COVEROne of the most common questions I get is what I would recommend people eat before/after and during training.

So here is a short, sweet, easy to understand explanation of my current opinion. I read a lot of research and articles and I am not afraid to change what I recommend and practice when new science is released. So I am writing this on 9/5/2015… but that doesn’t mean it will be the right thing to do in 2025. šŸ™‚

Mandy Back

PRE-WORKOUT: Much of this depends on WHEN you decide to workout. I personally prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, in a fasted state. I find this does a couple of things for me …. it A) lets me get it DONE before my brain figures out the day has made me tired. B) Working out fasted can burn more fat because your insulin levels are lower from sleeping all night. So what does this mean? I wake up, I have my pre-workout supplement and go train. When I am teaching at the studio in the evening, which is primarily cardio — I train with weights at home in the early morning. This allows me to focus on MY strength and muscle building gains. My preferred pre-workout supplement is the new Beachbody Energize from the Performance line. 1 scoop does the job. If you do not use this, I recommend a pure form of BCAAs, about 10g pre-workout.


If you prefer to train later in the day, than I recommend you consume 30-40g of protein pre-workout and about 30g of carbs. This might be a protein shake and a banana, or can be in the form of solid food— totally up to you! When I am teaching later in the day, so my weights/cardio are split up, I will eat a balanced meal about 2.5-3 hours before my class so that it digests enough that I’m not feeling sick during my cardio later, but that my glycogen stores are still replenished enough to give me a strong session.


DURING YOUR WORKOUT: Drink water. If you are particularly sweaty, Beachbody Performance Hydrate is an excellend option.


POST-WORKOUT: Within 30 minutes or so of your workout, I recommend 30g of protein and again about the same amount of carbs. In terms of dietary fat intake, you can have fat intake before and/or after your workout and it won’t hurt you but it won’t help you either — so that is up to you. Some research says that dietary fat can slow the absorption of protein and carbohydrates, but this research isn’t solid.

I really REALLY like Beachbody Performance Recover shake– it tastes excellent, gives me a nice boost of fast protein, and little carbs. If I’m having this after a really hard training session I will pair it with something else as well.





Throughout the rest of your day, fuel your body, drink your water. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Listen to your body. There is no need to avoid eating a food group if you aren’t allergic to it. Eat whole, real foods. Mostly organic when you can and keep it fun, simple and stress free.


Be fit. Be happy.