This Olympian-Approved Recovery Smoothie Is Anti-Inflammatory

Image by Vera Lair / Stocksy

Natalie Coughlin is a world-class swimmer, 12-time Olympic medalist, and the author of the new cookbook Cook to Thrive. When she's not in the pool training or competing, she loves cooking healthy foods that fuel her movement and help her to recover.

She says the cherry-almond recovery smoothie is her favorite post-workout drink "because it is delicious and packed with essential nutrients to aid the body's recovery." Cherries are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties to help the body recover after training, and full-fat Greek yogurt is loaded with protein, which helps heal and build muscle after exercise. This smoothie also contains chia seeds, a superfood high in fatty acids and fiber, which can improve heart health.

With recovery as one of our mbg wellness trends to watch in 2019, we can't wait to blend up this refreshing smoothie after our next sweat session.

Cherry-Almond Recovery Smoothie

Serves 1


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup frozen pitted dark cherries
  • ½ frozen very ripe banana
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds


  1. In a blender, combine the almond milk, cherries, banana, and yogurt and blend until the mixture is uniformly smooth. Add the chia seeds and process until they are thoroughly incorporated. Enjoy within several hours.
  2. Greek Yogurt: If you are watching your total calories, feel free to substitute 2% fat Greek yogurt. Keep in mind that a little bit of fat helps recovery, so I would avoid the nonfat variety.
  3. Smoothie To Go: To bring this smoothie to your workout, pack it into a double-walled, insulated stainless-steel water bottle. I like to pour some ice water into the water bottle first and allow it to chill the inside of the bottle for 5 minutes or so, then dump the water out and pour in the prepared smoothie. This way you can bring your smoothie to your workout even if you don't have a refrigerator. The chia seeds will thicken the smoothie as it sits, but it will otherwise keep for several hours.
Based on excerpts from Cook to Thrive: Recipes to Fuel Body and Soul by Natalie Coughlin with the permission of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019.

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