3 Healthy Summer Smoothie Recipes Made for the Endurance Athlete

Chill out this summer with delicious smoothies that aid training and pack an impressive nutritional punch.

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Smoothies are the perfect summertime food: cold, no need to chew or turn on an oven, and ready in minutes. They’re good both pre- and post-run, making them ideal for endurance athletes or anyone who needs an easy nutritional boost. These three healthy smoothie recipes come from Angie Asche, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist who works with runners and athletes.

[Looking for more tips on making the best possible smoothie? Here’s how.]

Berry-Beet Smoothie

dark purple smoothie in a glass
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Cooked beets blend much more easily than raw. You can find precooked beets in the produce department at most grocery stores.

Performance Tip: Beet juice has been shown to help improve stamina and shorten recovery time between training sessions. This could be the result of increased blood flow, allowing for greater oxygen delivery to your muscles thanks to the nitrates found naturally in beets. For the most benefit, drink 30 minutes before your workout.

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk or 2% milk
  • 1 cooked beet, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1–2 tsp. honey
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

Put the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on high until smooth.

Coffee and Cacao Smoothie

Coffee and cacao healthy smoothie recipe in a glass with coffee beans
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

This is Angie Asche’s personal favorite smoothie. “I’ll have it for breakfast most mornings when I’m in a rush. I typically add a scoop of chocolate protein powder to it for more protein,” she says. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, use more coffee and less milk.

Performance Tip: Caffeine levels in the blood peak at 45 to 60 minutes post-consumption, so this smoothie is ideal about an hour before your training session. Choose caffeine from natural sources like coffee or tea that don’t contain excess sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla nondairy milk or 2% milk
  • 4–6 oz. cold-brew coffee
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp. creamy almond butter
  • 3–4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp. cacao powder

Put the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on high until smooth.

Gut Health Berry Smoothie

Gut health berry smoothie with strawberries
Photo: Hannah DeWitt

Performance Tip: Intense exercise, like that of endurance athletes, can lead to significant changes within your gut microbiome. Probiotics and prebiotics help keep your gut healthy by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Ground flaxseed and berries provide prebiotics (fiber), and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt is fortified with probiotics (bacteria) to make this healthy smoothie recipe an excellent option to promote optimal gut health.

Makes 1 serving

  • 1½ cups unsweetened nondairy milk or 2% milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (optional)
  • 1 small frozen banana, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder of choice
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Put the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on high until smooth.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Fuel Your Body: How to Cook and Eat for Peak Performance by Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD.