4 Peanut Butter Recipes That Fuel Our Favorite Team USA Athletes

Becoming an elite athlete is no easy feat. From several practices every day and intense workout regimens to super fierce competitions, the talented people who make it to the Olympic Games need to have serious dedication, determination and strength.

They also need to eat well. Because if you're going to compete for the gold, working out and staying fit is only one half of the equation. If you're in the midst of a grueling training schedule, you'll want to make sure that the food you eat is easy to prep, filling, and delicious. Each athlete's diet is as unique as their individual training routines, from rowers who avoid gluten to Olympic swimmers, who reportedly consume 12,000 calories a day during the Olympic Games.

We've partnered with Jif® to give you an even greater inside look into what Olympic athletes are munching on. Jif® recently collaborated with Team USA's Food and Nutrition staff to create some awesome, peanut butter-based recipes for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls — and now, we're bringing them to you.

Below, you'll find four amazing recipes that will take your peanut butter obsession to the next level and help you eat like a star athlete. (You're welcome!)

1. Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Begin your day with something delicious, whether you're headed to class, the office, or to your training practice. A delicious breakfast doesn't have to be difficult to prepare. That's why this smoothie recipe is so great. With only five ingredients and basically no prep necessary, this baby is the answer to all your breakfast prayers. Just blend it up, pour into your favorite travel cup, and sip it on your way into the office for a tasty start to your day.

2. Peanut Butter Power Snacks

When it comes to snacks, convenience is key. Because if hunger hits you in the middle of the day, it's tough to concentrate on anything that isn't food. By having great snacks on hand, you can make sure your day isn't ruined by a growling stomach.

That's where these peanut butter power snacks come in. These little morsels offer the perfect combination of salty, sweet and crunchy, featuring everything good that's currently sitting in your pantry (nuts, honey, and cranberries, yum!) The dry ingredients can be easily prepped on a Sunday night and yields nearly four cups. Just keep some apples and peanut butter nearby, and you'll be snacking happy throughout the entire work week.

3. Peanutty Snack Mix

The Olympic Games in Rio are coming up in a few short weeks, giving you the perfect opportunity to host an awesome viewing party. Because as fun as the competition is to watch, it's even better when you do it with your best buds watching right along with you. Of course, the first step to hosting a gold medal-worthy viewing party is providing delicious food that all of your guests will enjoy. And who doesn't love peanut butter?

Requiring only 12 minutes of prep time, this homemade peanutty snack mix is easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy your friends. In fact, you should probably go ahead and make a double batch — it'll probably be gone before the Opening Ceremony even begins.

4. After Practice Muffin

If there's one thing we all learned during our childhoods, it's that the combination of peanut butter and jelly is truly magical. There was nothing better than opening your lunchbox or coming home after school, and finding a PB&J waiting for you. But the great taste of PB&J doesn't have to be limited to mere sandwiches. In fact, this magical pairing can — and should — be used in a wide variety of treats.

The After Practice Muffin does just that. Calling for both creamy peanut butter and strawberry preserves, these muffins give you all the great taste of a PB&J sammie, without having to wash the butter knife afterwards. Another bonus? These little guys can be eaten at any and at all times, as a snack after training for your next half marathon or while you're sitting on your couch, watching Team USA compete for the gold. They're that good.

This post is sponsored by Jif® , proud sponsor of Team USA.

Images: Jif®