For those of us looking to achieve a personal fitness goal, or to just live a more active, healthier life, there are many things that go into making these healthier life choices. A lot of the changes we wish to see in ourselves starts with our efforts concerning food, and proper post-workout nutrition is extremely important. Surprising as it may seem, a tiny little nut can actually pack a huge punch in terms of fueling our workouts, healing our bodies, and priming ourselves for the next round of physical activity. Nuts are a delicious healthy snacking option, and a great source of healthy protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Here are a bunch to consider incorporating into your next post-workout snack.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts provide beneficial nutrients that our bodies can’t produce on their own. Having between 1 and 2 ounces of walnuts per day can improve heart health and cardiovascular functioning. They also contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which the body is able to convert into other forms of omega-3’s.
Recent studies have shown that almonds have the potential to improve endurance among individuals participating in high-intensity training. Almonds actually promote more effective use of oxygen in the body allowing us to push ourselves a little further both physically and mentally. Almonds also contain the perfect amount of healthy, unsaturated fats. Not only do unsaturated fats promote healthy joint function, but they can also regulate and lower insulin levels. Low blood sugar can make you feel nauseous and lightheaded, especially during a workout or when you’re exerting yourself.
At a whopping 7 grams of protein per ounce, peanuts are perfect as a post-workout snack. They’re also one of the best, natural sources of arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that causes the body to produce nitric oxide. This promotes increased blood flow through dilated blood vessels and helps nutrients get to muscles more quickly and efficiently.
Cashews are full of essential nutrients. Being chock-full of potassium, they help immensely with muscle cramps and even work to balance electrolyte levels in the body. These tend to be flavored or salted, which can actually be beneficial in post-workout situations. Increasing sodium intake after we sweat heavily will encourage us to rehydrate and help us retain those fluids.