Best Foods for Athletes: Nuts and Nut Butter

Sure, carbo-loading's important—but for top-notch performance, it's just part of the story. Supplement your training with these healthy eats that will help you build strength, sustain energy, and recover faster.

Nut butter     Photo: Shutterstock/Jiri Hera

Because they're a natural combination of protein and healthy fats, nuts (and nut products) are a staple in many athletes' diets. They're also easy to digest, says Pluhar, and can help balance your blood sugar when paired with carbs. "If you were to eat a bagel all by itself, it would turn to sugar pretty quickly and you'd use up all of that energy right away," says Pluhar. "But if you put some peanut butter or almond butter on that bagel, the protein and fat can help sustain those carbs over a longer period of time, in a non-invasive way that doesn't upset your stomach." 

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