The combinations of morning smoothie ingredients are virtually endless. Often, it can be fun to simply throw in whatever produce you have on hand and wing it; I’ve created some interesting creations that way. If you don’t want to be a mad scientist with a blender, however, try strategically choosing fruits that will assist you in your goals, whether prepping for a kickboxing lesson or fighting off infection.

1. If your family member or roommate is sick:  

Living in close quarters with a sick person is no fun. That’s the time you need to bulk up on your Vitamin C, which helps protect us from infections, colds, and free radicals. If your roommate or family member has started sneezing and coughing, don’t reach for that powdery, emergency vitamin C; instead, make a C-powered breakfast smoothie. Fruits that are high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberry, papaya, kiwi, and cantaloupe. Put some dark, leafy greens in the mix for extra C.
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2. If you’ll be doing a tough A.M. workout:

Drinking a smoothie before a workout is a great choice to keep you full, energized, and hydrated throughout the sweat session. Choose fruits with high-glycemic carbohydrates. Apples are packed with healthy, natural energy, so make any variety the star of your smoothie. Other fruits to add are pineapple, banana, apricots, and mango.
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3. If you’re adding greens:

Stuffing two cups of kale into your blender with nut milk and fruit make it easy to get in those coveted greens without making a salad. Depending on what you mix with the greens, however, you could be looking at a bitter, not-so-tasty and/or not-so-aesthetically-pleasing drink. Some people like the “green” taste, but if you want to act like the spinach isn’t there, choose fruits that will help mask their taste. Berries are great for this because of their strong flavor, and they will help you achieve a better color for your smoothie, as well. Try blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or açaí berries.
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4. If you’re blending for kids:

As any parent or nanny knows, cooking for kids can often be a challenge, especially when it comes to eating produce; most kids would probably scoff at a green smoothie! Choose fruit combinations that are similar to tastes that kids love from flavored snack foods and medicines. Popular kid-friendly tastes are strawberry-banana and triple blast of berries. Using these fruits will make the smoothie a nice pink, red or purple color, which kids will love.
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5. If you need to stay alert and full until lunchtime: 

Are you depending on a breakfast smoothie to keep you full and alert for hours until noon? Choose fruits that will taste good mixed with filling ingredients like oats and peanut butter. Pineapple and mulberries are great with nut butters. Think of fruits with high calorie, carbohydrate, and energy content, like apples and bananas. Cantaloupe has a high water concentration which will help keep you full as well.
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Choosing the right fruit for the circumstances will help you achieve your goals and keep life balanced and healthy. Happy blending!

Lead Image Source: Chia Strawberry Smoothie

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