If You Eat 40–50 Almonds A Day, It May Help Your Body Recover From Exercise
According to a study supported by the almond industry, consuming a few handfuls of almonds each day may speed up your body’s recovery after exercise.
Study participants who had almonds after working out experienced decreased muscle injury and weariness, according to the researchers.
Almonds, according to experts, offer a variety of health advantages, but they also point out that other nuts, like walnuts, may be advantageous.
A few handfuls of almonds every day may help you recover from exercise and enhance your overall health.
This is the finding of recent research from North Carolina’s Appalachian State University, however, it was supported by the almond industry.
According to research in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, men and women who ate 40 to 50 almonds per day for a month had higher blood levels of the healthy fat 12,13-dihydroxy-9Z-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DiHOME) after a session of vigorous exercise than control participants who did not consume almonds.
It has been claimed that the linoleic acid-derived compound 12,13-DiHOME has positive effects on energy balance and metabolic health.
According to researcher David C. Nieman, DrPH, a professor and the head of the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory, the almond eaters in the study also reported feeling less tired and tense, having stronger leg-back strength, and sustaining less muscular damage after exercise.
While the research clearly implies that eating almonds, which are already recognised as a nutrient-dense diet, promotes workout recovery, Nieman told Healthline that the same may also be true of other nuts like walnuts.
These results demonstrate to athletes that a sports nutrition diet should be beneficial for both long-term health and performance, according to Nieman. “A lot of athletes have fallen into the habit of getting their carbs from sugar drinks like Gatorade. With these results, we have now further shown that fruit may be replaced in such situation and that a sports nutrition diet should also include nuts like almonds.
It was not possible for researchers to identify the elements in almonds that promoted workout benefits. Nieman said that the polyphenols, which are antioxidants present in the almonds’ dark skins, and the high quantities of vitamin E (another antioxidant) present in the nuts, were the main suspects.
How The Research On Almonds Was Carried Out
38 men and 26 women between the ages of 30 and 65 participated in the clinical experiment. Since the majority of the population does not regularly exercise, researchers opted to concentrate on such people, according to Nieman.
About half of the trial participants were placed on an almond-rich diet, while the other individuals were told to consume a calorie-matched cereal bar every day.
Blood and urine samples were examined before and after the research, as well as just after a weekly 90-minute workout regimen. A 50-meter shuttle run, a vertical leap, a bench press, and leg-back strengthening exercises were all part of the workout regimen.
Almonds’ Post-Workout Benefits
Researchers found that research participants had higher tiredness, anxiety, and depressive symptoms after the exercises, as well as increased muscle damage and soreness.
Members of the almond group that had higher blood levels of 12,13-DiHOME saw less adverse effects from their exercises.
Researchers discovered that individuals in the almond group had a blood plasma concentration of 12,13-DiHOME that was 69% greater than those in the control group.
In contrast, following exercise, blood levels of the control group’s slightly toxic 9,10-Dihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid (9,10-diHOME), which is known to have a deleterious impact on general health and exercise recovery, were 40% higher than those of the almond group.
The research group’s daily almond intake equals around two handfuls of the nuts, or two ounces of almonds.
The results, according to Nieman, don’t amount to an advice that individuals eat that many almonds every day rather they open the door for further investigation into the possible health advantages of consuming nuts associated to activity.
What Fitness Professionals Believe About The Almond Research
“Almonds are a nutrient-rich snack that may help athletes perform at their best since they provide the body essential vitamins and minerals, protein, and healthy fats. According to Lalitha McSorley, a physical therapist at Brentwood Physiotherapy Calgary in Canada, they are rich in vitamin E, which helps shield cells from oxidative damage brought on by exercise.
Furthermore, she said, “Studies have shown that almonds have chemicals that may aid in reducing inflammation brought on by exercise and enhancing athlete recovery, as well as gastrointestinal health. “Athletes should make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need from their diet in order to perform at their best. Almonds may provide important vitamins and minerals to an athlete’s diet that may improve physical performance and lessen muscle damage during recuperation.
The research, according to Dave Candy, DPT, an expert in orthopaedic physical therapy and the proprietor of the St. Louis-based company More 4 Life, demonstrated that almonds were unquestionably healthier than what he termed “highly-processed, high-sugar” cereal bars.
In his words to Healthline, “I believe the conclusion can absolutely be reached that diet influences post-exercise inflammation.” However, it would be interpreting the results of this research to expressly recommend almonds as opposed to peanuts, walnuts, cashews, or a protein drink as a way to complement exercise.
More than 340 calories, 12 grammes of carbohydrates, and 28 grammes of fat were also included in the serving size of almonds in the research, which also included more than 12 grammes of protein.
A senior dietician and adjunct associate professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, said to Healthline that “given that almonds are really gratifying and satiating you’re less likely to overeat later in the day.” Furthermore, considering the healthfulness of almonds and as long as you’re keeping your total calorie consumption, I wouldn’t be worried. Those calories, proteins, and fats are of a high quality.
Nieman cautioned that ingesting almonds in other forms, such as drinking almond milk, may not have the same health advantages if the almonds used to make the beverage have had their skins removed, which is likely the case.
The California Almond Board provided the funding for the research. The Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University has previously published research demonstrating the value of include fruits like blueberries and bananas in a diet for improved exercise performance.