The Surprising Snack You Should Start Eating Before Your Workout

A pre-workout supplement or snack is a good way to ensure an efficient workout. While some fitness enthusiasts prefer a jolt of energy from coffee or a supplement prior to their workout, others like a solid food to help satisfy hunger and fuel the body. Healthline reports that a full meal with all the macros — complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat — should be eaten two to three hours prior to your workout, but a simple carb based snack can be eaten 45 minutes prior.  

The reason behind the carbs before exercise is that they provide the bulk of the body's energy (via Medical News Today). Simple carbohydrates, like waffles and granola bars, offer the best energy source, as they head straight to the bloodstream and offer an immediate source of fuel, according to dietician Audra Wilson, M.S., RD, CSOWM, LDN (via Health). 

A new TikTok trend has users and followers alike trying a popular kids' snack as a pre-workout and the consensus is ... it's not a bad choice.

Try a Rice Krispies Treat as a pre-workout snack

TikTok user @Andrew.181 posted a video back in July claiming Rick Krispies Treats pre-workout will give you the "best pump." The video has more than 150,000 likes, with over 1500 comments including, "Bro that's why my gym has them at the front desk," and "I did this for about a week, definitely notice it." There have been many similar TikTok videos surrounding the Rice Krispies Treat pre-workout phenomenon, but what do the real experts have to say about it?

Sports dietician Caroline Klinger, MS, RD, made a TikTok duet with one video explaining why the Rice Krispies Treat trend actually does work. She says that generally, simple carbohydrates are a good source to fuel for your workout, as the simple sugars hit the bloodstream fast, offering an immediate energy boost (via Health). In her duet she states that Rice Krispies Treats are "an awesome source right before a workout."

Before you stock up on these tasty treats, there are some things to consider.

Some words of caution for Rice Krispies Treat lovers

Director of Sports Nutrition for UPMC Sports Medicine, Jeffrey Lucchino, MS, RDN, CSSD, tells Health that, while he does suggest a Rice Krispies Treat before a HIIT session or weightlifting workout, he would not advise this pre-workout option for more mild fitness sessions such as a walk or a low impact workout. For a less intense exercise routine, he tells Health, "In that case, you could have a balanced snack an hour before, but you don't need a higher-carb power-packed snack." Lucchino goes on to say that the treat benefits the more-intense fitness enthusiasts, like athletes and power lifters, as they need more fuel and the simple carbs can help provide that quick energy. 

The experts at VeryWell health agree that a Rice Krispies Treat can be a good pre-workout snack, but offer some words of caution. Registered dietician and triathlon coach Chrissy Carroll, MPH, RD, says "because there's not much nutritional value in a treat, it's probably not ideal to use daily." Nutrition expert Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CPT, warns that "anyone who experiences insulin resistance should speak directly with a dietitian trained in sports and their particular health condition to ensure they have the proper pre-workout snack that works for their needs."