There’s a delicious new workout trend taking over TikTok.
Users of the popular social media app are sharing videos of themselves eating Rice Krispies Treats before working out, claiming the sweet marshmallowy treats are the key to having better results during your workout.
Virginia Rogus, an ER nurse from West Virginia who recently lost more than 100 pounds, said she was excited to incorporate the trend into her gym routine after seeing it in her TikTok feed.
“At first I thought it was a little weird,” admitted Rogus. “Normally when I think of a Rice Krispies Treat, I think of junk food or dessert, not something I would eat to help me work out.”
Rogus says once she saw nutritionists posting TikToks explaining why the macronutrient breakdown in the treats made sense for gym-goers, she decided to give it a try.
“I am a sweets person,” she said. “So if there is any way I can eat a dessert for health gains, I’m all about it.”
But why are nutritionists getting on board with the crunchy trend?
Lauren Manaker, a registered dietitian, says it’s been shown that eating carbohydrates three to four hours before a workout enhances both endurance and exercise performance.
“Refined carbs are preferred if you are eating close to your workout because they are quickly digested and used by the body,” said Manaker. “While typically, it’s recommended to lean more on complex carbs that contain fiber because of the slow digestion benefits, simple or refined carbs can be helpful pre-workout because the carbs can quickly be digested and used by the body for energy.”
While the ingredients in Rice Krispies Treats — specifically puffed rice cereal and marshmallow — are a great boost of simple carbohydrates, Manaker says exercise enthusiasts who aren’t into sweet snacks can get the same effects by eating a slice of white toast or other simple carbohydrate-rich foods.
“People should keep in mind that classic Rice Krispies Treats contain ingredients people who follow a healthy lifestyle may typically avoid, like corn syrup and vegetable oil,” Maneker told TODAY. “Plus, if a person is following a vegan lifestyle, they should be aware that classic versions do contain gelatin.”
Looking to give the pre-workout snack a healthier spin? For starters, Manaker says to make your own at home where you can control the ingredients.
Making the treats in your own kitchen can also allow for switching up the ingredients to healthier options.
“If you are not in need of a ‘quick carb,’ a whole grain cereal that contains fiber can be used instead of the Rice Krispies,” said Manaker. “Additions like chia and flax seeds can boost the healthy fats and fiber found in this snack, too.”
If you’re seeking store-bought options that are a bit healthier, Manaker says to look for options made with limited or no processed ingredients.
So has Rogus seen a difference since trying the pre-workout trend?
“I’ll be honest, not really,” she said. “Will I keep doing it? Probably — because I get to eat a freaking Rice Krispies Treat.”