I get asked daily about muscle recovery drinks and protein shakes; which brands are good or not good, which brands do I recommend and so forth. It may come as a big shock to you, but, I do not recommend any! The nutrition fitness and supplement market rakes in billions of dollars every year on chemical formula’s that your body can neither absorb nor utilize. In fact, most of those expensive sports drinks clog up your liver, thus this slows down your metabolism. As an athlete and nutritionist, I have not only used this recovery drink recipe, but, have also recommended it to most of my fitness guru’s and athlete patients.
Before, I give the recipe; I wanted to give you the health benefits of the main ingredient in the recipe. Can you guess what it is? Cherries!
Cherries are a rich pigmented fruit that contain phytonutrients, such as, anthocyanin glycosides, which are also known as anti-oxidants, as well as, other vital vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet, as well as, tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for our body’s overall health.
Scientific studies have shown that the anthocyanins in cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory drugs by blocking the actions of enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 and 2. Thus, consumption of cherries may offer potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition), and sore muscles due to strenuous exercise and or sports injuries. There have been other studies that have shown that tart cherries produce melatonin, which has a soothing effect on the brain’s neurons, and calms the nervous system’s irritability; thus, can help relieve neurosis, insomnia and headaches.
Cherries are also considered a low glycemic fruit, which means, they do not cause a dramatic spike in your insulin levels. Unlike, other fruits that spike the blood glucose, cherries have been shown to help regulate and reduce glucose levels in diabetics.
Cherries are consider a carbohydrate and when mixed with a healthy protein, can help replenish the caloric energy lost during exercise, reduce inflammation in the muscles and help repair and build long lean muscle tissue; while stabilizing the glycemic index. Amazing, Right?!
Before you go and spend hundreds of dollars on protein powders and recovery drinks that can actually damage and weaken your muscles, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Anti-inflammatory Cherry Protein Recovery Smoothie
1/3 cup of plain non-fat Greek Yogurt
½ cup of fresh or frozen berries
½ cup of Almond milk
½ cup of organic tart cherry juice ( can be found at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, & Lassen’s )
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of raw honey
4-5 Ice cubes
Blend together and enjoy!!
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