Study design. Ten trained male athletes (8 cyclists and 2 triathletes) participated in a 10-week self-controlled, crossover trial during winter season training with training for 3-5 hours per day, 5-6 days a week (see the section of Exercise training regimen and Additional file 4). Dietary treatments consisted of two intervention phases of 75 g raw whole almonds or 90 g isocaloric cookies per day for four weeks each, and a 2-week washout period between two phases. VO2max test was undertaken one week prior to the baseline performance test. The time points for performance tests, blood collection and dietary record are indicated with black arrows. The red arrow shows the missed necessary performance test due to modification of athletes’ training plan.