Cashew nuts can be part of a nutritious post-workout meal or snack that maximizes your energy levels and muscle synthesis. Keep them in your gym bag or locker so that they are readily available shortly after you finish exercising, and eat them with other healthy foods. Adjust your post-workout snack so that it is consistent with your needs, whether you are an elite athlete or casual exerciser.
Key Post-Workout Nutrients
Eat a small snack within 30 minutes of finishing your workout for maximum benefits. Your body uses carbohydrates in your diet to maintain normal blood sugar levels and stores extra carbohydrates as glycogen for later use 5. Protein is necessary to repair muscles and increase muscle mass. An ounce of cashew nuts provides 9 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.
- Eat a small snack within 30 minutes of finishing your workout for maximum benefits.
- Your body uses carbohydrates in your diet to maintain normal blood sugar levels and stores extra carbohydrates as glycogen for later use 5.
When Salt May Be Good
Are Power Bars Good for You?
Cashews are naturally low-sodium, with 5 milligrams per ounce of unsalted roasted nuts. Low-sodium foods are usually the healthiest options because a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure -- but you may need extra sodium after a hard workout if you are a heavy sweater. Consuming sodium with your post-workout meal can help you rehydrate by increasing water retention and making you thirsty. An ounce of roasted, salted cashews provides 181 milligrams of sodium. Healthy adults should have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
- Cashews are naturally low-sodium, with 5 milligrams per ounce of unsalted roasted nuts.
Consider Potassium and Fluids
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate water balance in the body. It is an essential mineral in the diet, and healthy adults should consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. Individuals who exercise intensely for more than an hour may need extra potassium to prevent muscles from cramping during exercise. An ounce of cashew nuts provides 160 milligrams of potassium, and a dried fruit and cashew snack is a convenient way to increase your potassium consumption after a workout.
- Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate water balance in the body.
- An ounce of cashew nuts provides 160 milligrams of potassium, and a dried fruit and cashew snack is a convenient way to increase your potassium consumption after a workout.
What to Eat Before a Triathlon
A post-workout meal that provides several hundred calories, including 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates, is most appropriate for athletes in intense training. Average exercisers may perform short workouts at a low intensity, such as walking at a moderate pace for 20 minutes. You do not need a high-calorie post-workout meal to refuel your body after this type of workout, especially if you are trying to lose weight. An ounce of cashews can provide sufficient energy and nutrients to tide you over until your next meal.
- A post-workout meal that provides several hundred calories, including 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates, is most appropriate for athletes in intense training.
- You do not need a high-calorie post-workout meal to refuel your body after this type of workout, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Are Power Bars Good for You?
What to Eat Before a Triathlon
I Feel Faint When I'm Exercising
Sources of Electrolytes
Potassium & Working Out
How to Lower Sodium Levels in the Blood Naturally
How to Make a Drink With Electrolytes Without Sugar
Pros & Cons of Water & Gatorade
The Best Breakfast Before a Workout if You Are Trying to Lose Weight
A Male Gymnast's Diet
- Iowa State University: Training Diet
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database
- Iowa State University: Fluids
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Oklahoma State University: Carbohydrates in the Diet
- Nuts, cashew nuts, raw. FoodData Central. U.S Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Cleveland Clinic. Nutrition: nuts and heart health.
- Mah E, Schulz JA, Kaden VN, et al. Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: A randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(5):1070-1078.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. Vitamin K fact sheet for health professionals. Updated February 24, 2020.
- Jackson CL, Hu FB. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1(1):408S–11S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.071332
- de Souza RGM, Schincaglia RM, Pimentel GD, Mota JF. Nuts and human health outcomes: A systematic review. Nutrients. 2017;9(12):1311. doi:10.3390/nu9121311
- Ros E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients. 2010;2(7):652–682. doi:10.3390/nu2070652
- Darvish Damavandi R, Mousavi SN, Shidfar F, et al. Effects of daily consumption of cashews on oxidative stress and atherogenic indices in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, controlled-feeding trial. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2019;17(1). doi:10.5812/ijem.70744
- Mohan V, Gayathri R, Jaacks LM, Lakshmipriya N, Anjana RM, Spiegelman D, Willett WC. Cashew nut consumption increases HDL cholesterol and reduces systolic blood pressure in Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes: A 12-week randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutrition. 2018;148(1):63–69. doi:10.1093/jn/nxx001
- Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, et al. Healthful and unhealthful plant-based diets and the risk of coronary heart disease in U.S. adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(4):411-422. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.047
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Everthing you needed to know about tree nut allergy.
- Balasubramanian B, Sherfudeen KM, Kaliannan SK, Murugesan K. Cashew nut shell liquid poisoning. Indian J Crit Care Med. 2016;20(1):57–58. doi:10.4103/0972-5229.173696
- Settaluri V, Kandala C, Puppala N, Sundaram J. Peanuts and their nutritional aspects—a review. Food Nutr Sci. 2012;12(3):1644-1650. doi:10.4236/fns.2012.312215
- Liu AG, Ford NA, Hu FB, Zelman KM, Mozaffarian D, Kris-Etherton PM. A healthy approach to dietary fats: Understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutr J. 2017;16(1):53. doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4
- Tuso PJ, Ismail MH, Ha BP, Bartolotto C. Nutritional update for physicians: Plant-based diets. Perm J. 2013;17(2):61-66. doi:10.7812/TPP/12-085
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.