I just cheered my husband on to a 10-mile PR. 57:0-something = Fantastic!
I know, I’m sure I had a lot to do with it. 😉
It’s fun to cheer on J and my Runablaze teammates, but still I miss the thrill of racing. Honoring the hard work I witnessed at today’s Capital Pursuit, I’m bringing out a favorite of mine: Chocolate covered cherry recovery drink.
This drink is nothing but gOOdness. You can also use it to recover from vacuuming or maybe waxing your car, right? It’s not just for race-recovery. I’ll discuss the main characters in this drink. If you want to get straight to recovery (or to sipping a nice cherry-spiked hot chocolate) then you can skip to the recipe, where I included the Cliff’s Notes to my reasoning behind each ingredient.
First for the main characters: cocoa powder and cherry juice are each stacked with antioxidants. Antioxidants have been proven in many medical studies to help speed healing and reduce inflammation and, thus, speed recovery.
Sweeteners/hydrators: The drink is sweetened with dates and raw honey, no sugar. Sugar is an aggressive pro-inflammatory agent. Honey is a better choice. Raw honey is so divine. It’s almost milky in texture with lovely little flecks of bee-goodness: enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants. Dates not only add sweetness, but they help to replenish your glycogen stores and, when blended with water, increase rehydration. Then for the champion hydrator, Chia; these seeds are loaded with protein, those blessed Omega-3s and, once again, antioxidants.
Finally for the MVPs: Spirulina and Chlorella. These two algae provide a plethora of essential nutrients. Spirulina is roughly 60% protein and a complete one at that. Compared to other plant-based protein sources Spirulina is superior. Chlorella is also a complete protein, but is more known for having the highest chlorophyll concentrations that detoxify the body and support healthy liver functioning. Personally, I find that when I add about a teaspoon of each Chlorella and Spirulina to my smoothies in the morning, I stay feeling as full as when I’ve eaten a bowl of oatmeal. I believe this must have to do with their protein content.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Recovery Drink (serves 2), Ingredients and some reasons behind each:
- 1.5 cups boiling water – hydration, hydration, hydration
- 8 dates – glycogen replacement / hydrator
- ¼ c cherry juice concentrate – antioxidant
- ¼ c cocoa powder – antioxidant
- 3 T honey – enzymes
- 2 T Chia seeds – hydration & Omega 3s
- 2 t each Chlorella and Spirulina – protein and a bunch of other stuff
- pinch of sea salt – you know how much of this they put in Gatorade? (and it’s nothing fancy, pretty much just table salt)
Get the water boiling in the microwave or stove. In a blender, blend together the rest of the ingredients. If it’s not blending well, then add a splash of your water while the rest of it continues to get piping hot in the microwave. When hot, add the water and blend. The boiling water will cool a little as you blend it. It should be perfectly ready to drink when mixed. If you let it sit, the Chia will start doing its thing as a thickener.
Noticeably, this isn’t super sweet; so you may adjust the sweetness to your liking but stay away from sugar. Instead think Stevia or some other such natural sweetener. Finally, if you don’t have any algae, it won’t change the flavor, only the wonderfulness. You might want to add some hemp protein powder or just leave it out altogether.
Fast Recovery and Happy Trails!