When you think about peanut butter sandwiches you might associate it as a snack for little children and toddlers. Not many tend to think about peanut butter as being a super food for sports athletes and enthusiasts to use. However given how packed peanut butter is with vitamins, minerals and numerous health benefits, one might have to consider making more sandwiches for themselves with this childhood staple.

Glancing at the label of a jar of peanut butter does not reveal too much. You might be thinking that it is packed with sodium, sugar, and fats. The fat found in peanut butter are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are loaded with benefits. These fats contain natural anti-inflammatory which aids in the recovery after a workout. Poly and monounsaturated fats also help in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K which are fat soluble. Not only that but these fats also make you feel fuller and prevent you from over eating. And as for the sodium and sugar, they are kept relatively low compared to other foods one might use post workout (like Gatorade or protein bars and shakes).

A deeper look into this super food also reveals the numerous benefits it provides to the body as a whole. Peanut butter works well with the immune system thanks to its bioactive compounds (phenols) which are shown to strengthen one’s natural immune defenses. Arginine, which peanut butter is rich in, is an amino acid that makes blood vessels flexible which in turn improve blood flow to the body and the heart; a much-needed plus for those who workout and participate in sports. Arginine is also shown to aid in the reduction of blood pressure as well. While peanut butter improves the blood vessels throughout the body, it specifically also improves circulation between the brain and blood. This, in turn, improves mental functions like short term memory and processing speeds. Eating peanut butter regularly can keep these functions sharper than normal.

It may be a popular food choice for kids but peanut butter has too many benefits for athletes and health enthusiasts to pass up. Riddled with necessary fats and body improving benefits, not having peanut butter in one’s diet is a serious loss. Not to mention that peanut butter is also impressively packing good amounts of protein per serving, it is no wonder peanut butter is sports nutrition’s secret weapon.