Natalie Coughlin, Other Top U.S. Team Athletes Give Advice About Snacking For High Performance

On their road to Rio, athletes share a love for almonds, and advice for anyone looking to power their day.

Jan 06, 2016, 07:54 ET from California Almonds

MODESTO, Calif., Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty-time World Championship medalist and 12-time Olympic medalist, Natalie Coughlin, knows first-hand the roles that hard work, dedication and a nutritious diet play in achieving the extraordinary. To motivate others who are looking to achieve greatness in their own life, Coughlin joins top U.S. rugby players Zack Test, Carlin Isles and nationally known sports nutritionist Cynthia Sass to provide advice about nutrition to help reach goals—large and small.

An advocate for healthy eating to fuel the journey to greatness, Coughlin incorporates smart snacking into her daily routine. She advises always having an "emergency pack" of great tasting snacks like almonds to quell hunger while on the go. She also drinks her favorite smoothie after workouts to help recover for the next training session and stabilize her blood sugar.

As Natalie says, "Your body needs fuel, which makes your food choices particularly important, especially when you're training. Maintaining proper nutrition and snacking habits is vital to perform at your best," said Coughlin. "To ensure that I'm energized throughout my day, I always keep a quick, easy and nutritious snack like almonds in my gym bag."

With the reintroduction of rugby in the Olympics for the first time in 92 years, Zack Test, who ranks No. 1 in U.S. Men's Sevens history, along with Carlin Isles, known as the fastest man in international rugby, are hard at work to reach the top this year. Firm believers in maintaining proper nutrition to keep them properly fueled, Test and Isles also always keep almonds and other smart, portable snacks with them.  

"I never like to feel hungry, so I ensure the food I have is filling and full of nutrients," said Isles. "One of my favorite snacks is a handful of almonds because it tastes great, helps hold off hunger and gives me the power to get through intense matches, practice sessions and workouts."

Sports nutritionist Cynthia Sass agrees that when it comes to competing professionally or simply getting through a long day, smart snacking is a must. "Snacks are designed to keep you satiated between meals and provide you with energy and nutrition," she said. "I often suggest a handful of almonds to my clients, as it provides 6 grams of hunger-fighting protein, 4 grams of filling fiber and 13 grams of good, unsaturated fatsi to tide them over until their next meal and keep them feeling energized." 

To learn more about their secrets to fuel any journey towards success, as well as nutrition plans, energizing on-the-go snacks and fitness regimens, visit       

In addition to the 2016 Games, Test and Isles are slated to play at the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament, taking place in Las Vegas on March 4-6, 2016. For fans eager to attend, California Almonds is offering a "Scrum Snack Mix" sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip to the tournament with VIP tickets. Enter here.*

By using #MyChallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, fans have the opportunity to join in on the conversation and follow Coughlin, Test and Isles on their road to glory.

About California Almonds
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.

i Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 oz. of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

* No Purchase Necessary. Sweepstakes ends 2/4/16. Void where prohibited. See Official Rules for details.

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