Recreational drinking

Daniel Conte, a mathematics major, makes a smoothie at the rec center on Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015. Summit Street Cafe, located inside the Rec, serves smoothies, fruits, juices, and other snacks.

Daniel Conte, a mathematics major, makes a smoothie at the rec center on Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015. Summit Street Cafe, located inside the Rec, serves smoothies, fruits, juices, and other snacks.

Katie Leyton

What’s Inside the Rec’s smoothies? 

You’ve sweated your butt off on the treadmill and have worked up quite the appetite. You want something cool and refreshing to cap off that three-mile run. Why not treat yourself to a smoothie from the Summit Café at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center?

You approach the counter to order and suddenly the decision seems a lot harder to make. It’s no longer just about what flavor will satisfy your tastebuds. Instead of flavors, you see words like “energy” and “fat burner,” and you wonder, what is the difference between all of these, and what is the best option for me?

Rather than make a quick, nervous and uneducated guess, the Cafe provides a booklet full of information describing each smoothie and exactly what goes into them.

There are seven different types: re-fuel, lean machine, muscle mass, muscle fuel, meal replacement, energy rush and fat burner. Additionally, you also have the option of just a plain smoothie with no additives.

Here are a few that I’ve heard called the most often while I’m waiting for mine (usually a peach banana fat burner):

Energy Rush: The energy smoothies are full of chromium, garcinia, guarana extract, L-carnitine and green tea extract. I’m sure many of these words mean absolutely nothing to you, but let me put it in perspective. Guarana extract is a plant full of caffeine. It is used for weight loss and anxiety and improves exercise endurance. However, if taken in high doses of 250-300 milligrams, it can cause side effects like insomnia, vomiting, stomach cramps and irregular heartbeat. At the Rec, this smoothie contains 200 mg guarana extract.

Fat Burner: The fat burner’s two main ingredients are chromium and calcium pyruvate. Pyruvate has many uses, but it is often taken as a supplement to help with weight loss. Chromium aids by providing insulin to increase metabolism and fat breakdown. The recommended daily intake is very small, (I’m talking micrograms!) so the most important thing to be aware of is how much you are consuming a day, especially if you drink a smoothie that has 90 mg.

Meal Replacement (MRP): Meal replacement smoothies contain many vitamins (the vitamin A in the smoothie constitutes for 30 percent of your daily intake), minerals, carbohydrates (14 grams) and protein (16 grams). It also contains 1.6 grams of sugar and 34 mg of cholesterol. This smoothie is great to help recover and refuel your worked muscles. It can also be either used as an actual meal replacement since it contains so many essential ingredients or as a recovery smoothie. With only 138 calories, this is a great smoothie to give your body what it needs after a hard workout.

Muscle Mass: This smoothie involves multiple factors similar to the meal replacement smoothies, but with a higher carbohydrate count (31 grams). The smoothie contains a total of 266 calories and 25 grams of protein (almost 50 percent of your daily value). It also contains 2.6 grams of sugar and 55 mg cholesterol. Containing about 10 vitamins and 18 amino acids, this smoothie is great for someone trying to feed their muscles and bulk up.

Despite being full of sugar and cholesterol, there is no harm in treating yourself after a great workout and drinking the smoothies in moderation. After all, smoothies are healthier than going home and ordering cookies. When you look at it that, it’s better to squash your sweet tooth craving with a smoothie instead.

As you look over the list of smoothies and flavors, keep in mind what your end goal for working out is. Are you working out to lose weight? To bulk up? Or maybe you just really enjoy the feeling of a great sweat.

The Summit Café provides a great selection of smoothies to meet any person’s needs, so don’t be afraid to speak up or ask for the ingredients and food labels in the booklet. After all, you’re the one drinking it, so it’s up to you to know what you’re putting into your body.

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].