If you go to the gym regularly and you like to research foods and drinks to help your results, you’re likely to have come across hundreds of recommendations. Nowadays, it seems as though every single gym-goer has their own secret weapon. If you’re still struggling to find one that works for you, allow me to introduce the almond.
Of course, you’ve heard of this before because it’s a common food. However, it’s one that’s severely undervalued so today I’m going to put this right. As snacks go, you won’t find many better and there are numerous reasons for this.
Benefits of Almonds
As you may know, nuts are all full of nutrients anyway so this is a great starting point. While being loaded with important vitamins, they also contain antioxidants and minerals which can help on both sides of the coin; they can promote weight loss while also building muscle.
To start, we’re focusing on almonds as post-workout snacks because they contain fibre, calcium, and vitamin B. If you’re a gym bunny, almonds should be your best friend because they fit into your gym bag, the fibre content keeps you feeling full and prevents unnecessary snacking. And you don’t have to worry about crumbs falling on the floor!
Whenever you work out, protein is essential because it allows the body to start healing. If you’re trying to build muscle, this becomes even more important and almonds are packed to the brim with protein. If you’re working out regularly, your body is effectively building muscle 24/7 so a good protein source will always be important.
Do They Contain Fat? - Before we continue, we should answer the million-pound question because there’s a common misconception that ‘we should all avoid nuts’. Why? They say the fat content can really harm a diet and promote fat storage. However, I previously described it as a misconception and this is because it is. Although there is fat in almonds, it’s healthy unsaturated fat which actually contributes to keeping you feeling full (time to get rid of the crisps!).
What About Pre-Workout? - Earlier, we spoke about using almonds as a post-workout tool but what about consuming them before exercise? According to a recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sport Nutrition, there’s a link between almonds and increased endurance. In the study, people who snacked on almonds daily could cycle further and in a quicker time than those who didn’t. Therefore, they really are the magic food you’ve been looking for in a number of different ways.
Not Just the Pros - In certain sports, almonds have become commonplace but they aren't just for the athletes among us. Instead, you and I can see the benefits whether we consume them before a workout, after a workout, or even to stave off hunger during the day. In just a 30g serving, there are 15 essential nutrients and this includes 65% of our RDA of vitamin E.
Even after everything I’ve discussed, almonds can help to stabilise blood sugar levels and improve your digestive system (through the fibre). With a natural detoxification effect, bad bacteria can be flushed away while introducing good bacteria; this leads to a happy belly.
If you’re going to try one food for your gym schedule this year, make it the almond. With no mess, no preparation required, lots of protein, lots of fibre, many vitamins and minerals, and a whole host of benefits for muscle repair, muscle recovery, and increased endurance, it’ll quickly have a positive impact!