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Nut Butter as a Sports Superfood

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Peanut butter tastes delicious, and provides nutrient-dense calories to fuel the body. Whether working out regularly, running for distance, or involved in a competitive sport, you require the best nutrition to feed your body and mind.

Peanut butter gets a lot of flak for being an unhealthy fattening food. But this is far from the truth. Peanut butter contains healthy fats, and is packed with protein for energy that lasts. According to the National Peanut Board, world-class athletes “rely on peanut butter to provide long-lasting energy for their competitive lifestyles.”

In 2020, an analysis of 13 studies was published in Critical Reviews of Food Science and Nutrition. Study authors reported that peanut consumption (lasting at least 12 weeks) doesn’t cause weight gain but may improve good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

The only unfortunate drawback, however, is that peanut butter is one of the eight most common foods linked to allergic reactions in children and adults.3 Peanut allergy affects around 1.2% of the general U.S. population and is the most common food allergy among children.4 But if allergies are not an issue, peanut butter is a superior superfood well-suited to a physically active lifestyle. And if it is, there’s other nut butters that you can substitute.

Let’s dive into some peanut butter health benefits and reasons why you should grab a spoonful.

Peanut Butter Has Superfood Nutrients

Peanut butter has reached the status of a superfood. Natural forms of this creamy spread line the pantries of athletes in a wide range of sports.

Peanut Butter Fuels the Body

Fueling the body requires quality nutrient-dense foods. Peanut butter certainly falls in this category. Peanut butter supplies sustaining energy at 100 calories and 4 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving.

When we challenge ourselves with hard workouts or long endurance runs, we benefit the body with peanut butter and its powerhouse of nutrients. Exercise becomes more efficient, and the body can more readily repair itself from the physical demands of the workout. This is a great reason to add protein-packed peanut butter your nutrition lineup.

Peanut Butter Contains Some Protein for Muscle Repair

Did you know peanuts contain 7 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving7 compared to other nuts providing only 4-6 grams per serving?

Pass the peanut butter for more protein, because workouts break down muscle tissue and need amino acids to repair the damage. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and play a crucial role in our cells, muscles, and tissues to maintain optimal bodily function.

Peanut Butter May Increase Good Cholesterol

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends choosing healthy fats like peanut butter, and advises stirring in the oil that collects at the top of natural peanut butter rather than pouring it off.10

Peanut butter is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Research shows that peanut butter raises good cholesterol, while not causing weight gain or increasing bad cholesterol.


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