Spring is (finally) officially here! You know what that means at Penn State? The quads are bustling with active students playing catch, dribbling soccer balls and playing sand volleyball. The gyms are flowing with happy students, and campus is suddenly overcome by a running epidemic. Most of this activity is in celebration of the nice weather, but is also in anticipation for what follows spring. Summer. Students can be self-conscious about their body image, but since we’re are in our athletic prime, we need to take full advantage of it.

In order to get the most beneficial workout, you need to prep your body for its upcoming output of energy!

The best pre-workout foods should be easily digestible, contain 10-20 grams of protein and have a high glycemic index. What is a glycemic index? It’s essentially a scale that measures carbohydrate levels that are quickly digested, which is the most important factor of your pre-workout. Here are some yummy, satiating foods to get you through:

Oatmeal: The delicious grain of the gods. This whole grain will leave you with a full (but not too full) feeling through your workout. You can spice up your oats by adding a dash of honey, cinnamon, fresh fruit, granola or brown sugar.

5 Ways to Vamp Up Instant Oatmeal

Photo by Shawn Eliav

Protein Pancakes: Substitute the normal flour or pancake mix for a protein-packed breakfast! Including protein powder in your hot cakes give added flavor and protein to an already yummy meal.

The Wonderful World of Whey Protein

Photo by Alexa Santos

Smoothies: Ingredients like Greek yogurt, fruit (especially bananas), protein and OJ call for for a protein-packed, delicious pre-workout smoothie! Try adding peanut butter or PB2 for a protein addition. You can even switch up your recipes. Check out these posts on Spoon U about delicious and healthy smoothies!


Photo by Julie Haupin

Protein Shakes: The classic shaker bottle is becoming all the rage. Protein powder is a good pre- or post workout supplement. They help your body prepare for a workout or fulfill your protein needs after a workout. The best part about protein is that it can be mixed with milk for additional Vitamin D benefits. There are plenty of flavors to try and experiment with.


Photo by: Nikki Katz

Get the summer body you’re looking for the healthy way. Try adding a pre-workout meal to your regimen and you’ll feel better. Like the mantra I live by, “Happy insides make for a happy outside.”  Spring has sprung, so enjoy!


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