Do Do you get sore and tired after an intense workout? There’s one change you can make to avoid this fitness trap, and it includes… nuts!
Almonds are known to have multiple health benefits, but there is now evidence that they also have fitness benefits. A new study published in limits in nutrition has found that adding almonds to your diet can help your body recover from exercise. A study of 64 adults divided into two groups — one that ate almonds, one that ate the calorie equivalent in a granola bar — showed that the group that ate almonds had biomarkers indicative of improved muscle recovery, including decreased one post-workout fatigue and tension, and greater strength. They also reported feeling less sore.
However, it’s not as if the subjects simply popped a few almonds in their mouths after a workout and miraculously felt refreshed muscles. They ate two ounces of almonds (or about 46 individual nuts) every day for four weeks.
“People treat food too much like a pill or think it’s magical, but diet just doesn’t work,” said study lead author David C. Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, professor and principal investigator at Human Appalachian State University Performance Laboratory, says. Instead, explains Dr. Nieman, when making dietary changes in general, health researchers have found that “you get into a pattern and then you stick with it and then You get healthcare benefits. And what we are showing is that there are recovery benefits too.”
The researchers measured the subjects’ blood and urine for various types of metabolites (the substances produced as a result of our metabolic work, such as when a muscle undergoes micro-tears during exercise) before starting the experiment, immediately after an intense 90 minutes training sessions and for four days after the training sessions. The presence of certain metabolites can serve as “biomarkers” that indicate fatigue or inflammation in the muscles.
“We had the good [metabolite] up, the bad ones down,” says Dr. nobody. “It was a very strong finding that couldn’t possibly have been due to chance. Almond ingestion essentially shifted the production of mediators that regulate immunity, energy, and inflammation.”
Force measurements and reports from study participants were also more positive in the tonsil group.
Although the study was conducted by independent researchers including Dr. Nieman, was sponsored by the Almond Board of California. However, Roxana Ehsani, RD, CSSD, a board-certified sports nutritionist, believes the methodology and results are legitimate.
“This is great news for active people and shows that eating whole foods like almonds is beneficial for post-workout recovery and that one does not have to rely on highly processed post-workout foods to get the nutrients needed for recovery.” received,” says Ehsani.
“There’s no need to rely on highly processed foods post-workout to get the nutrients needed for recovery.” — Roxana Ehsani, RD, CSSD
Why might the nuts have had such a powerful effect? Almonds contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat, which Ehsani describes as “the trio of nutrients needed for optimal recovery.” They also have phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium – electrolytes that can be depleted through sweating.
“Magnesium and calcium are essential for optimal muscle function,” says Ehsani. dr Nieman also points to vitamin E, amino acids, and “polyphenols” (molecules present in the almond shell) as possible reasons for almonds’ benefits.
dr Nieman hopes the study will inspire people to look at nutritious foods, and not just sports drinks or protein powders, as an important part of preparing the body for and recovering from exercise. He notes that the study ranks in the top five percent of all articles viewed limits in nutrition Website. That could have something to do with the rise of the optimization culture that so often leads us to treat our bodies like machines that we can fine-tune to maximize physical fitness.
But dr Nieman says, hey, if you’re looking for a “tweak,” almonds are a great option.
“It helps your body get through the stress a little bit easier,” says Dr. nobody. “That’s about as much of a lifehack as you can get right there.”
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