A typical bodybuilding diet is calculated to promote increased muscle mass and strength; proteins, carbohydrates and fats are carefully balanced, while processed and fried foods are kept to a minimum. When eaten in moderation, dry roasted peanuts can be used to supplement a bodybuilding diet. A convenient snack, peanuts can help soothe your hunger pangs as well as contribute needed protein and beneficial fats. Nibbling on unsalted dry roasted peanuts can help you avoid consuming unnecessary sodium.
At 213 calories a cup, about the same caloric investment as a 16-oz. can of non-diet soda, dry roasted peanuts are free of cholesterol and trans fats and provide 8.6 g protein, 7.9 g carbohydrates, and close to 3 g dietary fiber. Although the fat content is high at 18.1 g, only 2.5 g of this is undesirable saturated fat; the remainder is healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, necessary for proper joint function and to nourish growing muscles. Peanuts are also beneficial due to their high fiber content, which can create a satisfying feeling of fullness and prevent binging on unhealthy foods. According to Bodybuilding.com, studies have shown that people who snack on peanuts daily tend not to exceed their recommended daily caloric intake.
Due to their high levels of assorted essential minerals, dry roasted peanuts are an especially good snack for bodybuilders. A cup of peanuts provides almost 20 mg of calcium, needed for bone growth and development, along with 64.2 g of magnesium, which plays a pivotal role in the production of both aerobic and anaerobic energy. Bodybuilding.com notes that even a slight deficiency of magnesium can decrease metabolic efficiency during workouts. The same cup of peanuts is also rich in potassium, offering up a substantial 240.2 milligrams. This is roughly two-thirds the amount provided by a small banana; bananas are renowned for their high potassium content. According to 24 Hour Fitness, athletes who work out intensely and sweat heavily may have a greater need for potassium; this essential mineral is required to maintain healthy blood pressure.
A cup of peanuts also contains 1.2 mg zinc, or roughly 10 percent of the daily recommended value. In addition to supporting proper immune system function, zinc is vital in building proteins, creating DNA and triggering enzymes. Too much zinc, however, can raise the level of destructive free radicals produced in your body. You can ensure that you are getting enough zinc safely by obtaining it through dietary sources, such as peanuts. 24 Hour Fitness notes that 100 g, about three generous handfuls, of dry roasted peanuts provides 22 percent of the recommended daily value of zinc.
A cup of dry roasted peanuts contains close to 5 mg niacin, or vitamin B-3. This water-soluble B-complex vitamin is required for over 50 body processes, including the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats. It is also key in metabolizing protein, producing hormones, forming red blood cells and controlling cholesterol. The most important consideration for bodybuilders is that niacin, which controls blood sugar levels, is essential in generating the energy needed for strenuous workouts.
- Dlife.com: Diabetic Food: Dry Roasted Unsalted Peanuts Nutritional Analysis
- BNet; Advanced Nutrition - Absorbing Stuff from Team FLEX; Vicki Baker; February 2002
- 24 Hour Fitness.co.uk: 10 Foods High in Zinc
- BodybuildingforYou.com: Vitamin B-3, Niacin and Cholesterol
- Bodybuilding.com; Why Magnesium Matters to Athletes; Andew Hamilton, 2011