Copycat Cherry Limeade Protein Smoothie (Gluten Free, Vegan)

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This gluten free, vegan copycat cherry limeade post workout smoothie will not only cure your Sonic Cherry Limeade craving but will also take care of your muscles and promote better muscle recovery! Gluten free and vegan, reach for this for a cooling post workout treat! Join the Running Coaches Corner Link Up!

To me, summer is the time of cherries and peaches all over my body. I love those dang stone fruits. Last year I was addicted to my Cherry Apple Pie Protein Oatmeal and my Summer’s End Peach Yogurt Protein Cake (plus, finding another loaf of that later on that fall/winter was BANK). Also, we know that I can hose a Sonic Cherry Limeade the size of my body. Love. Cherry. Limeade.

I have not historically been a smoothie person, but during the summer, I do find myself craving them, especailly after finding collagen peptides last summer, and DEFINITELY after a long and hot run. You love yourself a Slurpee or Frappuccino, but with post workout nutrition so important, you also need to do a little bit better by myself (and your wallet)

Copycat Cherry Limeade Post Workout Smoothie for Muscle Recovery

Call it what you like, it is delicious, hydrating, balanced, and a fantastic way to refuel before or after a sweaty workout. 

Beneficial Ingredients**:

  • Tart Cherry Juice Adding Tart Cherry Juice to your diet can lower inflamation levels among other benefits, and I know many runners who swear by drinking a bottle following a run! Also, the Vitamin C in cherry juice helps the absorption of spinach’s iron, promoting better energy levels
  • Avocado Avocado is a excellent source of healthy monosaturated fats and plant sterols that are fantastic for heart health, numerous nutrients and vitamins with a myriad of comprehensive health benefits. The fat helps you stay satisfied and also promotes healthy hair, nails, and skin. But the big news for runners is that avocados can help rebuild muscles after a workout by decreasing inflammation.
  • Spinach or other dark leafy greens: Vitamins and plant based iron! Also helps to thicken and add to the color!
  • Protein: Per Competitor, “studies have demonstrated that exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced when protein is consumed immediately before and during workouts and that muscle repair proceeds most rapidly when protein is consumed immediately after workouts.” It is important to not that one only needs about 15-20g of protein following a workout for muscle synthesis. 
  • Salt: electrolytes

Want some more fun ingredients to add to the mix? Check out my favorite healthy unexpected smoothie ingredients!

Optional Substitutes:

  • Coconut Water: I personally cannot stand coconut water on its own, but blended into something, I am fine! High in potassium (brain and nervous system function) and magnesium (energy) as well as ultrahydrating (hello, water) Source.
  • Coconut Milk: Substitute if you can’t do avocado, can also replace any milks. It gives a great creaminess to the smoothie! According to the BBC, “Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.” But consume in moderation because of the high fat content!

Alright, enough mumbo jumbo, let’s get to blending and sipping!

A deliciously tart and refreshing way to rehydrate and refuel after a tough workout! Gluten free, vegan, and packed with nutrients.

You’ll Need…

  • 1 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)* or 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime + 1 tsp zest
  • 1/4 cup tart cherry juice or 1 tbsp concentrate
  • 1/2 avocado**
  • 1 scoop preferred protein powder (I love Collagen Peptides) ***Aim for 20g of protein
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2-1 cup ice
  • Optional:
  • 3-4 drops stevia
  • Handful spinach


  1. If adding spinach, place in blender first, then add liquid and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients apart from ice, blend until mixed, then add ice and blend until desired consistency.

Additional Notes

*substitute coconut water, if desired
**substitute coconut milk for avocado if desired

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