The latest viral fitness trend has people reaching for a surprising snack before their workouts: Rice Krispies Treats.
The craze has recently taken off on TikTok, inspiring people to share their results, good and bad, on social media. But experts say while reaching for a Rice Krispies Treat before your workout is actually not a horrible option, it might not be the best choice.
One of the most popular videos showcasing the trend was posted by TikTok user @Ko0maa who claims the snack gives you “an insane pump” at the gym. The clip goes on to show him besting his personal weight-lifting record after downing a pre-workout Rice Krispies Treat. The post garnered more than 175,000 views and 14,000 likes.
“Trust me when I say it, Rice Krispies gonna make you have the best workout,” Twitter user @s_terrazas said.
Others are skeptical.
“Tried the Rice Krispies Treat before a workout thing. Don’t get it. 30 min of sugar high then a sugar crash that ruined the back end of my workout. Not for me,” user @RickSegall wrote.
By textbook nutrition standards, you ideally want to eat a well-rounded meal with carbohydrates, proteins and fat about three hours before a workout, says Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, an associate professor of exercise physiology at the University of North Carolinsa Chapel Hill who does research in sports nutrition and exercise performance.
If eat right before your workout, it’s best to focus on carbs and protein.
“A Rice Krispies Treat would be mostly carbs, but it’s a quick easily digested, so it’s not going to cause GI distress,” Smith-Ryan says.
But it would be best to also add some protein, she says: ”So, for example, like a Greek yogurt. Or that’s where the protein shakes come in.”
While Rice Krispies Treats before a workout might not be harmful, Dr. Michael Daignault, an emergency physician and chief medical adviser for Reliant Health Service, doubts the trend is effective.
He suspects the touted energy boost “is related to a brief sugar high plus a placebo effect from a perceived performance enhancement.”
Daignault sayst each person’s metabolism is different, so the best pre-workout meals can vary.
“We know that there is certainly a benefit to having post-workout protein in the form of a smoothie or meal,” he says. “But, as far as pre-workout, athletes’ preferences vary and can include training on an empty stomach, eating a small meal of protein and good fat like avocado or using a pre-workout supplement.”
Deciding what’s best also depends on what kind of workout you’ll be doing, Smith-Ryan says.
“If I’m going to lift weights, I can probably stomach more than if I’m going to go run,” she says.
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