Banner Image Smoothie Science

Smoothies are a popular breakfast item that many personal trainers and clients alike enjoy. These cold and delicious drink concoctions are a great option for packing lots of macro and micronutrients in to get your day off to a great start. But if your smoothie isn’t carefully crafted and balanced, it could send you into a blood sugar spiral before lunch hour. Here are some tips for getting the most power-packed smoothie to keep you full all morning long. 

Balance Your Smoothie for Blood Sugar

Eating a balanced breakfast may give your brain and body the fuel to get your day off to a great start. However, have you ever had a breakfast smoothie, cereal, granola bar, PB&J, and found yourself hungry again just a few hours later? That’s probably because those particular breakfast choices don’t have a balance of satiating ingredients, and high are often high in sugar causing your blood sugar to spike and then quickly fall again. This insulin roller coaster can leave you feeling hungry again very quickly.

Your blood sugar curve can be more elongated by balancing sugar and carbohydrates with other nutrients. Balanced blood sugar means you likely won’t get that sudden craving for something sweet after you just ate. 

Key Smoothie Ingredients  

When making a breakfast smoothie, try balancing it out with these four ingredients that each have a role in balancing your blood sugar. 

  • Protein – Protein sources like protein powders, collagen, beans, legumes, nuts, nut butter, and seeds are a must in smoothies because they help you to build and maintain muscle mass. They are also highly satisfying ingredients that can help you to stay fuller, longer in the mornings due to their longer processing time in the stomach. 
  • Fat – Fat sources like oils, nuts, nut butter, avocados, full fat-yogurt, and coconut milk are essential in smoothies because they keep your cells and hormones healthy and functioning at their best. Fat is also essential to healthy brain function which is a must, first thing in the morning.  
  • Fiber –  Fiber sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, acacia fiber, and psyllium fiber are important to making sure your smoothie is digested properly. Fiber is fuel for healthy gut bacteria and it is one ingredient that works specifically to help balance blood sugar. 
  • Greens – Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale provide key vitamins and antioxidants to help support immune function and reduce inflammation in the body. 

Together these four ingredients make for a filling and fueling breakfast! But keep in mind, the right combo of ingredients makes for a delicious breakfast and the wrong combo of ingredients with have you throwing your smoothie down the garbage disposal.

Smoothie Recipes

Here are a few smoothie recipes that are balanced and actually taste delicious. 

Cookies and Cream Smoothie:

  • Chocolate Protein Powder (Shoot for 20g protein)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon flax or chia seeds
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • Hemp hearts, to top

Blend in a high-speed blender, top with hemp hearts, and enjoy. 

*Tip- If you don’t have chocolate protein powder, add 1 tbsp cacao powder to your vanilla protein powder. 

PB&J Smoothie:

  • Vanilla Protein Powder (Shoot for 20g protein)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • 1 handful spinach 
  • ¼ cup frozen strawberries or raspberries
  • 1 cup nut milk of choice 

Put it all in a high-speed blender and enjoy. Add ice for thickness. 

 

Cinnamon Banana Bliss Smoothie: 

  • Vanilla Protein Powder (Shoot for 20g protein)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ cup frozen bananas 
  • 1 cup nut milk of choice 
  • ¼ cup Granola, to top 

Put it all in a high-speed blender, top with granola, and enjoy! 

Now that you know the basics of a balanced smoothie, have fun trying out your own recipes! Just be sure to incorporate an element of each key ingredient from above.