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Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

March 26, 2014 | Featured in the Winter 2014 Issue

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Let’s face it: An athlete’s diet can seem pretty bland. If you’re following all the rules, it’s grilled chicken breast, veggies, rice, repeat. If you’re hungry between meals, you heat up more of the same. Sounds kind of monotonous, huh?

Newsflash: There’s a simple way to add flavor to your diet without adding empty calories. All you need is a juicer or a blender. Homemade smoothies and juices are fast, portable and packed with nutrients—and they tend to taste better than the individual foods they’re made from (you’ll be amazed at how sweet carrot juice is—it tastes nothing like a whole carrot).

Tara Ostrowe, M.S., R.D. and nutritionist for the New York Giants, recommends that her team’s players use these nutritious drinks to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables they might not otherwise eat.

“Our players make a lot of [juices and smoothies],” Ostrowe says. “I write down the benefits of each mixture and put it in plain sight. When they see all of the good vitamins and nutrients in a juice made with beets, carrots, and kale, it makes them want to drink it.”

Below are four nutritionally stacked concoctions the Giants down in the dining hall before practice, with their lunch, or after workouts. Try adding them to your diet if you want to make giant-sized improvements in your game.

Beet Smoothie“Beet” the Competition


Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 beet with green leaves
  • 1 chunk of ginger root
  • 1 lemon with skin

Why Drink It: Boosts energy and endurance. “Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which can enhance athletic performance by helping your body utilize oxygen during exercise,” Ostrowe says. “The better your oxygen capacity, the better your endurance.”

Nutrition Info:

  • 240 calories
  • 9 g protein
  • 0 g fat
  • 51 g carbohydrates

Apple SmoothieEndurance

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 5 swiss chard leaves
  • 5 celery ribs
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 lemon (without peel)
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • At least 2 watermelon rinds

Why Drink It: “The watermelon rind in Endurance is a natural source of citrulline,” says Ostrowe. “Citrulline, a non-essential amino acid, has been found to enhance aerobic capacity and reduce muscle fatigue.”

Nutrition Info:

  • 314 calories
  • 9 g protein
  • 2 g fat
  • 65 g carbohydrates

Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter SmoothieThe Builder

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp. flax or chia seed (STACK used 1 tbsp. flax)

Why Drink It: As you probably guessed by the name, this one helps pack on muscle. “The peanut butter, yogurt and flax seeds are rich in protein, which is needed for building muscle,” Ostrowe says. “Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus in the milk and yogurt help with building bone mass.”

Nutrition Info:

  • 508 calories
  • 22 g protein
  • 24 g fat
  • 51 g carbohydrates

Blueberry SmoothieBig Blue

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2  cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 tbsp. of flax or chia seeds (STACK used 2 tbsp. flax)

Why Drink It: It’s a big-time recovery booster. “The blueberries in Big Blue are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which help recovery and improve healing,” says Ostrowe. “The flax seeds in the smoothie are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation.”

Nutrition Info:

  •  495 calories
  • 16 g protein
  • 11 g fat
  • 83 g carbs

Ready to start doing more cooking? Check out Ostrowe's recommendations for kitchen gear every athlete should own.

Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...
Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...
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