Photographer: Lanny Nguyen

Staying energized during a workout can be hard and finding the fuel that is effective and healthy is even harder. Lilani Dunn, a certified barre instructor and avid athlete, shares her favorite options for fueling up before a workout and replenishing after.

This past year, I worked on giving myself more time and to stop glorifying “being busy” as an excuse for skipping workouts. It’s been so important to my physical well-being and mental health to carve out time to move. Some days, I’m up at 5am getting my spin or run in on my own or I’m taking the train into the city for a Bar Method or HIIT Lab class with other late afternoon endorphin seeking patrons. It’s essential to stay nourished throughout – from rising and shining to unwinding and turning down.

Either way, I find myself needing to replenish post-workout while the very popular “30-minute anabolic window” is open or needing a bit of an energy boost prior to my evening group classes. Thankfully, Splendid Spoon’s smoothies are the perfect on-the-go drink that help make sure we are putting our best foot forward during and after our workouts. Here are a few of my favorite Splendid Spoon smoothies I use to pre-fuel and re-fuel during the week.

Early Morning Workout/Morning Warriors

If you need a little something in your engine prior to working out, you can enjoy one-third or one-half of a smoothie and then enjoy the remainder afterwards.

AB&J: Keeps cramps at bay

Bananas are packed with Potassium that not only regulate blood but are proven to reduce muscle cramping.

Almond Butter & Pea Protein: Protein is the building block for building muscle & also helps our body sense satiety. This is great for those who wake up with an appetite and need that extra boost prior to a morning workout without all the volume.

Power Greens: Packs a powerful punch of energy and Vitamin C

Spirulina: One of the common things newcomers to early morning workouts complain about is the 2pm wall they hit. For this, I introduce them to Spirulina, known to increase endurance and give you the energy needed to take on the afternoon. Other benefits include: reducing blood pressure & boosting metabolism. I can’t think of a better way to start the day off!

Kale: Did you know a cup of Kale has more Vitamin C than an orange? And that is just one of the many vitamins and minerals that the very dense nutrient and low-calorie green provides your body with.

Photographer: Lanny Nguyen

Evening Workout/Evening Avengers

Many think that evening workouts are a great way to help unwind after a busy work day but it can also be easily skipped due to the urge to want to get home and eat dinner. I combat this urge with:

Green Matcha: Kiss your afternoon slump goodbye.

Matcha: A clean caffeine that can give you the second wind you need to get that workout in.

Avocados: Hold onto your seat for this fact – avocados have MORE potassium than bananas and we already learn that potassium can reduce muscle cramping and also regulates blood.

Spirulina: You can’t get enough of a good thing, especially if that means increasing endurance and boosting your metabolism.

Carrot Ginger Chia: A great defense to your offense.

Ginger: There’s nothing like feeding off the energy of other group class goers…there’s also nothing else like the cold/flu season. Thankfully, this smoothie has ginger which boosts the immune system and great for recovery fights inflammation.

Dates: If you feel like you’re dragging in the afternoon and are tempted to hit ‘cancel’ on the workout, the dates in this delightful and bright orange smoothie will help put pep back into your step.

Chia: Chia seeds are packed with protein which are essential to building muscle plus they are great for bone with high levels of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

If you are like most modern-day humans, your days can be long and unpredictable, which means you too might find yourself a regular or occasional early-bird or night-owl exerciser. Either way, there is no argument that you will need nutrients before and after you burn cals, build muscle, and increase your flexibility. Check out the nine different smoothies that Splendid Spoon offers and find the best combination to help maintain your energy and performance around your fitness regimen.

To stock up on soups and smoothies that'll give you the nutrients you need to stay energized, check out this week's menu.