Randomized controlled trial

Almonds have a lot of useful nutrients to aid muscle recovery. A new randomized controlled trial published in the Frontiers in Nutrition states that these nuts can help to decrease muscle injury and enhance recovery.

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The new randomized controlled trial on almonds

There is a new study in the recent issue of the journal, Frontiers in Nutrition. It is a randomized controlled trial that was undertaken to know whether eating almonds helps in faster muscle injury recovery.

38 men and 26 women in the age group of 30 to 65 years formed the study group. None of them were into any regular exercise regime. Half of them were put in almonds group while the other half served as controls. The first group ate 57 grams of almonds daily for 4 weeks while the control group had calorie matched cereal bar. Blood and urine sampling was done before and after the 4 weeks period.

Randomized controlled trial
Muscle soreness (Source: Medical News today)

Each subject did a 30 second Wingate anaerobic test, a 50 meter shuttle run test, and bench press, vertical jump, and leg-back strength exercises. Immediately after this 90 minutes exercise session, blood and urine collection was done. And the researchers collected blood and urine daily for 4 days after that.

And each recruit also filled a ‘Profile of Mood States’ (POMS) questionnaire. This assessed their mental state. It also rated their delayed onset muscle soreness on a scale of 10.

Study findings

There was an increase in the feeling of soreness after the 90 minute session. The POMS score was also higher due to the recruits feeing vigorless, fatigued, anxious and depressed. The pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and MCP-1) were higher in the blood of participants of both groups.

But the levels of the beneficial fat 12,13-dihydroxy-9Z-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DiHOME) in the blood of the almonds group was 69% higher than that in the control group. This oxylipin increases the transport of fatty acid into the skeletal muscles.

Randomized controlled trial
Almonds hasten muscle injury recovery (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Thus, it stimulates the metabolic recovery after exercise. Moreover, the level of the oxylipin, 9,10-Dihydroxy-12-octadecenoic acid (9,10-diHOME) was 40% higher in control group. This negates the recovery of muscles post-injury.

The brown tissue synthesizes the helpful fat from linoleic acid. The corresponding author Dr David C Nieman, director at the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory of the North Carolina Research Campus, states:

“Here we show that volunteers who consumed 57g of almonds daily for one month before a single ‘weekend warrior’ exercise bout had more beneficial 12,13-DiHOME in their blood immediately after exercising than control volunteers. They also reported feeling less fatigue and tension, better leg-back strength, and decreased muscle damage after exercise than control volunteers.”

Almond skin polyphenols

Also, read How to prevent and reverse muscle mass loss with age?

David and his team concluded that almonds are good for muscle healing. They decrease inflammation and aid faster recovery.

Randomized controlled trial
Human Performance Lab, North Carolina (Source: Pinterest)

David added:

Almonds have high amounts of protein, healthy types of fats, vitamin E, minerals, and fiber. And the brown skin of almonds contains polyphenols that end up in the large intestine and help control inflammation and oxidative stress,”