Best Nut Butters For Runners: How and When To Eat Nut Butters In Your Training Diet
If the trending thoughts of athletes and fitness gurus are to be believed, nut butters are healthier than peanut butter.
Flashback to your childhood. Who among us did not enjoy a good PB&J?
The problem is that the peanut butter of our youth was filled with sugar for most of us. As adults, we often look to get more bang for our buck when choosing our foods.
Although peanut butter is delicious, many athletes prefer to use nut butters. Are you curious why?
What Exactly is Nut Butter?
A spread made from blending nuts until they form a paste or spread, nut butters can be crunchy or creamy in texture. Some are admittedly easier to spread than others.
Nut butters are made from a multitude of different types of nuts. Nut butters are often used as a replacement for peanut butter.
However, there are many other uses.
9 Types of Nut Butters
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Hazelnut butter
- Macadamia nut butter
- Pecan butter
- Pistachio butter
- Walnut butter
- Peanut butter
- Acorn butter
Is Nut Butter Healthier Than Peanut Butter?
If the trending thoughts of athletes and fitness gurus are to be believed, nut butters are usually healthier than peanut butter.
Let’s compare almond butter to peanut butter. Both nut butter and peanut butter have similar nutritional characteristics. Almond butter has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than peanut butter. Peanut butter packs more of a protein punch.
They have equal calories and they both are chock full of healthy fats. They also are fairly equal in regards to protein content.
Simply looking at nutrition, almond butter is slightly healthier than peanut butter.
What is the Healthiest Type of Nut Butter?
The first thing to know about nut butters is the healthiest are those you have to stir. I know, that doesn’t sound very clear.
To get the healthiest version of a nut butter, you need to find a product with only one ingredient: the nut you are interested in eating. Anything else reduces the nutritional value.
In particular, skip any butters with sugar, salt, and/or hydrogenated oils.
Which Nut Butter Tastes Best?
I would say almond butter. Almond butter has a lovely texture, is easy to spread, and works great on a sandwich or as a quick energy booster.
Cashew butter is said to have the mildest taste, which helps it work well in baking.
The Best Nut Butters for Runners
- Justin’s Nut Butter – these are sold in jars and single-serving packets. Made with athletes in mind, they blend amazing blended and groundnuts and other delicious flavors. A reviewer on Justin’s website recommends you try some of their blends on apples, pears, or other hard fruits. Another avid fan states that it is the perfect fuel for his long bike rides.
- Wild Friends Nut Butter – Made from the best possible ingredients all grown in the USA, they are known for “friendly ingredients that are wildly delicious.” These delicious treats come in various delectable, seasonal tasty treats such as sugar cookie or pumpkin nut butter. Wild Friends (formerly known as Wild Squirrel) is a must try for runners and non-runners alike!
- Kirkland Mixed Nut Butter is a great blend of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, & flax seeds. This nut butter gets 5 stars from thousands of reviewers.
- RX Nut Butter – If you are familiar with RX products, you know this will be a good one. The RX bars are famous for having a ton of flavor with just a few simple ingredients. The nut butters are not any different. My personal favorite is vanilla almond butter. Delicious and real food to fuel your workout.
Why are Nut Butters Good for Runners?
Nuts are naturally high in all the good fats that our body needs. Even though most runners fuel their long runs with carbs, fats are a better fuel source for many workouts. Fats are more easily accessible as a fuel source to keep you going for the longer, slower workouts.
In addition, nuts and nut butters can help lower bad cholesterol and regulate the endocrine system to keep your hormones in check.
How Should Runners Include Nut Butters in Their Diets?
There are many excellent ways to include nut butters into an athlete’s diet.
- Before a Run: Nut butters are a great way to fuel your body before a run. Try some of your favorite nut butter on toast or a bagel.
- Fuel on a Run: Many companies make nut butters in small packets for a couple of reasons: to fuel workouts.
- Healthy Snacks: You can spread nut butter on just about anything. One of my favorite snacks is to have it on celery with a few chocolate chips. It is my version of ants on a log.
- Post-Run Recovery Food: The perfect way to recover is to fuel with a carb and protein after your run. Nut butters are a great way to do this.
If you have been wrestling with some ideas for fueling your next run or just looking for some healthy alternatives for food choices, check out some of the nut butters above (or others).
You won’t regret that decision.
- What Happens When You Walk 2 Miles a Day?Walking 2 miles a day boosts mood, gives an energy lift, and helps with weight management. It's a simple way to stay acti...
- Our Coaches Share Tips for Breastfeeding RunnersMany avid runners struggle with navigating when it is safe to resume the activity they enjoyed pre-pregnancy and before t...
- Yasso 800s for Marathon, Half Marathon, AND 5K TrainingYasso 800s are a type of workout used by runners as a form of training for marathon or long-distance running. This workou...
- The 6 Best Proteins Pastas Recommended By RunnersAthletes need protein for repairing and building muscle, fueling the body, and helping facilitate recovery. Ideally, a...