What about nuts ?; well Raúl Carrasco, our IFBB Pro athlete and professional coach tells us about some realities.
Although nuts are great, well this is what everyone thinks, they cannot always be beneficial according to a specific diet, including the high protein diet of a bodybuilder.
The critical point between the compounds of these nutrient-dense natural foods is phosphorus, a mineral that if you overdo it can cause imbalances in your body. To summarize, if you follow a specific diet for hypertrophy, in general it is better to stay away from almonds or macadamia nuts or, failing that, control their intake.
Nuts : why avoid them?
In general, nuts are a good source of fat, fiber and protein. Most of the fat is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, however, they do contain some saturated fat (1).
In addition, they contain a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E and, of course, phosphorus.
- Most of them are good sources of phosphorus, but Brazil nuts top the list, just a small 1/2 cup (67 grams) provides more than 2/3 of the Recommended Daily Value (DRV) for adults.
- Other nuts that contain at least 40% of the DRV including cashews, almonds, pine nuts and pistachios.
Raúl, one of the most recognized international trainers, will tell you that nuts are healthy (but it depends). They are actually very good: they are alkalizing, they have essential fatty acids, minerals, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
But, when nutritional knowledge beats nutritional logic, this can be seen from another perspective:
- A normal breakfast of an athlete with 100 g. of whole oats, 2 egg yolks, whites, a yogurt and 30 g of walnuts or peanuts, is it a healthy breakfast, right?
- Well, here the first meal of the day will already add about 1,300 mg of phosphorus, which exceeds 200 mg, which is the maximum amount so that it does not create a serious acidification in the blood and so that there is not an imbalance with the calcium.
And look: first meal! If you add four more meals: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, meat or salmon, which is one of the meats or fish richest in phosphorus, you can reach a whopping figure of 4,000, 6,000, 7,000, 8,000 mg. phosphorus.
Nuts : what happens in a hypertrotheic diet?
If you follow a high protein diet you should not eat them because 5 or 6 meals with a moderate amount of protein from fish, animal meats, eggs (the yolks that also contain phosphorus) already YES.
Every day you triple the amount of phosphorus, if you add whole foods and nuts , then you’re over.
Why do many athletes or many professionals not consume, in all their meals, brown rice, whole grains, if they are always better than white ones? … precisely because of this, because of the excess of phosphorus that produces a great kidney load what that may entail.
This is not to say that you should completely drop them; you can eat about 20 g of peanuts or almonds… nothing happens, but some people consume a handful of nuts three times a day… including their butters.
Just like us, Raúl Carrasco quotes us in an explanatory video on this topic that should not create confusion.
At the end of the video it is explained that a solution used by high-performance bodybuilders to compensate for this is to take phosphorus chelators, as a tool or kidney protector that should be added to some measures to protect the kidney.
Protect your organs on a high protein diet
Phosphor: why check it?
There are several nutrients that need to be kept in check, especially when it comes to taking care of kidney function and kidneys.
In particular, phosphorus is an important mineral for many bodily functions, it is found in your bones for the most part, it helps your body build cells and contributes to energy transfers through cells.
When the kidneys function normally, they remove extra phosphorus from the blood, otherwise it builds up in the body which can cause some negative effects.
Having too much phosphorus like those present in nuts can affect the balance of other minerals in your blood, so it is vital to maintain a specific balance, especially with calcium.
If the extra phosphorus cannot be removed from your body, it will build up in your blood, causing calcium to be removed from the bones in an effort to regain the necessary balance (2).
In addition to nuts, there are some that you can limit to avoid phosphorus-related problems such as dairy products, beans, lentils, bran cereals, oatmeal or phosphate additives.
Phosphorus-Calcium: what is the relation?
Phosphorus and calcium are closely related and are found together in the blood serum in all body systems.
To maintain proper chemical balance, you need twice as much calcium as phosphorus; a deficiency or overabundance of either mineral as occurs when overdoing it with nuts causes a disruption in the storage and utilization of the other.
For example, when you increase the amount of phosphorus you eat, the supply of calcium decreases and, in this sense, as Raúl Carrasco explained, bodybuilders have a high phosphorus content because:
- It is found in almost all foods, especially proteins.
- The absorption rate for phosphorus is 70% compared to 25% for calcium.
- Hard hard workouts can affect calcium reserves much more than any other mineral.
Calcium: why is it important?
Weight lifting not only stimulates adaptations that cause increases in muscle size, but also in bone mineral density.
If you think about the fact that bones are the main responsible for supporting your muscles and transmitting the forces that produce movement, it would not be of great benefit if your muscles were strengthened and your bones (ligaments and tendons) did not increase in its ability to deal with the load as well.
Although calcium is strongly regulated in the body, it can release calcium from its main storage form, calcium phosphate in the bones, to help maintain blood PH levels and keep you healthy, especially if there is a high acid load in the diet (3)
Outside of its structural functions in the bones and acting to buffer any acid load in the body, the calcium that is unbalanced when you consume nuts in excess also plays an essential role in the movement of the muscles, acting as secondary messengers that transmitting nerve impulses to your muscles and allowing your muscles to contract, including your heart.