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Constance Tambakis Odom, MD graduated in 1987 with her Doctorate of Medicine from the New York Medical College, and was an Anesthesiologist Resident from 1988 to 1991 at the Brookdale Medical Center PGY II (CA-I)-PGY IV (CA-III). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1998 and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 2002. Constance Odom, MD is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiology, Georgia Society of Anesthesiology, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, North Carolina Society of Anesthesiology, and Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia.
If you work out on a regular basis for weight loss or just to be healthy, it helps to know a bit about nutrition and the best foods for exercise energy that can help you get through challenging workouts and recover faster. Eating anything you want has never been a good idea, even if you exercise a ton, because the negative effects of a poor diet cannot be totally eliminated from exercise. You may need to eat more, but the real key is to eat the right foods when you work out so that you have the energy to get through your workouts, get the most out of them, and then have the proper nutrition to recover. If you are starting a new exercise routine you will likely need to increase your protein intake no matter what, but there are a few foods that can help you through your workouts and help your body recovery quickly while building muscle and burning fat efficiently.
Whey protein is by far one of the best fitness foods because it can help you put on muscle efficiently and it is often necessary so that you get enough daily protein in your diet. Whey protein has all of the amino acids that you need to build muscle, and it has proven to be one of the most effective foods for helping you build muscle as quickly as possible. Whey protein helps you recover from your workouts and is also great to include in smoothies to curb your hunger between meals, and it is packed with nutrients. There are studies that also show that whey protein has extra side benefits like protecting against certain forms of cancer like colon and breast cancer, and it has been shown to protect your immune system when you perform longer workouts that can comprise your immune system.
Blueberries are an excellent fitness food because they have a blood sugar stabilizing effect and also provide you with carbohydrates to power you through your workout. Blueberries have a high water content that can keep you hydrated through your workout, so they are a great pre-workout snack along with whey protein. They are not heavy or difficult to digest and they won't slow you down during your workout, and they are easy to add into smoothies. The complex carbohydrates in blueberries break down slower than the carbohydrates in grains or flour, so these carbs along with other fruits are the best energy source for your workouts, and you will be able to spend more time at the gym. One study found that blueberries have extra effects like preventing exercise induced muscle soreness, and they are rich with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can help you recover more quickly.
Greek yogurt is one of the best exercise foods because it is rich in protein and low in sugar. The high protein content helps add to your daily protein intake, and is another high quality source as there are anywhere from 17 to 20 grams of protein per 7 ounce serving depending on the brand. When you are trying to get about 1 gram of protein per pound of body fat (when you have heavy resistance training with your workout), you will need to eat as many high protein foods in your diet as you can along with supplementing your intake with whey protein. Greek yogurt is also excellent for your digestive system, and if you are worried about dairy fat you can go with the fat free versions. There are also organic Greek yogurt brands, and you should try to avoid any yogurt with additives or sugar.
Nut butter such as cashew or almond butter are a great food to eat on a regular basis and can help energize you for your workouts and recover as well. Almonds and cashews are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and their high calorie content can give you the energy you need before or after your workout. Nut butters can be easily added into smoothies or spread onto vegetables or fruit which make them a convenient food option, but it is also fine to eat the nuts raw. They can also maintain a healthy blood lipid and cholesterol profile if you decide to increase your calorie intake for your workout regimen, and they stabilize your blood sugar during your workout so that your body has the energy to get through challenging exercises.
Although we don't often recommend honey on this blog because of its high sugar content, it is actually perfectly fine for most people to use if they are active and will burn the calories off. Honey is a natural sweetener that sedentary people or dieters should avoid, but active people can benefit from the vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients in honey. Studies have shown that honey is a great food for endurance; cyclers who ate honey prior to a 10 mile race showed that they had higher endurance and power and speed for the race. Honey is gradually released as energy into the blood stream so it is a stable source of carbs with a moderately low GI of 55, and it can help provide energy for difficult workouts, and it is a great sweetener to use in pre-workout smoothies. Organic varieties are the best without a doubt, and you should also try to eat it raw.
One of the best ways to energize your workout and get more out of it is by drinking coffee. Coffee is a natural source of caffeine, which is a proven natural performance enhancer. Athletes who consume caffeine prior to working out can get much more out of their workouts because it can increase pain tolerance and has several other performance improving effects. Caffeine can help you get through your workout faster, and studies have suggested that it can also increase muscle performance by releasing stored calcium in muscle. It can also reduce the sensation that you have worked out too much and that it is time to stop, and the performance improvement that can result from drinking coffee can be anywhere from 5 to 10 percent or even more for some people.
Eggs happen to be one of the best workouts snacks, and they are fast and convenient to prepare. They are a quick source of protein, and recent studies have shown that blood cholesterol is hardly affected by dietary cholesterol. As long as the eggs you eat are organic, they can be a great food to snack on before or after your workouts. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals and can provide your muscles with a high quality natural source of energy. Eggs are easy to make and hard boiled eggs are a fast snack that you can have available anytime for a quick workout meal. Eggs also have anti-inflammatory nutrients like choline which can help you recover from your workouts faster. Make sure to buy organic eggs and ideally organic free range eggs which will have a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids and will be guaranteed to be free from pesticides, hormones and other additives that can make them dangerous to consume regularly.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.