A 2014 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds can have a positive impact on athletes and their performance during a workout.
The research looked at eight male competitive athletes who were randomly given either 75 grams of whole almonds per day
or 75 grams of isocaloric cookies per day. The subjects consumed one assigned food for four weeks, then were switched to the alternative for another four weeks to evaluate
if the almonds could play a role in a stronger workout.At the end of each four-week period, the athletes were given a three-exercise physical circuit test—including a 10 minute warm-up of cycling
at 30% max speed, straight into 115 minutes of steady cycling at 50-60% max speed, followed by 20 minutes of all-out effort cycling—which showed that the introduction of almonds to their daily diet
improved both their physical performance and their individual endurance levels throughout the workout.Almonds are loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats,plant-based protein, and dietary fiber.
The protein and fiber nutrients in almonds help the body feel fuller for longer, which may also explain why an athlete's endurance could last longer during a workout. Plus,researchers discovered that
the antioxidants in almonds contributed to better oxygen flow to the body's muscles and airways, due to the antioxidants improving the body's breakdown of glucose.
Almonds can be beneficial to the body and in an overall healthy diet, but "[the nut] alone does not typically have a direct impact on workout endurance," according to registered sports dietitian
For athletes most specifically, she recommends a "carbohydrate is the main source of and preferred source of, fuel for exercise, especially higher intensity exercise."
Goodson explains that it's important to take note of the good healthy fats when consuming almonds,but in sports nutrition we actually do not recommend high-fat foods immediately pre- or post-workout.