Did you know that a handful of almonds provides you with nearly 25% of your daily magnesium needs and contains the same amount of calcium that a serving of milk provides? 

High in protein, rich in heart-healthy fats, and containing around 20% of your daily potassium needs, peanuts are one of the best snacks for bodybuilders.

No doubt, both almonds, and peanuts are highly nutritious additions to a bodybuilder’s diet.

But which is better, almonds or peanuts? Almonds are definitely costlier than peanuts, but are they worth the difference? Are peanuts adequate to help with bodybuilding nutrition? Let’s find out!

Almonds vs Peanuts: Pros and Cons

Nuts are a great way to incorporate essential nutrients in a high protein, high calorie, moderate fat diet of a bodybuilder. They can provide proteins for muscle gain, calories to boost your energy level while working out, and help you keep better health in general with the abundance of micronutrients it is bestowed with (1). 

Since both peanuts and almonds belong to the category of nuts’, many of their benefits are similar. But still, they have their own set of pros and cons. Understanding their differences will help choose the nut that suits your needs the best. 

1. Calories 

Bulking and cutting phases are followed by bodybuilders in order to maximize their muscle size. In the bulking phase, they have a very high-calorie intake combined with training and focus on maximizing their muscle size (2). 

Almonds and peanuts can prove to be a great calorie-dense snack to munch on that can not only increase your total calorie intake but also energize you for a good workout. 

Almonds and peanuts have similar calorie content. An ounce of almonds, consisting of 23-24 of almonds, contains around 164 kCal. An ounce of peanuts, with approximately 35 of peanuts, will give you 161 kCal. 

2. Protein 

Protein is a key nutrient that supports building and maintaining muscles. It provides you with the amino acids that are required as building blocks for muscle growth (3). 

Since bodybuilders require a high-protein diet, they can definitely benefit from adding these nuts to their diet. While a handful of almonds is believed to have more protein than an egg, peanuts have even more. 

Peanuts contain approximately 25.8 grams of protein per 100 grams. Almond, on the other hand, has 21.15 grams.  

3. Fats 

As mentioned earlier, in the loading stage, bodybuilders need a high-calorie diet to increase calorie intake. To gain muscle mass, they are needed to take more of the concentrated source of energy (4). 

Fats are calorie-dense. This means, one gram of fat will give you much more calories than the same amount of protein or carbohydrates. Almonds and peanuts are equally good sources of healthy fats. Peanuts and almonds have monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)  and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).  

These are unsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. When compared, almonds and peanuts have nearly the same amount of fat in a 1-ounce serving. Almonds contain 15 grams while peanuts contain 14 grams. However, almonds contain more PUFA than MUFA and the vice versa is true for peanuts.  

4. Vitamins and Minerals 

As the bodybuilders undergo intense training regimens with strict diets, they can be at risk of a lot of physical stress. This can limit their ability to recover post-training and can indirectly jeopardize their performance and results. 

Good nutrition and micronutrients that have antioxidant properties can help in the recovery by combating free radical damage to the cells. High amounts of vitamin E and selenium in nuts can be a boon because of their strong antioxidant effects (5). 

Almond contains two times more iron, seven times more calcium, and three times more vitamin E than peanuts. Almonds also have more magnesium than peanuts which is beneficial in regulating your blood sugar. 

But, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean peanuts have lost the game.
Peanuts do have more selenium and niacin than almonds (6), (7). Peanuts are one of the best sources of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, which is a hot favourite amongst bodybuilders because it helps increase the pump. 

Both almonds and peanuts have phosphorus that helps strengthen your bones. They also contain potassium which helps keep your blood pressure under control (8). 

5. Fiber 

Peanuts and almonds both contain soluble fiber that helps in digestion by regulating the food in the stomach. This helps normalize the bowel movement and keep your gut healthy.  

6. Price 

When the price is compared, peanuts are much more affordable. 1 kg of almonds can cost you around 800 rupees whereas 1 kg of peanut costs you 150 to 250 rupees.  If the cost of almonds is a problem, then it’s absolutely fine to stick with peanuts for an added source of protein for bodybuilding. 

Almonds vs Peanuts: The Winner 

cartoon depiction of a male & female fitness enthusiasts promoting facts of almonds and peanuts respectively

As you can very well see that when one ounce of almond and peanut is compared in terms of macronutrients such as calories, protein, fats, and carbohydrate, they both go neck to neck.  

However, when compared in terms of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, though almond is very rich in these nutrients, peanuts also have some very impressive ones. According to experts, peanuts contain 30 essential minerals and vitamins (9). 

Therefore, though almonds top the list of nuts and are great for strength and muscle building, peanuts can also be just as effective. 

Both almonds and peanuts are a great source of healthy nutrients and can be a great addition to a high-protein diet of a bodybuilder. Ideally, you can use a mix of both nuts as and when required.  

Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter for Bodybuilding 

Peanut butter has been a staple for decades in American houses and has slowly made its way to the Indian kitchen as well. Adults and children alike, no one can resist the silky, smooth, melt in the mouth, delicious peanut butter. 

cartoon depiction of Peanut as a healthy and happy body builder

You can eat peanut butter with french toast or make peanut butter and jam sandwiches for your breakfast. You can add them to enrich your pre-workout smoothies. Try using them as a delicious dip for fruits such as apples or for carrot sticks. Bananas go well with peanut butter, so try out that combination for your sandwiches or smoothies.

Almond Butter vs Peanut Butter 

Recently, almond butter has also started gaining popularity. On a nutritional basis, almond butter wins over peanut butter marginally.  

Peanut butter is easily available in any superstore near your house whereas almond butter is still not so common yet. But that shouldn’t stop you in any way. It can be easily bought online. In fact, you get several choices there. You have an unsweetened product, organic product in addition to the normal ones. 

Almond butter can also be rather costly to buy. Try grinding up some almonds (or peanuts) till some oil gets released from the nut paste. Voila! You have homemade nut butter! 

a glass jar of healthy almond butter and creamy peanut butter with a spoon respectively

The Final Note 

Almonds and peanuts have been a part of a bodybuilder’s diet for decades. And why not? They are high in protein, healthy fats, and minerals. 

Even though almonds are a little more nutritious than peanuts in some aspects, the latter doesn’t lag behind much. In fact, peanuts make a strong case by being much more affordable than almonds. 

Whether you mix it in your post-workout shake or incorporate the nut powder in your curries, drink a glass of badam milk, or chew on a piece of gur badam (peanut jaggery), both these nuts are great for you.