Is Peanut Butter Good For Building Muscle?

Is peanut butter good for building muscleYou’ve probably seen the 80’s movies where the high school jock gets the girl, looks jacked, and carries peanut butter round with him. That’s a movie, right?

Naturally you want the girl and the muscles. So you’re probably wondering is peanut butter good for building muscle?

I’ve been bodybuilding for over 15 years, and eating peanut butter has helped me bulk up.

When I was a teenager I would carry a jar of peanut butter and a spoon in my backpack when I went to college. I was a skinny teenager looking to bulk up.

I’d read the bodybuilding magazines. Watched the Ronnie Coleman videos. I wanted to get jacked quickly.

The magazines didn’t talk about steroids. But they did advertise protein powders and have peanut butter in almost every mass gain diet they published.

So of course, I bought the protein powders, ate my peanut butter and (slowly) started to look like a bodybuilder. After a few years I began competing in British bodybuilding contests, then started pro wrestling.

If you’re looking to gain weight and build muscle – let me explain why is peanut butter good for bodybuilding, how it helped me bulk up, and how it can (probably) help you.

What You Need To Know

  • Natural Peanut butter is high in healthy fats, which help boost testosterone and improve general health
  • Peanut butter is a source of protein
  • Some peanut butters are healthier than others – avoid ones high in sugar and added chemicals
  • To build muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus
  • You need to bust your balls in the gym when lifting weights if you want to gain muscle. No pussy footing around.
  • Peanut butter is high in calories, making it a smart food choice if you’re looking to bulk up.
  • You can add peanut butter to protein shakes and make your own 1000 calorie homemade weight gainer

Is peanut butter good or bad for bodybuilding

Peanut butter is a good food to eat as a bodybuilder. Peanut butter should be used as part of a bulking diet, as opposed to a cutting diet because of it’s calorie density.

Peanut butter can be used for building lean muscle – if you are in a slight calorie surplus. Whenever bulking, your goal should be to gain lean muscle, with minimal fat gain.

Because peanut butter is so calorie dense, it can be quite easy to over eat however. If you’re eating too many calories, then you will gain fat as well as muscle.

Eating Peanut Butter Off a Knife

Whenever im prepping for a bodybuilding show – I eliminate peanut butter from my diet. This is because:

  • It is so calorie dense, which means you don’t get to eat much
  • It’s hard to measure/weigh
  • One heaped tsp can contain 100 calories more than a regular tsp
  • It can be hard to resist the temptation to eat half a jar in one go

However, when im bulking, peanut butter is one of my go-to foods.

Why do bodybuilders take peanut butter

Bodybuilders eat peanut butter because it contains a lot of calories, making it a great choice when trying to gain weight.

It is a source of healthy fats, protein and can be easily eaten from a spoon, mixed in with a protein shake or porridge, or eaten as a snack.

Keep reading for some of my favourite peanut butter bodybuilding snack ideas.

Can you bulk on peanut butter

Yes! Bulking on peanut butter is easy because of its high caloric content.

A typical 2 tbsp serving of peanut butter contains:

  • Calories: 188
  • Total fat: 16 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams

Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Yes – not only is peanut butter good for gaining muscle and bodybuilding diets, it also contains many other numerous health benefits such as:

  • Protein. Peanut butter contains 7.02 grams (g) of protein per 2-tbsp serving. This contributes towards the daily recommended dietary allowances (RDA)for women of 46 g and 56 g for men (respectively). This does vary by age and activity level.
  • Magnesium. With 57 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, each serving helps towards the RDATrusted Source of 400–420 mg in men and 310–320 in women. Magnesium is also essential for health. It plays a role in over 300 chemical processes in the body!
  • Phosphorous. Each serving of peanut butter contains 107 mg of phosphorus, which is about 15.3 percent of the RDA of 700 mg for adults. Phosphorus helps the body  build healthy cells as well as aiding healthy bone growth. It also helps cells to produce energy.
  • Zinc. A serving of peanut butter provides 0.85 mg of zinc. This is 7.7 percent of the recommended daily intake of 11 mg for men, and 10.6 percent of the RDA of 8 mg for women. Zinc is necessary for immunity, protein synthesis as well as DNA formation.
  • Niacin. Peanut butter contains 4.21 mg of niacin per serving, which makes a useful contribution towards your recommended allowance of 14 to 16 mg. Other benefits include digestion and nerve function and helps produce energy.
  • Vitamin B-6. 0.17 g of vitamin B-6 per serving, peanut butter provides about 14 percent of an adult’s RDA of 1.3 mgTrusted Source. Vitamin B-6 plays a role in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body and can help with heart and immune system health.

You can read more about why i think peanut butter is healthy here.

Fat Loss myths

Is peanut butter good for cutting when bodybuilding

Peanut butter isn’t the best food choice when cutting, especially if you’re cutting for a bodybuilding show.

The calories in peanut butter are just too high to make it an effective food choice when following a fat loss diet.

How much peanut butter per day when bodybuilding

How much peanut butter you eat a day will depend on what your total calorie and macro requirements are.

If you’re bulking, you’re going to need to be eating a lot more calories than if you were cutting.

You should eat as much peanut butter as you need to hit your macro and calorie intake for the day.

The amount of peanut butter you will need to eat to gain muscle will completely depend upon your macro goals.

When to eat peanut butter for bodybuilding

You can technically eat peanut butter at any time of the day. However, because of the high fat content, it makes for a slower digesting food source.

This means that you should avoid eating peanut butter post workout, when your body would benefit more form fast digesting simple carbs and protein.

When should i eat peanut butter before or after workout

If you’re going to eat peanut butter around a workout, you should eat it before. This is because it will slow the digestion of your pre workout meal, minimise any insulin spikes and make you feel fuller for longer when you workout.

Why do bodybuilders eat peanut butter before bed

Bodybuilders eat peanut butter before bed because of its high fat content. This helps slow down the digestion of protein, and is often coupled with a slow releasing protein such as a casein protein powder, or cottage cheese.

This drip feeds your body protein through the night.

Bodybuilders may also add peanut butter to some of their protein shakes throughout the day, especially a pre bed protein shake.

If you’re wondering how many protein shakes a day you should have, aim for no more than 3.

Is peanut butter good before bed

Another reason peanut butter is good before bed is because it contains tryptophan. This is believed to alleviate sleep issues. Peanut butter is highly nutritious and rich in protein, which reduces food cravings and promotes muscle growth. It also contains tryptophan, which may enhance sleep quality.

Bowl full of peanut butter

Peanut butter before workout for weight loss

Peanut butter is a good pre-workout snack. Peanut butter contains both protein and carbohydrates which both make for a good pre-workout snack. Protein helps prevent muscles from being broken down and boosts muscle growth and strength.

The fat content will ensure that digestion is slow, so when coupled with a carbohydrate, your body will have a steady flow of glycogen within the muscle to use when training.

While peanut butter makes for a good pre-workout snack, I would personally limit how much peanut butter you eat when following a weight loss diet. This is because of the high caloric content and calorie density of peanut butter.

Which peanut butter is best for bodybuilding

A natural peanut butter butter is the best option for bodybuilding. This is healthier, as it contains just peanuts. No added sugar, no added ingredients. Just ground up peanuts.

I typically buy peanut butter from Myprotein using a Myprotein Discount Code to get it for a little cheaper. A 1kg tub costs under £5 after using the discount count.

Go-to peanut butter bodybuilding snacks

Apples and peanut butter – a good bodybuilding snack?

Rice cakes and peanut butter for bodybuilding

Greek yoghurt and peanut butter

Banana and peanut butter

Cottage cheese and peanut butter

Celery and peanut butter

Peanut butter sandwich

Peanut butter on toast

Almond butter vs peanut butter bodybuilding

Nutella vs peanut butter bodybuilding

Is peanut butter and jelly good for bodybuilding

Is peanut butter good for building muscle?

If you came here wondering if peanut butter is good for building muscle, hopefully you now realise why it is, and how to best use peanut butter when bodybuilding.

Try drinking 2 protein shakes a day, and having a few servings of peanut butter to up your calorie intake and bulk up.

Remember, peanut butter is good for bodybuilding but is best when bulking rather than cutting.

Adam Foster is an aspiring bodybuilder, and has been training since a teenager. As the founder of the website & youtube channel 'Shreddybrek' he shares his experiences and knowledge via informative videos and articles. Get in touch if you have any questions!

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