Whether you are Looking for the perfect pre ride or post ride snack, almond butter is a wonderfully delicious healthy source of fats, rich in nutrients, and filling. Pre ride I like to mix a bit of homemade Almond butter with my oatmeal or chia pudding. The complex carbs provide me with the energy to fuel my workout, but the fats in almond butter help for the longer duration workouts, while also preventing that sugar “bonk” by preventing insulin spikes from just the carbs burning alone as your only fuel source. Post workout I find that the almond butter with an apple is the perfect treat and keeps me full while helping to absorb the much needed protein for post training recovery.
I started experimenting with almond butter after training for longer endurance races, even doing longer morning group rides. I would find that the initial energy spike from my oatmeal was great(sugar, carbs), but after about an 45-60 minutes of hard effort, my energy would plummet, and I was falling off the fast pace…I have had many patient athletes from pro level to weekend warriors who have experimented with adding more fats into their diet before their workouts, and the difference has been noticeable across the board.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Another added benefit is they lessen spikes in blood sugar after eating, while also helping to protect against diabetes and other heart disease.
Almonds also provide antioxidants to clear out the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. (Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Journal of Nutrition) One more reason why adding it to a post workout meal is a great idea! When eating foods with a higher glycemic index, including almonds in the meal can help keep your blood sugar under control.
You can also use this almond butter pre ride or post in a healthy smoothie.
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and blend it with 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, 1/2 banana and 1 tablespoon of almond butter. This is a simple way to get in a balance of healthy fats, protein and carbs, replenishing glycogen stores and promoting muscle growth.
ALMOND BUTTER RECIPE
2 cups almonds raw or roasted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp raw honey
You can use a Nutribullet or food processor, stirring occasionally to let almond meal settle into bottom again. Note this is a “process”. Be ready to spend about 10-15 minutes hovering over your food processor staring into a swirly bowl of melty almond meal. Eventually the mixture will get hot and voila- we have the buttah’! Place in fridge and enjoy. I usually dose about 2 tbsp almond butter into my cup of oatmeal, serving size is approx 200 calories, 18g fat, which is about 27% of your RDA for fats. This also garners about 7g protein which is about 13% RDA , along with a mod. amount of Iron and Magnesium to boot. Plenty of great things about Almond Butter.
Don’t be scared to eat more healthy fats…everything in moderation I always say to patients and clients alike.