil. 2016;25(3):301-4. doi:10.1123/jsr.2014-0293

  4. Taghiyar M, Darvishi L, Askari G, et al. The effect of vitamin C and E supplementation on muscle damage and oxidative stress in female athletes: A clinical trial. Int J Prev Med. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S16-23.

  5. Lauricella M, Emanuele S, Calvaruso G, Giuliano M, D'Anneo A. Multifaceted health benefits of Mangifera indica L. (mango): The inestimable value of orchards recently planted in Sicilian rural areas. Nutrients. 2017;9(5). doi:10.3390/nu9050525

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