Sweet Potato Recovery Shake

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Not sure how many of you know, but I’m a CrossFit athlete (with dreams of focusing on olympic weightlifting) so at times I’ve got to go off the Paleo reservation to keep my recovery in check. I’ve been working with Mike Kesthely of Dynamic Nutrition for a couple months now, and he’s helped me dial in my nutrition so that I can train and perform at the level of a competitive CrossFit athlete (not that I’m anywhere near Games-level but still…we work hard here in the Invictus Comp Crew). Mike recently commented that though my food quality is really high (focus on whole foods, etc) and I’ve managed to up my protein intake, I could still use more carbs in the post-workout recovery window. There are tons of resources out there to help you figure out how many carbs you should be taking in, but a general ballpark figure is 1 g per pound of bodyweight. CrossFitters who eat Paleo (like moi) can at times steer a bit too low and have sub-optimal performance or recovery.

In light of this, I’ve started using whey protein power again (I know, I know…some of you probably just vowed to never read the blog ever again) because consuming 1 g protein per pound of bodyweight is a struggle for me when I rely on whole food sources (meat or eggs). Getting upwards of 140 grams is tough…I literally feel like I have to eat all day to make that happen, so I’ve been using Stronger Faster Healthier’s whey protein to help me close the gap. I ended up coming up with this simple shake to satisfy my protein:carb requirements because the 1/2 cup sweet potato provides approximately 30 grams of carbs (sweet potato or starchy veggies are more optimal than fruit in this case because there is a more direct replenishment of muscle glycogen…the fuel for high intensity exercise).

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 scoop vanilla whey protein (I like Stronger Faster Healthier)

1/2 cup sweet potato puree

4-5 ice cubes

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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Directions: 

1. Throw all the ingredients into a blender or Vitamix.

2. Whiz until smooth.

3. Enjoy. Preferably consume within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.

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10 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Recovery Shake

  1. Do you think all CrossFitters need that level of carb? Every day? I’m cycling (a la Clifton Harski’s BA diet) and have some days with none, some with less than 100g. And I weigh a lot. But I’m not competitive, though I do go five days a week.

    • Hi Megan…thanks for visiting the blog. Well, I think it depends on the person when it comes down to the nitty gritty of training and n = 1. I think that if you are training 5 days a week but the intensity is not very high (like a powerlifting protocol or strength-bias) you may do fine with cyclic low carb. (Say hi to Clif for me!). Because I’m training with the competition group where the glycolytic demands are high on a regular basis, I’m toying with the 100g mark to see if that helps my recovery. Mike K. who works with me on my nutrition was fast to point out that even strength-biased workouts (where the demands on the CNS are high) can benefit from a carb refeed post-workout. In the end, if you are training for life and not for competition, cyclic low carb may be perfect for you. If you feel like you can’t hit your workouts as hard as you’d like, though, maybe try upping the carbs a bit? Cheers!

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    I was interested in taking a recovery protein supplement post-WODs and of course the two big names for CrossFit are Progenex and SFH. What made you choose SFH over Progenex and do you still notice a big improvement by using the recovery drink? I like the ingredients in SFH much better… no soy or fructose and GMO-free too.

    • Hi Grace!! I’ve tried Progenex before and for me, it just tastes too sweet. I also really like SFH’s commitment using whey from grass-fed cows. When you think about it, the benefit of having whey from a grass-fed animal is somewhat lost because the fatty components of the milk (which are absent in whey) are not included in the protein powder. However, I personally feel better about supporting that versus whey from feedlot animals.

      I use only whey and not the recovery formulation, but I take a separate BCAA supplement pre-workout and usually eat sweet potato post-workout, so I’m getting in my carbs.

      Hope this helps!!

      -Steph

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