If you’re in shape and have a fast metabolism, then you may not be too concerned about drinking that late-night smoothie, but if you’re on a strict diet can drinking a smoothie in the afternoon or late at night work against you? If you’re making healthier food choices and you’ve decided to use smoothies as a meal replacement or a healthy snack option, then you’re on your way to losing weight and enjoying a natural boost in energy, which comes from following a diet that consists of whole, fresh fruits, and veggies. But when is the best time to have a healthy smoothie? Is there really a wrong time? Can drinking a smoothie at night hinder your weight loss efforts? Let’ find out.
The Best Time to Enjoy a Smoothie
This can be dependent on a number of factors, such as how sensitive you are to sugar, whether or not you’re on a weight loss diet plan, and what your basic nutritional needs are. If you’re trying to cut calories, then you’ll want to carefully monitor the calorie content of each smoothie, whether you’re using it as a meal replacement or a snack. Many smoothies are loaded with important vitamins and minerals, however, it can also be very easy for you to consume too many calories, which can have a negative impact on your weight loss efforts.
Planning out your meals, and incorporating smoothies as a healthy snack or meal replacement will help you lose weight and experience the type of natural energy boost that you won’t get from a meal that consists of processed foods or foods that are high in fat. If you have the best blender for green smoothies, fresh fruits and veggies, and a healthy base choice, then you can create you’re a smoothie that’s tailored to your specific nutritional needs.
For Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight and making smoothies to cut calories, then you’ll need to pay attention to both calorie content and portion size. You’ll also want to avoid drinking a smoothie after six PM or approximately two to three hours before bed. Most nutritionists will recommend abstaining from snacking at night if you’re trying to lose weight since you’re not as active as you are during the day and are more likely to gain weight by snacking late at night.
In the Morning
Most nutritionists can agree that the best time for a smoothie is in the morning. With the right fruits and veggies, such as spinach, raspberries, and blueberries, you can enjoy a drink that’s loaded with antioxidants and a combination of whole foods that act as a natural source of energy that can really help you to get going in the morning. If you normally skip breakfast, then a smoothie can also be a more convenient way to ensure you get those important vitamins and minerals, while giving your metabolism the boost it needs to help you burn calories and fat throughout the day.
Before or After a Workout
Some people prefer to eat a small protein-packed snack before they workout, but drinking a smoothie with some added protein can be a better option, especially if you’re short on time and want a way to get in a healthy protein source as you drive to the gym. So, go ahead and drink a smoothie, an hour before you hit the weights. You can also have a protein smoothie after you work out, which can do wonders for your muscles, by providing them with the nutrients they need to grow and recover after a particularly challenging work out, such as leg day.
If you normally eat on the go after a workout and rely on protein bars, then you may have noticed that you’re left feeling hungry just an hour later. If you’re trying to cut calories, but you want a healthy after workout meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied while providing your muscles with the nutrients they need after a challenging workout, then a smoothie that contains oats, avocado, peanut butter, and flaxseed can be the perfect after workout meal that will leave your body feeling fueled and your appetite curbed until lunchtime.
Are you guilty of hitting the drive-thru on your lunch break? If so, you may have noticed that your pants are fitting a little tighter and you may not have much energy during the day. Most people tend to crash around two or three PM, especially if they failed to fuel their body correctly at mealtime. Processed foods have a tendency to leave you feeling tired and sluggish, so replacing your typical fast-food meal with a green smoothie for weight loss can be a major step in the right direction. Try replacing your lunch with a smoothie for one week. You’ll be surprised by how much weight you lose, while you also enjoy a natural boost in energy, which can help to keep you going in the afternoon.
Afternoon Snack Time
We all love snacking, but if you work, you’re probably used to making unwise food choices in favor of a snack that’s convenient. If you normally grab candy, a pastry, or another source of food that’s high in sugar, then you’re not doing yourself any favors. Sure, the sugar can give you a rush and boost your energy, but then you’ll have to deal with the sugar crash that follows. Additionally, food that’s high in sugar will do nothing to curb your appetite, so don’t be surprised if you feel hungry again an hour later. Making a nutrient-dense smoothie, one that’s high in fiber can give you a natural energy boost and can leave you feeling full until dinner time. This is just one of the many benefits of drinking a smoothie and it can really be the pick me up you need to get through your workday or prevent cheating on your diet.
Most nutritionists don’t recommend having a smoothie at dinner time unless you’re short on time, don’t feel like cooking, or it’s the only healthy option you have at home. If you do decide to drink a smoothie for dinner, make sure it has a very low sugar content, otherwise, it can keep you up at night.
After Dinner Snack?
Again, if you do decide to drink a smoothie at night, you’ll need to ensure it’s low in sugar. Since it can be so easy to drink a lot of calories, you’ll also need to be careful with the portion size. Make sure you keep the smoothie at eight ounces. This will ensure that your smoothie doesn’t work against you and gives your body the time to digest this amount of food. Eight ounces is about half the size of your breakfast smoothie, so it will also have a low-calorie content.
You can also create an evening smoothie that can actually help you sleep better at night. Include ingredients that are high in tryptophan and magnesium, which can trigger your body to relax. Milk and yogurt can both make great options for a smoothie base at night since they have a high magnesium content. Bananas are another great option since they contain tryptophan. Did you know that kiwis contain serotonin? Serotonin will interact with the natural melatonin that the body produces to help promote a better night’s rest. Tart cherries are high in melatonin, so they will naturally cause you to feel tired and can work to help you wind down after a long day at the office.
If you do decide to create a smoothie for sleep, make sure you avoid watching TV or staring at your phone. Instead, set the mood, enjoy your smoothie and wait for the natural ingredients to kick in and help you naturally relax.
So, when is the best time to have a healthy smoothie? If you’re careful concerning sugar content, you can enjoy a smoothie at any time of the day or night. Remember, while the natural sugar content can help by giving you an energy boost, at night, it can actually work against you, and make it difficult to fall asleep. If you’re not careful about portion size at night, it can also lead to weight gain. During the day, you can enjoy smoothies that are low in calories as a snack or meal replacement, but at night you need to carefully monitor the sugar content and measure out the portions of fruits, veggies, and other ingredients, so you’re drinking approximately half of what you normally would at mealtime. With these tips in mind, you can essentially enjoy your favorite smoothie whenever the mood strikes you, whether you want one that can help to curb cravings, one that helps you to rest better at night, or a healthy meal replacement option that can have you shedding unwanted pounds in no time.