Want to get fit? Finally decided to get serious about doing some exercise? Go for it! And stick at it. You can get a helping hand from a great ally: nuts. They’re high in calories, healthy fats and vegetable proteins, which give you an energy boost to fight off tiredness. Without forgetting the minerals that keep your muscles, joints and bones in shape. But which kinds of nuts are best for different kinds of sports? Read on to find out more….
Don’t worry, we’re not interested in whether you pronate or supinate (your foot position when running is your own business), but we do recommend you eat plenty of walnuts, the perfect nut for this sport. Because when you run, it’s not just energy you need. And you’re likely to suffer from sore knees and ankles as a result of the impact your feet make with every stride. Walnuts are packed with healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them great for your heart (the powerhouse of physical exercise in general and running in particular) as well as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
If you feel more mermaid or shark than human and take like a duck to water, then make sure you always have some energy-boosting peanuts to hand. Just don’t get them wet… They have more vitamin B3 than other nuts and lots more folic acid, as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps synthesise proteins in the body. All these are perfect after a long, intense physical session such as half an hour (or more) in the pool.
No doubt about it: almonds are the nuts for you. A whole raft of scientific studies have shown that almonds boost performance in long-distance sports, especially cycling and triathlons. Experts say that eating 75 g of almonds a day for four weeks improves endurance in cyclists and triathletes during training. It’s not for nothing that almost all energy bars contain almonds, because they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, magnesium, manganese, fibre, proteins, monounsaturated fats, copper and phosphorus. Oh, and also arginine, an amino acid that helps muscles recover after exercise. In short, they’re perfect for making sure everything goes smoothly.
If you want bulging biceps, pistachios are the nuts for you. Not only tasty, they’re also great for muscles. You’ll find them in all weightlifters’ diets, because they contain arginine, an amino acid that helps muscles recover after exercise by increasing flood flow, which brings nutrients to all the cells in the body, including muscles.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is one of the most intense sports, since it’s played on a very small court. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a try and let us know how you got on… The best nuts for paddle players are hazelnuts: packed with carbohydrates and energy, but low in calories and fats. They help fight off or overcome tiredness and stress, which is perfect since paddle is one of the best stressbusting activities around.