By two in the afternoon, you’re ready to call it a day. Don’t throw in the towel just yet; what you really need is an afternoon “pick me up.” A cocoa chia smoothie is the way to go. This smoothie is an energy powerhouse that can get your workout ready. Chia seeds provide an array of health benefits, but for our purpose — energy. When dropped into a liquid, the seeds double in size and shape into a gel-like substance. The new formation of the seeds delays the change from carbohydrates to sugar, allowing you to have more energy for longer. And if your muscles are inflamed post-workout, the omega-3 fatty acid content can help reduce the inflammation. Also, if your looking to drop a few pounds, two tablespoons of chia seeds has twice the amount of fiber compared to a cup of oatmeal.
With cocoa powder, you’ll see more muscle pumps. It’s a nitric oxide booster that can improve muscle recovery and growth. A study published by the European Journal of Nutrition had a group of men consume dark chocolate pre-workout. The results: blood glucose levels were improved, insulin levels increased, and there were less oxidative stresses present. Enhanced blood glucose levels can give you more energy during an intense workout, and higher insulin levels can stimulate muscle growth. Experiencing less oxidative stress can expedite muscle recovery.
What You’ll Need1 cup non-fat milk​1 scoop whey protein powder 2 tbs chia seeds¼ cup cocoa powder1 small banana​Totals: 332 calories, 4.5g fat, 31.5g carbs, 36g protein