Why is a PB&J sandwich the ideal post-workout snack?

Eating a PB&J sandwich after exercise helps build muscle mass. Protein supports muscle hypertrophy, net carbs replenish muscle glycogen stores, fiber promotes satiety, and phytonutrients like resveratrol are beneficial for faster recovery, as they fight exercise-induced inflammation.

We need carbs right after a workout

Firstly, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great post-workout snack because it’s packed with net carbs. A typical PB&J sandwich on white bread has up to 30 grams of sugar!

Athletes should consume simple carbs right after strenuous exercise to replenish muscle glycogen stores and provide energy to the body. This process is necessary for fast muscle recovery.

Is PB&J sandwich the perfect post-workout snack?Pin

Athletes who work out daily should be very mindful of the consumed amount of carbs. It greatly affects athletic performance.

White bread and jelly are particularly high in net carbs. Peanut butter is mainly healthy fat, protein, and fiber.

In fact, white bread is great post-workout food, as it spikes insulin levels. This process is crucial for replenishment of muscle glycogen stores.

Is Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich good for building muscle mass?

Moreover, athletes should consume high doses of protein after exercise. Protein is key for muscle repair and building muscle mass after resistance exercise. Even endurance athletes must consume protein in their post-workout meals.

A PB&J sandwich is high in protein. A PB&J sandwich contains 20 amino acids, and it has a high protein digestibility score.

Although it isn’t a complete protein, a PB&J sandwich is among the best plant-based protein sources you can eat.

As PB&J sandwich lacks certain essential amino acids, you should eat it with other high-quality protein sources, such as protein-rich smoothies, protein powder shakes, eggs etc.

It’s packed with beneficial nutrients for bodybuilding!

Many common favorite foods are great post-workout snacks. Even Nutella can be beneficial after exercise! A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is more than carbs and protein, though.

Balanced nutrition is also important for muscle hypertrophy and good health. A PB&J sandwich provides a good balance of carbs, protein, healthy fats, as well as vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, and other antioxidant compounds, which can help athletes recover faster after strenuous exercise.


Firstly, peanut butter is one of the richest food in arginine.

Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid. Although the body can synthesize it, there are times when dietary supplementation may be required. Bodybuilders may have beneficial effects on muscle growth by taking high dosages of arginine, either from food or supplements!

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For instance, arginine is an amino acid that is a precursor to nitric oxide. This compound improves blood flow and healing time of muscle tissue.

Furthermore, arginine keeps joints and muscles healthy. Also, it regulates anabolic hormones and blood sugar.[1]


A PB&J sandwich is also particularly high in resveratrol. Especially if you eat a high-quality berry jam. Peanuts, berries, grapes, and red wine are the only foods containing resveratrol.

This powerful polyphenol antioxidant protects against exercise-induced inflammation. Also, it has beneficial effects on many health issues.

In fact, resveratrol may improve muscle regenerative ability.

Also, high resveratrol intake seems to reduce muscle pain, increase exercise performance, decrease muscle damage, improve physical adaption, and anaerobic capacity.[2]

Thus, resveratrol in a PB&J sandwich is particularly beneficial for muscle recovery.

If you prepare your favorite snack with a high-quality strawberry jam, you could even get high amounts of melatonin. Melatonin in strawberries has many benefits for athletes!

Healthy fat

Additionally, PB&J sandwich is a great post-workout snack because it has healthy fat. It’s 63% monounsaturated fat, 20% polyunsaturated fat, and only 17% saturated fat.[3]

Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fat could have beneficial effects on physical activity. Too much saturated fat may have detrimental effects on motivation for physical activity.[4]

Most noteworthy, monounsaturated fat can have a beneficial effect on the heart when eaten in moderation and when replace saturated fat.[5]


Bodybuilders and other athletes who work out for muscle growth usually consume high amounts of animal-based foods. Saturated fat in these foods is a key reason for increased cholesterol levels.

We can naturally reduce elevated cholesterol levels by consuming adequate amounts of phytosterols. These compounds block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet. Phytosterols can lower total cholesterol by up to 10% and LDL cholesterol by up to 14%.

Also, phytosterols may decrease inflammation!

Peanut butter is a great dietary source of phytosterols, such as beta sitosterol, campesterols and stigmasterol.

Other foods high in phytosterols are certain beans, fruits, and vegetables.

In addition, peanut butter may relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels. Prolonged exposure to cortisol has been associated with reduced muscle strength and mass.[6]

Actually, peanut butter has many health benefits as it has a great nutritional value.

PB&J sandwich for a lean body!

Furthermore, a PB&J sandwich can help bodybuilder athletes stay lean. It promotes the feeling of fullness. It’s a more feeling snack than other common carbohydrate-rich snacks.

PB&J sandwich keeps us full because it’s high in fiber and protein. Diets high in fiber have been linked to a decreased risk of obesity! Fiber delays the digestion of carbs, promoting the feeling of fullness.

Moreover, protein regulates appetite. In fact, meals high in fiber, protein, and water have the highest satiating score.[7]

Therefore, you could drink water, or even better, drink a protein shake with your favorite PB&J sandwich after exercise! This is an excellent post-workout meal.

What makes a PB&J sandwich the perfect snack after exercise?Pin

Additionally, monounsaturated fat in peanut butter stimulates hormones that help feel satisfied.

According to many studies, peanut butter can help lower body mass index (BMI), despite being energy dense. It can even lead to increased resting energy expenditure.[1]

It’s easy to eat a PB&J sandwich right after exercise

Furthermore, eating a PB&J sandwich right after a workout is very convenient. PB&J sandwich is easy to make and take it with you to the gym.

How much should I eat to build muscle mass?

But, a PB&J sandwich has many calories. It has between 300 and 450 calories, depending on portion sizes and ingredients. Therefore, only bodybuilders on bulking could eat more than a PB&J sandwich a day.

However, following these 3 simple tips, you could prepare a PB&J sandwich with 80% fewer calories!

Athletes on the cutting phase should eat PB&J sandwiches with minimum amount of calories.

Don’t eat a PB&J sandwich before exercise!

In fact, the worst time of the day to eat a PB&J sandwich is right before a workout. It can have a negative impact on athletic performance. It can even cause stomach disturbances, such as bloating or gas. A PB&J sandwich takes time to digest.

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