Pre-Workout Chocolate Matcha Smoothie Recipe

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.


OMGTEA

Time to get your blender at the ready, we’re back with another health-hoisting smoothie recipe for you to start your day (or workout) with.

It’s been a hectic few months around here to say the least.

The guys at Health Status include moving house as one of the top five most stressful situations you can go through, and the self-pitying side of me is somewhat inclined to agree…

Thankfully, we’re just about finished with the move (the second one within the space of a year), and we’re starting to get settled in the new place down in Cardiff Bay. Or the Bay Area, which I sometimes call it to sound a bit cooler…

With a fresh new place comes the opportunity for a fresh new start, and that means some fresh new habits and routines. With that in mind, I’ve been mixing it up when it comes to my training, my mindfulness practice, and my diet too.

I’ve been playing around with some fermented foods (sauerkraut smells like feet, but tastes surprisingly good), testing out a few supplements and superfood powders (spirulina smells bad, and tastes bad too), and also trying out a few varieties of tea. One of the best (and healthiest) that I’ve experimented with so far was a free sample of Matcha Green Tea from the lovely people at OMG Teas.

I’ve been drinking that quite a bit and sometimes including it in a pre-workout smoothie, which I’m gonna share with you soon. And stick around at the end for a pretty amusing story…


What exactly is matcha, and why am I talking about it?

Matcha is a type of powdered green tea, originating from East Asia. The tea plants are grown in specific conditions aimed at preserving their chlorophyll and amino acid content.

Science has shown that there are a number of benefits to matcha consumption:

  • Antioxidants. Matcha has one of the highest recorded ORAC scores, which measures the antioxidant potential of a food. Antioxidants are naturally occurring plant chemical compounds that help to combat cell damage from free radicals, bringing down inflammation and enhancing the recovery process.
  • Energy boost. Matcha contains a blend of caffeine and the amino acid L-Theanine, which has been shown to invoke a sense of calm, whilst improving alertness and cognitive function. You get a good energy boost without the typical side effects of caffeine – jitters and nervousness. Buddhist monks would often consume matcha to keep them alert yet relaxed during long bouts of meditation, and the Samurai are thought to have consumed it for an energy boost prior to entering the battlefield.
  • Chlorophyll. Because of the growing method, matcha contains higher levels of chlorophyll than other types of green tea. Chlorophyll is similar in structure to haemoglobin, a compound found in the blood that’s involved in the transportation of oxygen around the body. Increasing your chlorophyll intake may improve your bodies ability to utilise and transport oxygen, which is great from a performance standpoint. Preliminary studies suggest that matcha green tea may even be able to improve endurance by up to 24%.

So, if you want all of those benefits before your workout or simply throughout your day, you might want to get some matcha down you.

Our chocolate matcha smoothie is one way to do just that. I’ve been drinking it down about an hour to half an hour before a workout, but maybe have a play around and find what works for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1-2 TSP Matcha (I recommend OMG Tea’s variety)
  • 1-2 TSP Organic cacao powder
  • Plant milk (I like almond or coconut)
  • Optional vanilla extract and a dash of sea salt/rock salt
  • Ice

Directions

Throw everything into the blender, blitz for a minute or so, sip it smoothly, then go do some epic shit!

I’ve kept the recipe pretty simple because I don’t think it’s great for the body to have to digest a whole load of differnt ingredients just before a workout.

Maybe its placebo or maybe it is actually working, but I do feel like I have that little bit more energy during my workouts when I’m using the matcha power, so it may be worth giving it a go to see if effects you in the same way too.


 

Annnd onto the funny story.

What you’ve all really been waiting for…

So, around the time that I was writing this post, I’d just invested in a bit of filming gear for a few projects that I’m working on. I’d bought some lights and a new camera.

So I thought I’d try both of these out for shooting the image to accompany this blog post. After making the smoothie, carefully adding a little matcha powder to the top to make it look nice for the camera, setting up the lighting stands and changing the camera settings, everything was just right.

I went to take the photo, and all of a sudden from behind me, one of the light stands fell straight towards the smoothie on the table. In a failed attempt to halt the light stand in its path, I ducked forwards towards the smoothie. This resulted in the smoothie being tipped over, running all across the table, all over the carpet, into the new lighting system, over my camera case, over my T-shirt, and to top things off – all over the back of my head.

I sat there for a few minutes, soaked in a thick, brown, chocolatey paste, and feeling pretty damn sorry for myself.

Now it’s funny that on the blog I talk a lot about mindfulness, being proactive and choosing your response to a given situation rather than unconsciously reacting. But in the moment, I was less Eckart Tolle and more Dasterdly from Wacky Races…

After a lengthy clean up process I managed to get the shot, and everything turned out fine – nothing was too broken.

There’s a moral in the story somewhere.

Maybe it’s to make sure that your lights are set up properly, or that you don’t need lights in the first place. Maybe it’s that you shouldn’t rush things, and there’s always time to slow down. Maybe it was just a test to see how all this controlled breathing and meditation work is going for me.

Looks like I’ve got a bit of work to do still…


Thanks for reading!

As always, if you try this recipe out, let me know how it goes in the comments section below!

And if you want more plant based goodness, check out our recipe page.


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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

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