The market is saturated with post-workout beverages, powders and gels, all claiming some health benefit or another. Some say they'll build muscles; others to help the body recover faster. None of them taste very good, and if ever there is a time you deserve a little reward, it's after knocking out a 10K.
This potassium-rich smoothie comes together in less than five minutes, and is creamy, rich and satisfying. The cocoa is optional, since the real star of this smoothie is coconut water.
Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young green coconuts. It's a popular refresher in the tropics, where it's even used in emergency situations as an intravenous alternative to saline. While you'll get a good punch of potassium from the bananas and dates in this smoothie, the coconut water contains all five essential electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus—deficiencies of which cause dehydration and ultimately affect muscle and nerve function.
Regardless of whether you started marathon training or not, this smoothie is a sweet start to the day. The combination of banana and young coconut meat make the drink creamy, while the dates add a subtle nutty honeyed flavor. If you use unsweetened cocoa, or decide to forgo it altogether, increase the number of dates in your smoothie. You'll not only add additional fiber and potassium to your smoothie, but a hit of natural sugar.
Young coconuts are becoming more widely available, and can be found in Asian or natural foods stores and most better-stocked groceries. If they are unavailable in your area, substitute 2 cups bottled or boxed coconut water and use an additional banana in lieu of the coconut flesh.
About the author: Christianne Winthrop is a freelance food writer, caterer and culinary instructor. She lives, eats and drinks in Los Angeles with her husband, Bob.
- 1 young coconut, water and meat removed and reserved
- 1 medium banana, peeled
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon cocoa (optional)
- 5 ice cubes
Place fresh coconut water and meat in the blender. The liquid should equal approximately 2 cups (16 ounces). If it's short, top up with water to equal 2 cups.
Add banana, dates, cocoa, and ice cubes, and blend until thoroughly mixed. Serve immediately.