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Benefits of nut butters for athletes

Jaroslav Jetelina, 13. 08. 2023
Benefits of nut butters for athletes

When we play sports, we are constantly putting a strain on certain muscle groups. In order to perform at our best all the time, we need the fastest possible muscle recovery. Muscle recovery can be accelerated in many ways, but diet plays a crucial role. Nut butters are packed with nutrients that significantly helpin repairingsports-damaged muscle fibers. In this article, we will share the findings of several studies that have looked at the relationship between nut butters and promoting recovery and suggest appropriate steps to support your muscles.


  1. Nut butters are rich sources of protein that promotes muscle repair and growth;
  2. They contain healthy fats that reduce inflammation, support heart function, and may improve athletic performance;
  3. Several scientific studies have confirmed that consuming nut butters can reduce recovery time after athletic performance and improve the body's energy balance;
  4. Nut spreads can be easily incorporated into your diet, from spreads to drinks (smoothies) to baking.

Nut spreads are a source of protein

Adequate protein intake is crucial for repairing damaged muscle fibers and their growth. Almond butter is a great source of protein, containing approximately 7 grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving. Peanut butter contains 5 grams of protein in the same serving, and cashew butter even contains 8!

Nut spreads are a source of healthy fats

In addition to protein, peanut butter also contains plenty of healthy fats, which help reduce inflammation (which slows recovery). Therefore, nut butters are, in essence, anti-inflammatory foods that should be part of any athlete's diet. Healthy fats also aid heart function. For instance, cashew, peanut, or almond butter contain 18 grams of healthy, body-healthy fats per serving.

What do the scientific studies say?

Several studies have investigated the relationship between nut consumption and the beneficial effects of nuts on the athlete's body. One of them found that eating peanuts after strength training reduced recovery time in male participants. Another study discovered that cyclists who included peanut butter in their pre-workout diet experienced greater energy recovery from fat and increased performance. Additional studies are attached below as referencs for your own examination.

Nut butters can be easily incorporated into the diet

If you want to get important nutrients from nut butters, there are countless ways to incorporate them into your diet. You can use it as a spread on bread, toast, rice sandwiches, or even fresh fruit and vegetables. If you prefer refreshing drinks, you can add nut butter to your smoothie or protein drink for an extra dose of protein. You can also use it to flavor yogurt, cottage cheese, or porridge. Nut butters are also great ingredients for baking.


If you play sports and are looking to nourish your muscles, nut spreads will certainly come in handy. They contain plenty of protein, which promotes proper recovery, and healthy fats, which are an important source of energy during athletic performance. Studies have shown that nuts can reduce muscle damage and improve recovery. For these reasons, including nut butters in your diet is certainly beneficial for you as an athlete.


  1. Poprzecki S, Zajac A, Chalimoniuk M, Waskiewicz Z, Rudzinska A, Langfort J. Effects of acute supplementation of almond butter on postprandial glucose metabolism and appetite in healthy adults. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017;68(5):593-600. doi:10.1080/09637486.2017.1288791
  2. McAnulty SR, McAnulty LS, Nieman DC, Quindry JC, Hosick P, Hudson MB, Still L, Henson DA, Milne GL, Morrow JD, Dumke CL, Utter AC, Triplett NT, Dibarnardi A. Chronic quercetin ingestion and exercise-induced oxidative damage and inflammation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008;33(2):254-262. doi:10.1139/H07-174
  3. Phillips SM, Hartman JW, Wilkinson SB. Dietary protein to support anabolism with resistance exercise in young men. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005;24(2):134S-139S. doi:10.1080/07315724.2005.10719454
  4. Beavers KM, Serra MC, Beavers DP, Cooke MB, Willoughby DS. Soy and whey protein supplementation during resistance training in older adults. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(3):259-264. doi:10.1007/s12603-012-0082-z
  5. Weinheimer-Haus EM, Burke LM, Hawley JA. The effect of carbohydrate and protein hydrolysate co-ingestion on endurance exercise performance in the heat. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20(1):15-28. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.20.1.15
  6. Pasiakos SM, McLellan TM, Lieberman HR. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2015;45(1):111-131. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2
Jaroslav Jetelina