You can eat up to 2 handfuls of almonds a day for muscle growth. 1 oz of handfuls provides 6 grams of high-quality plant-based protein as well as healthy fats, minerals, and other nutrients that stimulate protein synthesis, aid the production of testosterone and preserve fat-free mass!
Protein in almonds builds muscle mass!
First, almonds are good for building muscle mass because they’re an excellent dietary source of protein. A handful provides 6 grams of protein.
But, almonds aren’t a complete protein. They lack of the essential amino acid lysine. Your body needs all 9 essential amino acids to build muscle mass.
We can get lysine eating foods from animal sources, or plant-based foods, such as beans, hemp seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds.
Therefore, it’s better to eat 1–2 handfuls of mixed seeds and nuts for muscle growth in order to consume all essential amino acids!
Moreover, you should avoid roasted almonds. Their protein is less absorbable! On the contrary, soaking almonds overnight makes them more bioavailable.
Fats in almonds are beneficial for the muscles
Furthermore, about 75% of calories of almonds come from fat. Almonds contain mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are good for the heart when consumed in moderation.
Additionally, almonds’ unique fat content may be beneficial for preserving fat-free mass! It seems that dietary fat plays a key role in determining protein turnover!
Iron in almonds for muscle strength & recovery
Certainly, bodybuilders, athletes, and active people should consume almonds, as they’re excellent dietary sources of iron. Iron is the most abundant trace mineral in the body!
Women need 18 mg and men need 8 mg of iron a day, respectively.
Athletes should get high dosages of iron, as it supports muscle metabolism and healthy connective tissue. Moreover, iron is necessary for physical growth, neurological development, cellular functioning, and the synthesis of some hormones.
Athletes of bodybuilding need high doses of zinc
Also, almonds are good dietary sources of zinc. Actually, zinc is necessary for muscle hypertrophy! Zinc plays a key role in protein synthesis, as well as maintaining protein structure and stability. Zinc is found in one in every ten human proteins! Also, zinc helps muscles recover faster after strenuous exercise.
Calcium in almonds is necessary for bodybuilders
Furthermore, almonds are a great plant-based source of calcium. Adequate amounts of calcium are necessary for the proper function of the muscle tissue. Low levels of calcium can lead to muscle cramps. Calcium plays a key role in muscle contraction.
Inadequate calcium intake may cause muscle fatigue and inhibit muscle recovery after exercise.
Magnesium builds muscle mass!
Certainly, high magnesium intakes are beneficial for athletes. Magnesium is vital for the normal function of the muscle tissue. For instance, magnesium enhances blood flow. Almonds are high in magnesium.
Inadequate intake of magnesium can significantly affect sport performance! However, many athletes fail to consume the recommended daily intake.
Phosphorus for muscle growth
Adults need 700 mg of phosphorus a day. Almonds contain about 480 mg of phosphorus per 100g. Actually, almonds are among the best common dietary sources of phosphorus.
Athletes who work out for muscle growth should eat many foods with phosphorus. Otherwise, they may experience low muscle strength, fatigue, and even bone pain. Furthermore, inadequate phosphorus intake may lead to lower muscle volume, and lower energy levels.[6,7]
Potassium in almonds prevents muscle loss
Women need 2,600 mg and men need 3,400 mg of potassium a day. Almonds have 733 mg of potassium per 100g.
Above all, potassium is vital for muscle contraction. A diet high in potassium prevents muscle loss and the reduction of muscle strength. Actually, potassium protects from metabolic acidosis, which also leads to the loss of muscle mass.
So, athletes who want to increase their muscle mass should eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables! They’re among the richest foods in potassium. In addition, foods containing potassium help us lose weight.
Almonds build muscle mass!
Moreover, almonds are great for athletes who try to build muscle mass or increase muscle strength, as they contain compounds, such as quercetin and arginine.
- Quercetin is a flavonoid with powerful antioxidant properties.
- Arginine is a nonessential amino acid which is vital for muscle growth.
Quercetin and arginine regulate mitochondrial biogenesis, leading to greater glucose uptake by muscles! Also, they may decrease oxygen consumption, and ammonia liberation, helping athletes exercise harder and for a longer time.
Additionally, almonds are high in vitamin E and other antioxidant compounds. Athletes need to consume foods with antioxidants, as they promote muscle recovery.
Almonds may increase testosterone levels!
Snacking almonds between meals can decrease LDL-cholesterol, while it doesn’t affect the “good” HDL-cholesterol. Actually, cholesterol is necessary for the good function of the body. For instance, cholesterol is needed for the biosynthesis of testosterone![10,11]
Testosterone is crucial for muscle growth because it increases muscle protein synthesis. Testosterone is one of the most powerful naturally secreted anabolic hormones! Athletes who train for muscle hypertrophy should have high testosterone levels. Testosterone is considered the major promoter of muscle growth and muscle strength in response to resistance training.[12,13]
Only about 20% of the cholesterol in our bloodstream comes from food. Our body makes the rest. So, we should eat foods, like almonds, that decrease LDL-cholesterol, but don’t affect HDL-cholesterol. LDL-cholesterol is bad for the heart. It builds up plaque in the wall of arteries.
When should I eat almonds to build muscle mass?
As almonds are particularly rich in fiber, athletes better consume them as a post-workout meal. Consuming fiber right before exercise may cause bloating, gas, or other stomach disturbances.
Moreover, the best time to eat almonds is before a high-calorie meal or at breakfast. Consuming almonds before a meal can reduce body fat mass, visceral fat level, and body fat percentage!
How many almonds should I eat a day to build muscle mass?
As a rule of thumb, most people could eat up to 2 handfuls of almonds a day. As almonds are particularly high in calories, higher amounts can make you gain weight.
2 handfuls of almonds a day can help athletes build muscle mass. They influence total body protein, fat-free mass, and skeletal muscle mass.
Moreover, almonds can help you lose weight, as they’re among the richest foods in riboflavin. This vitamin is vital for fat metabolism and weight loss.
Only athletes with extremely high caloric needs can eat more almonds without gaining weight.