Pre-Workout Meal Tips from Cara Sincto

Hi there!

I’m Coach Cara, a trainer and nutritionist in the Boston-area. One of the most popular questions I get asked through my online fitness and nutrition practice is: What should I be eating pre-workout?

The answer varies from person to person, and with all the information out there, it can be hard to keep it straight. So, how do you figure out what’s best for you? Let’s break it down into a few simple key points.

#1 Consider The Workout Category

What type of exercise are you preparing yourself to tackle? For runners, pre-workout, you’re going to want to pick something high in carbohydrates. Why? Well, you want something that will digest slowly, rather than..pardon the right through you! A great example includes a slice (or two!) of whole grain toast paired with your preferred nut butter, topped off with fresh fruit.

On the other hand, if you’re hitting the weights, then it would be optimal for you to consume a protein-packed meal, made for muscle growth. Think hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, and hemp seeds — all these are all solid protein choices. In addition, be sure to balance your meal with some hearty grains, a healthy fat, plus a fruit or vegetable.

#2 Check The Clock

For optimal performance, the recommended window of time to eat before a workout is 30–90 minutes. This is so that the muscles can reap the benefits of the food you’re supplying and help restore your energy. (In fact, plan to eat another small meal 30–90 minutes after your workout, too — but that’s a different blog post!)

#3 Listen to Your Body

Your body knows itself best, so make sure to pay attention to the signs and signals you get when you eat and when you move. Everyone handles certain foods in different ways, so if you are prepping for a race or competition, definitely experiment before the big day. Some individuals thrive off protein supplements made from whey, and others report digestive issues. Learn to tune into your body’s natural cues and you’ll improve your workouts and #gains massively. And as always, if you are struggling with your performance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. I work with clients looking to improving their eating habits, and I’d be happy to talk more with you!

#4 Fill-Up On Favorite Fueling Foods

As a mover myself, I have some favorite pre-workout go-to’s that fuel me for my healthy, active lifestyle. Many of these meals can be made vegan, too.

  • Avocado toast with an egg and greens
  • Greek yogurt with nuts and seeds
  • Smoothie with protein and greens
  • Oatmeal bowl with fruit and nuts


If you want more, you can check out Cara Scinto on MoveWith.

 MoveWith is the personal fitness membership that delivers daily audio coaching to ignite your body, mind and soul. We connect movers everywhere to the coaches who inspire them to form daily rituals.

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