You know that tired, shakey, hangry feeling you sometimes get an hour or two after drinking a fruit smoothie? It’s not just something that happens or caused by a lack of sleep. Chances are your meal was high in carbs and low in protein and fat which is why it’s important to add protein and fat to your smoothie (and snacks, treats and meals too).
I’ve broken down what happens after we drink fruit smoothies compared with smoothies balanced with protein and fat below. It’s an important tip in smoothie making for our bodies and also our mental capacity. You can also check out my other tips for making a nutritious and delicious smoothie.
The protein and fat nutrition-y, science-y stuff…
Protein comes from a variety of foods, including plants so it is possible to have a smoothie with some added fat, say from avocados. This kind of smoothie can technically include all 3 macronutrients, protein, carbs and fat but the ratio for this kind of smoothie would be imbalanced. In a mostly fruit smoothie the carbs would be high, and protein would be on the lower side. It’s good to add some extra protein from a yogurt or nut/seed butter so we get the benefits of a balanced meal or snack.
Only drinking fruit is a load of carbs, mostly fructose, which is a sugar. When drinking a load of sugar, the sugar in the blood spikes. This causes your body to secrete a whole bunch of insulin to bring the sugar into your cells. After about an hour or two, you typically wind up with that tired, weak, shakey, hangry, crashing feeling that keeps you from continuing your day and feeling productive. That is, until you eat again and typically we reach for something super quick to satisfy us, because let’s face it, you need to eat NOW.
Adding some protein and fat to the smoothie keeps your blood sugar from spiking because your insulin releases steadily, so your energy level is stable. You can be Super Mom or Super Dad and run after your kids, help with schoolwork and get your own work done too.
Kids aren’t immune to this either. They can have those crashes too, and may not have the capacity to explain how they feel. Maybe you notice an hour after a fruit smoothie or a juice, a tantrum comes on or some kind of irrational behavior. So, it’s good to balance their smoothies and meals too.
I hope I’ve inspired you start making some smoothies…
They’re a great way to start the day. Leave a comment below and let me know some of your favorite smoothie tips. Wish you all the best today!