The latest viral fitness trend has people reaching for a surprising snack before their workouts: Rice Krispie Treats.
The Tiktok craze has recently caught on, prompting users to share their results (both good and bad) on social media. But while experts say while reaching for a Rice Krispie treat before your workout isn’t exactly a terrible option, it might not be the best option either.
One of the most popular videos showcasing the trend was posted by a TikTok user @ko0maa Joe claims that breakfast gives you “a crazy pump” at the gym. The clip shows him besting his personal weightlifting record after downing a pre-workout Rice Krispies treat. The post has garnered over 175,000 views and 14,000 likes.
“Trust me when I say this, Rice Krispies are about to be the best workout for you,” Twitter user @s_terrazas Insisted.
Others are more skeptical. “Tried the Rice Krispie treat before the workout thing. Don’t get it. 30 minute amount of sugar then a sugar crash that ruined the back end of my workout. Not for me,” user @RickSegall wrote.
According to textbook nutrition standards, you ideally want to eat a well-rounded meal with carbohydrates, protein, and fat about three hours before a workout, say. Abby E. Smith-Ryan, associate professor in UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences, active researcher in exercise physiology and sports nutrition and exercise performance.
If you stop eating right before your workout, it’s best to focus on carbs and protein.
“A Rice Krispie treat will be mostly carbs, but it’s digested quickly, so it’s not going to cause GI distress,” she says. But it would be best to add in some protein as well. “So for example, like Greek yogurt or that’s where protein shakes come in.”
While Rice Krispie treats before a workout may not be harmful, Michael Degnault, an emergency doctor and chief medical adviser to Trusted Health Services, doubts the trend is effective.
They suspect that the perceived energy increase is related to “a brief sugar high and a placebo effect from a perceived performance increase.”
Daignault cautions that each person’s metabolism is different, so the best pre-workout food can vary on a case-by-case basis.
“We know that there is definitely a benefit to having post-workout protein in smoothies or food form. But as far as pre-workout goes, athletes have different preferences and this includes training on an empty stomach, Eating a small meal may include protein and good fats like avocado or using a pre-workout supplement,” he says.
Deciding what’s best to eat before a workout also depends on what kind of workout you’ll be doing, Smith-Ryan says.
“If I’m going to lift weights, I’m probably going to overeat more than I can run,” she explains. Smith-Ryan, citing research, echoes that the best pre-workout foods will vary depending on each individual.
From trampoline to hula hoops:Unexpected cardio workouts to help you get fit