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Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie

Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Medically Reviewed by 

Iulia Serban, RDN
Last updated on May 16, 2023
Novak Djokovic and his high-calorie banana chocolate kale smoothie.

Collage and smoothie photo credit: Unfold Today. Novak Djokovic photo credit: James Boyes.[1]



If you've ever dreamed of a champion-approved smoothie that blends bananas' sweetness with kale's superfood qualities and chocolate's deliciousness, you can now experience it thanks to Novak Djokovic's recipe presented in this article.

The only downside of the tennis champion's smoothie recipe, shared in his book “Serve to Win”, is that it yields 4 serves of less than 200 calories each.[2]

Source info

Title: Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence

Type: book

Written by: Novak Djokovic, world-class tennis player

But don't worry. You can transform Novak’s smoothie into a high-calorie one by turning those 4 servings into one single serving.

To guide you through the recipe, we purchased the ingredients, blended the smoothie, and documented the entire process with photos. Since we’ve previously prepared Djokovic’s High-Calorie Breakfast Smoothie and his High-Calorie Mango Banana Smoothie, we are ready to add another one of Novak's recipes to our list of weight gain smoothies.

Smoothie's calories

The standard version of Novak Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie yields one serving of 445 calories. If you need more calories from the smoothie, however, you can adjust ingredient quantities by following these guidelines:

  • For 1000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 2.25;
  • For 1500-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 3.37;
  • For 2000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 4.49.

Ok, now let's get to the recipe.

Equipment

Equipment needed to make Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

To make Novak Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie, you need two pieces of kitchen equipment:

  • Blender
  • Tablespoon

Ingredients

Ingredients needed to Make Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.
  • 2 large (9.6 oz or 272 g) frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup (0.3 oz or 8 g) kale leaves without stems
  • 1 tbsp (0.7 oz or 20 g) organic chocolate syrup
  • 1 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g) almond butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (10.1 fl oz or 300 ml) almond milk

Role of each ingredient

Even though Novak Djokovic didn't pinpoint the reasons why he had selected each ingredient in this smoothie, he left hints in the same book where we can find the recipe.

To begin with, Novak included bananas because they are high in nutrients and count among "the best sources of potassium, which helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure."

Second, he chose kale because "it's high in fiber and vitamins A, B, C, and K."

Moreover, Novak poured some organic chocolate syrup because he loves chocolate. Yet, Djokovic eats very small amounts of sugary products like chocolate because they spike insulin. Therefore, Djokovic likely uses zero-sugar chocolate syrups for his smoothies.

Djokovic added almond butter rather than peanut butter because it's "even healthier". Yet, Nole warns that you should use only nut butters that are made solely of nuts.

In the end, Novak chose almond milk because he lists it as a dairy substitute that's not high in sugar or full of unhealthy fats.

Ingredient substitutions

If you have nut allergies, you can substitute almond butter with a type of seed butter, like sunflower butter. Regarding almond milk, you can substitute it with a type of dairy milk, like cow milk, or plant-based milk, like oat milk.

Instructions

1. Adapt ingredients to blender size

Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.

If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 616 ml (20.8 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.

2. Add ingredients

Adding ingredients of Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie in a blender.

Add the ingredients to the blender making sure almond milk ends up at its bottom.

If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the almond milk lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.

3. Blend

Ingredients of Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie - unblended vs blended.

Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).

If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.

4. Serve

Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.

Regarding its flavor, the smoothie has a bittersweet but refreshing taste thanks to the crispness of the kale leaves, the bittersweet aroma of the chocolate syrup, and the sweet savor of bananas.

How to store

Since Djokovic advises serving his smoothie "immediately", he doesn't store smoothies. You, however, can usually keep smoothies in the fridge for about a day.

Nutrition facts

  • Volume: 20.8 fl oz (616 ml)
  • Calories: 445
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Carbs: 80 g
  • Fat: 14 g

Out of the 445 calories found in Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie, 71% come from carbohydrates, 23% from fats, and 6% from protein.

Consequently, this smoothie is an energizing drink with plenty of healthy fats and some protein. It's worth mentioning that since the smoothie has less than 30% of its calories coming from fats, it qualifies among the low-fat high-calorie foods.

For more nutritional details, let's explore the contribution of each ingredient to the smoothie's overall nutrition facts.

Nutrition facts of each ingredient

Frozen bananas

  • Weight: 2 large (9.6 oz or 272 g)
  • Calories: 242
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 62 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: FoodData Central - Raw bananas.[3]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

The frozen bananas bring 72% of the carbs in Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie. As extra information, bananas are one of the fruits with the most calories.

Kale leaves

  • Weight: 1/2 cup (0.3 oz or 8 g)
  • Calories: 4
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: MyFitnessPal - Kale leaves, no stems.[4]

Source info

Name: MyFitnessPal

Type: food database

Operated by:  MyFitnessPal, Inc

Trust characteristics:

  • Almost a 5-star app on App Store and Google Play
  • Updated regularly

Organic chocolate syrup

  • Weight: 1 tbsp (0.7 oz or 20 g)
  • Calories: 54
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 13 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: Calorie King - Santa Cruz Organic Chocolate Syrup.[5]

Source info

Name: Calorie King

Type: food database

Operated by: CalorieKing

Characteristics:

  • Used by health professionals
  • Updated regularly

Organic chocolate syrup, counting among the weight gain syrups, brings 16% of the carbs in Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

Almond butter

  • Weight: 1 tbsp (0.6 oz or 16 g)
  • Calories: 98
  • Protein: 3.5 g
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Fat: 9 g

Source: FoodData Central - Plain almond butter.[6]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Almond butter, one of the high-calorie nut butters, brings 69% of the fats in Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie. Also, because it's a high-calorie nut butter, almond butter is one of the snacks with the most calories and stands among the best weight gain foods.

Almond milk

  • Weight: 1 1/3 cups (10.1 fl oz or 300 ml)
  • Calories: 47
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Source: FoodData Central - Almond milk.[7]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Benefits of drinking this smoothie

As is the case with his other smoothie recipes, Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie is filled with health benefits. Explore each of them below.

1. Gain weight easier

To begin with, Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie can help you gain weight easier because it's rich in calories and it doesn't fill you up for a long time.

As social proof, according to the top of the best weight gain foods for females, 91% of the women who gain weight successfully drink smoothies regularly.

Increase caloric intake

Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie efficiently increases caloric intake because it's nutritious, having 445 calories per serving. All of these calories will make it easier for you to achieve a daily caloric surplus, the essential condition for gaining weight.

Nevertheless, consider that a person with an extremely active lifestyle like Novak Djokovic needs much more calories to maintain or gain weight than the average person.

Keep your appetite

Besides increasing your total caloric intake, Novak's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Smoothie allows you to consume more food because, as opposed to many solid foods, it keeps your appetite satisfied only for brief periods.

To support this claim, a University of Bristol study compared fruit smoothies with fresh fruits and other drinks in terms of satiety. They concluded that fruit smoothies are more filling than drinks that are less alike to food (e.g., water and milk) but less filling than solid foods.[8]

Source info

Name: A Comparison of the Satiety Effects of a Fruit Smoothie, Its Fresh Fruit Equivalent and Other Drinks

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrients (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: University of Bristol

2. Boost energy levels

Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie raises energy levels because it's rich in carbs, most of which come from the bananas in the smoothie's composition.

After all, according to a University of Lausanne study on the energy potential of carbs, carbohydrates are the main energy source for humans.[9]

Source info

Name: Carbohydrates as a source of energy

Type: journal article

Published in: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (peer-reviewed)

Made at: University of Lausanne

3. Strengthen bones

Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie can strengthen bones because it contains almond milk, a solid source of calcium.

The almond milk in Djokovic's smoothie brings 540 mg of calcium., which is around 54% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.

4. Fortify immunity

Novak's smoothie fortifies immunity because it contains four sources of antioxidants:

  • Bananas;
  • Kale;
  • Organic chocolate syrup;
  • Almond butter.

Antioxidants, according to a scientific review of antioxidants, increase health protection and disease prevention.[10]

Source info

Name: Antioxidants: Molecules, medicines, and myths

Type: journal article

Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (peer-reviewed journal)

5. Enhance heart health

Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie is healthy for the heart because it contains potassium, which reduces blood pressure.

As scientific proof, a review of the effects of potassium says that potassium lowers blood pressure.[11]

Source info

Name: Beneficial Effects of High Potassium

Type: journal article

Published in: Hypertension (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: Medical College of Wisconsin

6. Protect eye health

Djokovic's smoothie increases eye health because contains kale, a source of vitamin A.

Vitamin A, according to an Australian study about vitamin A's effects on early myopia, is "vital for eye health" because it protects against "night blindness and corneal thinning."[12]

Source info

Name: Is Dietary Vitamin A Associated with Myopia from Adolescence to Young Adulthood?

Type: journal article

Published in: Translational Vision Science & Technology (peer-reviewed journal)

Made in: Australia

7. Hydrate body

Nole's smoothie is also very efficient at hydration because it contains three sources of water: bananas, chocolate syrup, and almond milk.

8. Improve digestion

Novak's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie can improve digestion because it contains kale and bananas, which are both good sources of fiber.

One of the benefits of eating fiber, as stated in a 2009 review of the health benefits of dietary fiber, is a lower risk of gastrointestinal diseases.[13]

Source info

Name: Health benefits of dietary fiber

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrition Reviews (peer-reviewed journal)

Made in: USA

Recipe summary

To follow Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie recipe in a compressed format, use the summary below.

Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie

This high-calorie recipe shows you how to make Novak Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie, whose ingredients he shared in his book "Serve to Win". The smoothie has a bittersweet but refreshing taste thanks to the crispness of the kale leaves, the bittersweet aroma of the chocolate syrup, and the sweet savor of bananas.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Blend Time 1 minute
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Smoothies
Servings 1 person
Calories 445 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Tablespoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large frozen bananas (9.6 oz or 272 g)
  • 1/2 cup kale leaves without stems (0.3 oz or 8 g)
  • 1 tbsp organic chocolate syrup (0.7 oz or 20 g)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter (0.6 oz or 16 g)
  • 1 1/3 cup almond milk (10.1 fl oz or 300 ml)

Instructions
 

  • Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.
    If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 616 ml (20.8 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.
  • Add the ingredients to the blender making sure almond milk ends up at its bottom.
    If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the 1 1/3 cup almond milk. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.
    2 large frozen bananas, 1/2 cup kale leaves, 1 tbsp organic chocolate syrup, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 1/3 cup almond milk
    Adding ingredients of Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie in a blender.
  • Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).
    If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.
    Ingredients of Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie - unblended vs blended.
  • Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.
    Novak Djokovic's High-Calorie Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

Notes

Here are 8 of the health benefits you get from drinking this smoothie:
  1. Gain weight easier;
  2. Boost energy levels;
  3. Strengthen bones;
  4. Fortify immunity;
  5. Enhance heart health;
  6. Protect eye health;
  7. Hydrate body;
  8. Improve digestion.
Keyword energizing, healthy, high-calorie, Novak Djokovic, quick, vegan, weight gain

Other high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain

Whether this smoothie made it to your list of favorite smoothies or not, try the other two high-calorie smoothies shared by the tennis champion: Djokovic's Breakfast Smoothie and Mango Banana Smoothie .

Now, If you want to try other homemade smoothies that can help you gain weight, visit our full list of high-calorie smoothie recipes,

And in case you wish to get creative, you can build your own high-calorie smoothie recipes. Learn what can you add to your smoothie and how to bring extra calories to it from our guide on how to make high-calorie smoothies for weight gain.

And if it happens to get bored of smoothies...

Try switching high-calorie smoothies for high-calorie shakes or other weight gain drinks.

External sources

Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.

Written by
Claudiu Pop from Unfold Today, face portrait.
Claudiu Pop is a nutritionist, medical writer, journalist, and the founder of Unfold Today. He specialized in fitness and nutrition, especially in weight gain, by helping people increase their body mass since 2019 with over 20 articles published in the field.
Medically reviewed by
Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.
Iulia Serban, RDN
Iulia Serban, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Master's degree in Nutrition and Quality of Life. Both degrees were received from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu.
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