For strength athletes looking to optimize performance during intense weightlifting and muscle-building sessions, protein powders and supplements are popular choices, but high-quality nut and seed butters can be valuable allies when it comes to supporting your fitness goals. From offering a good balance of pre- and post-workout nutrients to being a convenient, cost-effective way to get your calories, there are numerous reasons why these plant-based powerhouses deserve a spot in your nutrition plan.
Once Again Nut Butter, which has been sustainably producing nut and seed butters for over 70 years, offers a wide range of organic and natural products that include almond, peanut, cashew, and sunflower butters. Keeping a stash of rotating options means you won’t get bored, making it easier to stick to your fitness plan while providing your body high-quality protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fiber, plus minerals such as magnesium and zinc, and vitamins including vitamin E and folate. Nut butters also provide a wallet-friendly alternative to costly protein bars and animal protein sources, which can add up for many bodybuilders who often need to consume over 3,000 calories per day! You can pair nut butters with fruits or vegetables for an easy, inexpensive snack or add them to drinks to bump up the protein and calories.
While many weight-lifting athletes focus on primarily on protein, carbohydrates play an important part as well. Nut and seed butters have a well-balanced macronutrient breakdown, typically consisting of 7-8 grams of carbohydrates and 5-9 grams of plant-based protein, along with heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. During a workout, your body uses carbohydrates as the primary source of energy, which makes it important to have adequate glycogen stores. Glycogen stored in muscles are the energy source during activity. For this reason, strength athletes should aim for a ratio of 2:1 carbohydrate to protein in their pre-workout meal. To achieve this, you can enjoy a banana with a spoonful of almond butter or sliced apples topped with peanut butter.
Nut butters have a place in your post-workout plan as well. During strength workouts, your muscles are breaking down so that they can rebuild stronger. When protein is consumed after a workout, the body breaks it down into amino acids to repair and grow new muscle fibers. A post-workout meal should also follow the 2:1 ratio but can be increased to a 4:1 ratio if the duration of the strength training session was longer than normal. For a convenient snack that delivers protein and carbohydrates, try these almond delights snack bites. Timing is crucial here – the first 15-45 minutes immediately after the workout is the most efficient time to replace your glycogen stores and maximize muscle building potential.
No athlete is the same, and when it comes to designing your nutrition plan, it’s never been easier to find a quality nut butter to fit your taste and allergy preferences. Once Again Nut Butter’s products are made with simple, straightforward ingredients and are rich in pure, nutty flavor. The company’s certified organic and natural products are each Non-GMO Project Verified, certified gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and part of the brand’s Honest In Trade Program. In 2016, Once Again expanded into a new SQF Certified, 37,000 square-foot facility in rural upstate New York where it now produces its peanut butters. The company’s tree nut and seed butters are produced in a separate, peanut-free facility nearby.
And finally, when it comes to convenience, nut and seed butters can’t be beat! They are easy to transport and require no refrigeration. Busy athletes find it difficult to meet their daily caloric goals but keeping a jar of nut butter at your desk or in your gym bag makes it easy to get a quick calorie and protein boost. Once Again’s peanut, almond, and cashew butters, for example, pack 190 calories and 5-9g of protein in one serving! Should you find yourself traveling and worried about getting proper and reliable nutrition, Once Again also offers 1.15 oz squeeze packs that are travel friendly and TSA approved.
Whether you’re looking to incorporate more whole foods into your diet, seeking a convenient, cost-effective way to meet your daily calorie needs, or looking to shake up your pre- and post-workout meals, the versatility and balanced nutrition of nut butters make them a well-rounded addition to any strength athlete’s fitness plan.
About the author
Carolina Lima Jantac, M.S., RD, LD, is a devoted athlete who holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Research from the University of Florida. She has years of experience in nutritional counseling in both private and clinical settings, including areas such as weight management, allergy alleviation, digestive issues, infant nutrition, sports nutrition, pediatric and adult nutrition. She combines her evidence-based nutritional knowledge with a one-of-a-kind passion for delicious and wholesome foods when creating recipes using Once Again Nut Butter.