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Planet Smoothie 

Gym-goers in Shadyside can now enjoy an appropriate post-workout refreshments: smoothies.

Arnold Schwarzenegger used to drink a pitcher of beer after his intense body-building workouts. But thanks to Shadyside's newest health-food joint, local gym-goers can enjoy much more appropriate post-workout refreshments: smoothies.  

On Aug. 26, John Byrnes, owner of Walnut Street's X Shadyside gym, opened the Pittsburgh region's first Planet Smoothie, a national chain specializing in smoothies featuring fresh, all-natural ingredients. 

Planet Smoothie, whose small storefront boasts a clean, modern interior, offers more than 30 300-calorie-or-less smoothies, as well as a full frozen-yogurt bar. The menu is broken down into a variety of smoothie categories -- energy, weight-loss, protein, etc. -- so that customers can select a drink best aligned with their needs. 

For example, under the energy smoothies heading -- "For those seeking a lifestyle with natural, sustained energy," the menu reads -- you'll find Java the Nut, featuring Columbian coffee, cocoa, bananas, nonfat milk, peanut butter and yogurt. Meanwhile, the protein category, meant for customers who are into "high-intensity workouts," includes Mr. Mongo, a smoothie featuring strawberries or cocoa, yogurt, bananas, nonfat milk and vanilla. 

I tried one of Planet Smoothie's less-traditional smoothies, made with organic acai, a dark-purple berry rich with antioxidants; peanut butter; banana; and granola. It was so thick that my server suggested it should be eaten with a spoon. The acai, which has a subtle chocolate taste, matched perfectly with the peanut butter, while the slices of banana and pieces of granola added texture. If only exercising were as easy …

5608 Walnut St., Shadyside. 412-363-9999

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