Is Peanut Butter Good Before a Workout?
If you've ever scrolled through instagram for any "fitfam" related hashtag - you'll know that peanut butter is kind of a big deal for gym goers. From bodybuilders, to strength athletes, and anyone on a keto diet. Peanut butter is a staple "fit food".
It's delicious (obviously). It's packed full of good, healthy fats. And it can be used in a wide range of healthy recipes. But is peanut butter good before a workout?
The answer might surprise you.
Read on as we go nuts about the many benefits and why you should include peanut butter into your pre-workout routine…
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, carbohydrate and fat. A 100g portion contains:
- Carbohydrates: 22 grams with 5 grams being fibre.
- Protein: 22.5 grams of protein, which is a relatively high amount compared to most plant-based foods.
- Fat: 51 grams.
The nutrients in peanut butter, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the body, especially before exercising.
Peanut butter contains all the essential amino acids required by the body, making it an excellent source of protein. Eating peanut butter before exercise can help you build stronger muscles and improve your overall performance.
As peanut butter is rich in healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, it can help provide the body with long-lasting energy. This means that you will not experience a sudden drop in energy levels during your workout.
Peanut butter contains complex carbohydrates that are metabolised slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy during physical activity.
A single serving of Peanut Butter contains over 14% of the RDA for vitamin B-6. This nutrient is crucial to more than 100 enzyme physiological functions, and can also benefit heart and central nervous system function.
Magnesium is essential for good health, as it plays a role in many biochemical processes. Each serving of peanut butter contains 57 mg of magnesium, the recommended daily amount is 400-420 mg for males and 310-320mg for women.
Peanut Butter as a Pre-Workout Snack
Who Uses It?
Peanut Butter as a pre-workout snack can be used by people that want to lose weight as well as those who would like to build muscle.
It's common among:
- track and field athletes
- combat sports participants
Peanut Butter is a good weight loss food due to the healthy fat content, as well as good source of protein and carbs. As it keeps you fuller for longer, it also curbs your cravings for high sugar and calorie junk food, helping you to reach your goals.
The magnesium content in peanut butter, can beat tiredness and prevent headaches, as well as aid muscle recovery.
Why People Use It?
Eating peanut butter before working out increases blood sugar levels so that you have the energy to focus on a longer workout.
The energy boost from a peanut butter pre-workout is caused by the high carbohydrate and protein content, which provides consistent and noticeable stamina throughout an exercise routine.
If you eat it before a workout, around 30 minutes before is recommended, your body will continue to utilise the nutrients from the peanut butter even after exercise.
Pros & Cons of Peanut Butter as a Pre-Workout Snack
- Peanut butter preserves muscle mass
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
- Can be used alongside a balanced diet for weight loss
- Peanut butter alone is very fat heavy, a balanced pre workout should be mainly carbs, then protein with lower fat
- High calorie content, if not used sensibly could contribute to weight gain
- Allergies to peanut butter are the second most common allergy
- Eating too much peanut butter can result in your stomach becoming intolerant to it
How Long Before a Workout Should You Eat Peanut Butter
It is recommended that peanut butter should be consumed around 30-45 minutes before your workout, as this gives your body optimal time to digest and provide your body with energy during your session.
Is it Better to Eat Peanut Butter Before Workout or After?
Consuming peanut butter before or after a workout is a great option, as your body continues to use the nutrients even after your workout.
Eating peanut butter before your workout will help slow the absorption of carbs, and keep you feeling full whilst you workout.
Post workout, you're looking to replenish glycogen stores as quickly as possible, so want to minimise fat intake directly after you finish a workout.
Adding some peanut butter to a meal, say 1.5-2 hours after a post workout shake can be very beneficial and help you hit your fat intake for the day.
In short, eating peanut butter before or after your workout is beneficial.
How Peanut Butter Can Help Your Fitness Goals
Peanut butter can enhance recovery and induce muscle growth when added to your post-workout meal.
Peanut Butter can make you feel fuller for longer so you are less likely to grab junk foods and stick to your plan, ensuring you hit your fitness goals.
Peanut butter includes healthy fats, which provide your body with energy and help to regulate blood sugar during your workout.
How Much is Too Much Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter has a high healthy fat content, however these should be consumed in moderation. Depending on your body weight and goals, around 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter per serving is optimal.
Eating too much peanut butter due to its high calorie content can sometimes contribute to weight gain, if not eaten alongside a healthy balanced diet.
If consumed in great amounts, you may also develop an intolerance to peanut butter by eating too much in a long period of time which can have allergy like symptoms.
Does Peanut Butter Help with Gym Performance?
Peanut butter can help you perform better in the gym, as its packed with healthy fats. Providing your diet is on point and you eat peanut butter to help you hit your calorie goals.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Abs?
Peanut butter is good for abs, if it helps you reach your calorie and macro intake. Peanut butter alone won't make you get abs. Although eating too much of it can very quickly make you lose your abs!
Does Peanut Butter Make You Fat?
Peanut butter does not make you gain fat, as long as you consume this in moderation alongside a balanced diet.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Bodybuilders?
Peanut butter is good for bodybuilders as it is a valuable source of healthy fats, and contains some protein, which helps build muscle. It's an easy way to increase calorie intake, which is why many bodybuilders use it when bulking.
Is Peanut Butter Good Before Running?
Peanut butter is a great pre-run snack because it gives you protein and energy to sustain a strenuous running session.
Alternatives to Peanut Butter
Cashew butter and peanut butter are quite similar in texture and is a good source of magnesium providing around 20% of the RDA in 2tbsp. However, cashew butter has a lower protein content than peanut butter.
Almond butter is formed from roasted almonds, usually available in smooth and crunchy depending on your preference. It is very similar nutritionally to peanut butter and has the same uses, although it has a higher healthy fat content.
Walnut butter is similar to peanut butter as it is spreadable and has a nutty flavour. Walnut butter includes healthy fats, fibre and omega 3 and 6, the highest ratio among all tree nuts.
Less processed Hazelnut butters are similar to peanut butter and have a high fatty acid profile. They are the second richest in fatty acids in the nut group, with high omega 9 acids which provide benefits for health health.
Bars that include nuts such as Barebells Caramel Cashew, Hazelnut & Nougat and Salty Peanut provide a high amount of protein and low sugar making them a great option for pre-workout snacks.
Our Best Pre-Workout Snack Picks
For convenience Protein bars are great to grab on the go, with no preparation required.