The #1 Best Nut for Feeling Stronger While You Work Out, Science Says: Eat This, Not That

While many athletes are used to consistently eating well and training to their full potential, there are still times in the gym or on a field when it feels like a challenge to be a high-performance athlete. This week’s sprints are slower than last week’s. The dumbbells don’t lift off the ground as smoothly as butter. Maybe it’s just a mishap or just a bad day. Another possibility: Perhaps these athletes should include one more simple food in their diet that could help enhance their skills and talents: almonds.

A 2014 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds can have a positive impact on athletes and their performance during a workout.

How Almonds Affect Exercise Performance

almonds
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The research looked at eight male competitive athletes who were randomly given 75 grams of whole almonds per day or 75 grams of isocaloric crackers per day. Subjects ate an assigned food for four weeks, then switched to the alternative for another four weeks to test whether almonds might play a role in stronger training.

At the end of each four-week period, the athletes performed a three-exercise physical circuit test, including a 10-minute warm-up of cycling at 30% of maximum speed, followed by 115 minutes of constant cycling at 50-60% of maximum speed. maximum. speed, followed by 20 minutes of maximal effort cycling, which showed that the introduction of almonds into their daily diet improved both their physical performance and individual endurance levels throughout training.

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Almonds are loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats, plant-based protein, and dietary fiber. The Protein and Fiber Nutrients in Almonds help the body feel full longer, which may also explain why an athlete’s endurance might last longer during a workout. Furthermore, the researchers found that the antioxidants in almonds contributed to better oxygen flow to the body’s muscles and airwaysbecause antioxidants enhance the breakdown of glucose in the body.

the warnings

Unfortunately, while almonds are packed with a big handful of good nutrients, there are some gaps and biases to consider in this study. To begin with, the participants were highly trained athletes and continued their regular three to five hours of training in the off-season at least five to six times a week throughout the study. Additionally, the researchers used cookies compared to almonds; Although both foods may have had the same calories, they do not share the same nutritional breakdown.

Almonds can be beneficial for the body and in a healthy diet in general, but “[the nut] by itself does not typically have a direct impact on exercise endurance,” according to registered sports dietitian and medical board member, amy goodsonMS, RD, CSSD, LD. For athletes more specifically, it recommends that “carbohydrates are the primary and preferred source of fuel for exercise, especially higher intensity exercise.”

Goodson explains that it’s important to take note of good, healthy fats when consuming almonds, but “in sports nutrition, we don’t really recommend high-fat foods immediately before or after training.”

How to eat almonds for a better workout

There is still much more research to be done on the effects of almonds and physical performance in athletes. However, on average, if you eat almonds within a meal 2 to 4 hours before your workout, you’ll likely still have a great workout, Goodson says, especially “if eaten with a meal containing complex carbohydrates and lean protein.” .

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Jordan Summers-Marcouillier

Jordan Summers-Marcouillier was born and raised in San Jose, California and now works as a writer in New York, NY. read more