Start your day with a morning smoothie for better energy and a great way to get your veggies, right?! Honestly, I often cringe when I hear about the morning smoothie. It more often than not sets people up for a blood sugar roller coaster. (And they usually have no idea.) Breakfast sets the stage for our blood sugar regulation for the entire day, making this first meal incredibly important for regulating our energy levels.
Here are 5 reasons why the morning smoothie might be draining you of energy, not increasing it:
Way too much fruit.
Fruit and sweets first thing in the morning keep us on the blood sugar roller coaster and leave us with energy drops either mid-morning or mid-afternoon (or both). For those of us trying to regain adrenal health, that sweet taste first thing in the morning is just too much. Often people will say they are fine all morning, but then have a slump of energy in the mid-afternoon coupled with cravings for chocolate and/or a salty snack. This can all be attributed to that sweet morning smoothie.
If you do put fruits in your morning smoothie, keep the portion small (1/4 cup – 1/2 cup) and stick with fruits that are lower on the Glycemic Index. Choose fruits with a more sour or tart flavor such as blueberries or raspberries and sour apples like a Granny Smith.
Not enough fat.
The tide is just finally turning on the whole ‘fat is bad’ campaign, but that concept is still pretty deeply ingrained. If you are just putting a teaspoon or two into your smoothie, it is not enough to keep you going. Fat is your buffer for any fruits you do have in that morning smoothie, be sure to put enough in to slow down the absorption of the sugars.
Include 1-2T of a nut butter, ¼ cup to 1/3 cup of coconut milk or half an avocado or maybe some combination of these. Play with the ratios for yourself to see what works best for you.
Not enough protein.
How much protein are you putting into your smoothie? Protein is another buffer for the sugars in the fruit, and you need to be sure you are getting enough to give you lasting energy through your morning AND afternoon. Remember, the morning meal sets up your blood sugar levels for the entire day.
Secondly, how is the quality of the protein? Are you even able to absorb and utilize it? Not all protein powders are created equal. A couple of good options are Vital Proteins Collagen Whey, or Perfect Supplements Plant Protein. You could also just incorporate some raw egg yolks from pastured hens. Raw yolks add a creamy texture to the smoothie and are among the easiest proteins to digest.
You drink it too fast.
This is a big one. Make sure you taste your smoothie. Think of the phrase “Chew your liquids and drink your solids.” Give your stomach a little break and take some time to allow the enzymes in your mouth to mix with your smoothie before swallowing. Even when it is just a liquid, our stomach still needs to do some work to digest it and we still need to be in a parasympathetic state to do that. Take a few moments to sit and drink your smoothie.
You make the same smoothie over and over and over again.
The challenge here is that many of us (if not all….) have some form of digestive dysfunction. Eating the same foods day in and day out, with a digestive system working at a sub-par level sets us up to be sensitive to those exact foods. (Did I mention my breakfast for 10 straight years? Oatmeal and raspberries. Shockingly, those were hot items on my food sensitivity panel.) If we eat foods that we are sensitive to it gives us a little high at first much like a sugar lift and then we also have the energy crash later in the afternoon.
I know how hectic the mornings can be and I completely understand how simple the smoothie is. This week in my newsletter I shared my weekly breakfast ‘template’ that keeps the week simple, but it also adds daily variety. Not on my newsletter list? Sign up below and get my simple food prep hacks and recipes that I only share in my newsletter.