Almonds have high-quality plant-based protein, and healthy fats that are beneficial for muscle growth. They help athletes build muscle mass and recover faster after strenuous exercise.
Almonds are rich in protein!
First, almonds are good for building muscle mass because they’re an excellent dietary source of protein. A handful provides 6 g 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.
Therefore, it’s better to eat 1-2 handfuls of mixed seeds and nuts. You’ll 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.
Almonds contain healthy fats that build muscle mass!
Furthermore, about 75% of calories of almonds come from fat. Almonds contain mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are good for our health 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!
Almonds are a good dietary source of iron
Certainly, bodybuilders, athletes, and active people should consume almonds, as they’re rich in iron. Almonds have 3.7 mg of iron per 100g.
Women need 18 mg and men need 8 mg of iron a day, respectively. Iron is the most abundant trace mineral in the body!
Athletes should get adequate amounts of iron as well. 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. Inadequate intake of iron may delay muscle recovery after exercise, reduce muscle strength, and sport performance, as iron deficiency may reduce the supply of oxygen to muscle cells.[3,4]
Athletes of bodybuilding need high doses of zinc
The recommended daily dose of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Almonds are good dietary sources of zinc as well.
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.
Also, inadequate calcium intake may cause muscle fatigue and inhibit muscle recovery after exercise.
Magnesium builds muscle mass!
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 310-360 mg for women and 400-420 mg for men. But, even athletes fail to consume the recommended daily doses. Inadequate intake of magnesium can significantly affect sport performance!
Almonds have 270 mg of magnesium per 100g. Certainly, magnesium is necessary for athletes. It’s vital for the normal function of the muscle tissue. Magnesium enhances blood flow.
Phosphorus is vital for muscle strength
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]
Almonds contain high amounts of potassium
Women need 2,600 mg and men need 3,400 mg of potassium a day. Almonds have 733 mg of potassium per 100g.
Athletes should eat almonds regularly. Above all, potassium is vital for muscle contraction. A diet high in potassium prevents muscle loss and the reduction of muscle strength. Also, potassium protects from metabolic acidosis, which leads to the loss of muscle mass.
So, athletes who want to increase their muscle mass better eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables! They’re among the richest foods in potassium. Moreover, 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. 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 to make testosterone![10,11]
Testosterone is crucial for muscle growth because it increases muscle protein synthesis. Testosterone is one of the most potent naturally secreted anabolic hormones! In muscle, testosterone stimulates protein synthesis. 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 a plaque in the wall of arteries.
Moreover, we can help the body produce testosterone eating foods with calcium, arginine, zinc, vitamin D etc.
When should I eat almonds to build muscle mass?
Moreover, the best time to eat almonds is before a high-calorie meal. 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?
2 handfuls of almonds a day can help athletes build muscle mass. They influence total body protein, fat-free mass, and skeletal muscle mass.
Only athletes with extremely high caloric needs can eat more almonds.