Let's talk about fitness! My favourite topic in the world. In this article I will cover how Nut Butters can be your secret weapon while training, regardless of the fact you are an ultra- marathon runner, a recreational lifter or someone who just takes up weekday group classes to lose some extra kilos. We will also go over the ‘how to use’, ‘when to eat’ and ‘how much to eat’ as per your health goals.
Unlike saturated fats coming in from meat and dairy, Nut Butters are loaded with MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) and PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), the kind that is healthy for you.
Fats help with brain health, metabolism of carbs and most importantly, absorption of proteins.
People often take this for granted and avoid fats thinking it will make them obese. This is only partly true and we will explore weight gain and fats later in this discussion. Studies have time and again proven that a diet where saturated fats are replaced by unsaturated fats like nuts, show reduced cholesterol and even help modulate normal blood pressure levels. All these points sound great for anyone, but let's go over the specifics.
For the endurance athlete
As an endurance athlete if your are looking to better your cardiovascular strength then fats are your friends. Unlike carbs and proteins, fats have 9 calories per gram (carbs and proteins both have 4 while fibre has a little around 2). Which means, small quantity equals high and good quality of calories.
When you start any form of physical activity, the first place your body reaches for energy is your blood glucose. Once that is depleted, your body will start breaking glucose stored in your liver and muscle in the form of glycogen. In lay man’s terms, your body will burn up carbs for energy before anything else.
Assuming you are an endurance athlete and train for 2 plus hours a day, depending on your caloric intake and glycogen stores, your body burns up most of the available glucose within the first 60 to 75 minutes. Of course multiple factors such as age, metabolism, intensity of training etc. come into play to decide if this time is more or less than 60- 75 minutes. But this is the ballpark average. After this, your body goes to break down stored fat to use as energy.
If your fat intake is low or not of quality, then it leaves the body no choice but to break down muscle mass and use protein as a source of energy to keep going. If anyone reading this has tried to gain muscle mass, you know how hard it is. If your calorie intake is not sufficient, this could happen pretty fast.
Nut Butters are a great way to fill up on sufficient calories and sufficient fat storage to spare muscle loss during training. You can alternatively have seeds, nuts, olives and other fat sources too but it's just easy to have a few tablespoons of Nut Butters while you are constantly on the go.
For the fitness curious
Let's say you are not an endurance athlete and instead are training specifically to lose weight. Will Nut Butters still help? The answer is Yes and No. Here it gets tricky since now you need to know ‘how much’.
Your post workout meal is of absolute importance when trying to lose weight. You need to refuel yourself with micros and macros for your body to heal. How often do we remember going to have an unhealthy cheat meal post workout, because you feel you ‘deserve it’ after training really hard. But this can be avoided if you are well prepared. Thus, smoothies and shakes come into the picture.
A smoothie is basically deconstructed ice cream and everyone loves ice cream post training. Adding Nut Butters to your post workout smoothie helps with better absorption of proteins and also slows down the metabolism of sugars coming from the fruits in your smoothie.
My go to smoothie recipe post workout is simple Peanut Butter shake.
- 2 tablespoons of Jus'Amazin Peanut Butter Sweet and Salty
- 250 ml nut based milk
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 scoop plant- based protein powder
So how much is too much?
There is no one real way to fat loss, nothing works and everything works as long as you are consistent. I personally believe in a high carb diet since it is the easiest to follow. Even on a high- carb diet, while trying to lose weight, I suggest taking in a minimum of 20% total calories coming in from fats. Cut down on unhealthy fats such as oil’s and dairy and instead replace them with Nut Butters, avocados and olives.
Another benefit of adding Nut Butters to your plan is the steady supply of fibre and phytochemical.
Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds found in plants that help prevent several diseases. They also have anti- inflammatory and anti- viral effects.
Exercise causes wear and tear of muscle fibres, leading to the release of free radicals and inflammation. Nut Butters help with the recovery process so you can get back to the field stronger and faster.
In conclusion, if you are physically active and have not already added Nut Butters to your daily diet, it's high time you do so now!
Author: Roshni Sanghvi
Be sure to mail any specific questions you might have to me at info@RoshniSanghvi.com and I will be glad to help you further.
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