This blueberry kefir post-workout snack is a perfect way to nourish your body after the impacts of exercise. Kefir offers beneficial bacteria for gut health, while chia seeds help to feed these beneficial bacteria so they will stick around for longer.
Every day there is new research emerging on the importance of our gut and resident microbes. From influencing the risk of diabetes to obesity, and anxiety to depression, we know that our tiny little microbes rule our world and we are just starting to understand how to keep them happy. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains a large number of beneficial bacteria; including regular fermented foods in your diet helps to ensure a healthy colony of good bacteria is residing in our gut.
Alongside the beneficial bacteria, this Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack also has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and proteins for a post-workout snack. By offering a quick refuel and a load of beneficial bacterial this post-workout snack really can be, and should, enjoyed at any time of the day.
Making This Kefir Chia Pudding
Kefir and Probiotics
Kefir typically contains three times the amount of probiotic cultures compared to yogurt. It also uses 10 to 20 different types of probiotic bacteria and yeasts while most yogurts use only a few. Kefir offers around 40 billion probiotic organisms per half-cup. For more information on probiotics and gut health see 5 Tips On How To Improve Gut Health – Prebiotics, Probiotics and Fermented Foods.
Chia Is A Prebiotic Food
Diet plays a huge role in making sure our beneficial bacteria are thriving, and the food that our good bacteria like to eat are prebiotics or foods high in fibre which includes chia.
The chia seeds found in this post-workout snack are rich in dietary soluble fibres which are fermented by the good bacteria in the gut and transformed into SCFA – that’s short-chain fatty acids – which support the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine. For more on prebiotics see my Prebiotic Chickpea Smoothie Bowl.
For more information on the health benefits of chia see my post Chia vs Flax vs Hemp – Which is Healthier and More Sustainable.
Berries Are High Fibre
Berries are very high in fibre thanks to their high surface area of skin and many little seeds. The fibre works to support our gut health, and the antioxidants in berries help with our body’s repair process (see post What Are Antioxidants Good For).
We know that stress can negatively influence our gut bacteria, and we also know that exercise can help manage stress. After an intense exercise session, it is important to refuel your body properly. When you do weight training you create little micro-tears in your muscles and our body needs to repair these to build stronger muscles.
Protein Post Work-Out
To make sure our micro-tears in our muscles repair and rebuild, we need to ensure we refuel with a good amount of protein. Depending on your body weight an aim of 15-25g of protein within 30 to 60 minutes of working out is generally recommended.
Carbohydrates Post Work-Out
Our bodies are also looking for some post-workout carbohydrates to replenish their muscle glycogen stores and to signal for insulin to allow amino acids (alongside glucose) to enter the muscle cells. Fruit is usually my go-to for a healthy, quicker acting carbohydrate. If you have had a particularly intensive workout, swap out the berries for a banana which is higher in carbohydrates.
If you have ever made chia pudding before (see my Chia Pudding with Wild Rice), you will know they can be as simple as mix and let sit.
For this kefir chia snack, mix the chia with the kefir using a whisk to get rid of the clumps. Option to add pure vanilla extract. Let the mixture set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Top with berries in the morning. I love using frozen berries in the summer for a nice refreshing treat
Use Fresh Kefir
The closer the kefir is to its expiry date, the less probiotic cultures will be alive. Consuming fresh kefir, or kefir furthest away from its expiry date will ensure the maximum amount of beneficial cultures.
Use any fruit you like. Bananas are a great post-workout snack if you need that larger hit of carbs (ie post a more strenuous workout where glycogen repletion is necessary).
Fresh vs Frozen Berries
This recipe uses frozen berries for a nice refreshing treat. If you prefer not to eat berries while they are frozen, mix the frozen berries into the chia and kefir and let them defrost for the 4 hours setting time, or overnight. Or option to use fresh berries instead.
Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup or 1 tablespoon of homemade jam to the chia and kefir before letting it set. For a chocolate kefir chia pudding whisk in 1 tbsp of cacao powder and 1 tsp honey.
Want Some More Chia recipes?
Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack
- 1 cup organic kefir plain
- 1/4 cup chia seeds dry
- 1 cup frozen blueberries plus more for serving*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- Combine the kefir and chia seeds in a bowl or mason jar and mix until well combined. Add vanilla if using.
- Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, mix in frozen berries until well incorporated.*
- Serve with more berries on top if desired.
Use Fresh KefirThe closer the kefir is to its expiry date, the less probiotic cultures will be alive. Consuming fresh kefir, or kefir furthest away from its expiry date will ensure the maximum amount of beneficial cultures.
Fruit AlternativesUse any fruit you like. Bananas are a great post-workout snack if you need that larger hit of carbs. If using bananas, slice them on fresh in before you are ready to eat.
Fresh vs Frozen BerriesIf you prefer not to eat berries while they are frozen, mix the frozen berries into the chia and kefir and let them defrost for the 4 hours setting time, or overnight. Or option to use fresh berries instead.
Flavour AdditivesTry adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup or 1 tablespoon of homemade jam to the chia and kefir before letting it set. For a chocolate kefir chia pudding whisk in 1 tbsp of cacao powder and 1 tsp honey.
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.