Director of Sports Performance/Sports Dietitian, Dallas Cowboys
Scott Sehnert, Dallas Cowboys Director of Sports Performance provides tailor-made diets according to the needs of each of his players. He selects food that provides energy, fights inflammation and soothes sore muscles. He says his main goal is to make sure they are recovered and ready to compete, which requires a variety of foods, including foods rich in protein, such as pistachios. “It’s important that they sleep well, stay hydrated and stay fueled so they can perform their best,” says Sehnert.
Pistachios: Ideal Post-Workout Recovery and Weight Management Snack
Scott Sehnert, Director of Sports Performance and Sports Dietician for the Dallas Cowboys, shares pistachios’ role in post-workout recovery and weight maintenance during the off-season.
Keys to Muscle Recovery
During workouts, muscles burn energy and are susceptible to loss of mass. Inflammation of muscles and joints not only causes soreness, but can also interfere with sleep. The following tips can help muscles to recover after rigorous use:
- Every 3 to 4 hours, consume quality protein that includes nuts such as pistachios. A handful of pistachios can help stimulate muscle growth while replenishing protein.
- Plant-based nutrients (phytonutrients) help decrease the inflammation of muscles and joints. Look for dense and colorful foods like pistachios, broccoli and cherries.
- By eating pistachios and other phytonutrient foods, the reduction of sore muscles/joints will promote better sleeping. The critical time for muscles to rebuild is during sleep so, strive for eight hours of sleep each night.
Off-Season Weight Maintenance
During the time of the year when unintentional weight gain can happen, consuming protein- and fiber-laden foods at each meal or snack is important. Protein can be found in low-fat dairy, lean animal proteins, whole fruits, whole veggies, and nuts such as pistachios.
Protein takes longer to digests and helps “hold” onto muscle when not training as vigorously. The combination of protein and fiber prolongs the feeling of satiation because they take longer to digest. Pistachios provide both fiber and protein and are a good source of unsaturated fats, another property of pistachios that help rid the body of inflammation.