Rice Krispies treats make for a suitable pre-workout snack due to their simple carbohydrate content. Carbs are the body’s primary fuel source, so eating them before training can boost energy and performance.

Rice Krispies treats have recently gained popularity as a pre-workout snack on social media platforms such as TikTok. Users claim that the treats improve workouts and give them more power during training sessions.

Rice Krispies treats are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates while remaining relatively low in fat and protein. Therefore, they give the body easily accessible energy without slowing digestion. This means someone can eat a portion shortly before a workout and not worry about getting an upset stomach or cramps.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of Rice Krispies treats as a pre-workout snack, their nutritional profile, and what workouts they are best for.

A box of Rice Krispies treats.Share on Pinterest
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There are several reasons why Rice Krispies treats can make for suitable pre-workout snacks. First, they primarily comprise simple carbohydrates, which means they provide quick energy, easily accessible by the muscles. Hillary Ake, a sports dietitian, says that the treats are “a quick carbohydrate, taste good, and are easy to consume.”

They can also be very convenient. A person can purchase Rice Krispies treats relatively inexpensively from most grocery stores and make them at home in a short amount of time. They are shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration, so individuals can pack them in advance without worrying about them going off.

Ake also notes that they are a particularly suitable choice because people do not need to touch the food directly. “They are easy to eat without getting your hands on them,” she says. “For an athlete that has been out tackling and hands in the dirt, having that layer of protection from the wrapper can be helpful.”

People can also quickly eat Rice Krispies treats because they are easy to chew and calorie-dense. “A lot of athletes can eat them in two or three bites, so they are quick to eat during a break and may be faster than a banana,” says Ake.

The following table includes the nutrition information for one 22-gram (g) bar. It is important to note that this information is for a store-bought Rice Krispie treat bar — because many people make their own bars at home, the actual nutrition info of each bar may vary slightly.

carbohydrate2 g
fat17 g
protein<1 g

Rice Krispies treats are a suitable source of simple carbs. Ake explains the benefits of the two types of carbs: simple and complex. “There are quick and longer-lasting carbs — quick carbs are simple sugars that are easily and quickly digested, so we can start using them for energy right away.”

Conversely, complex — or longer-lasting — carbs “keep us full longer because they are slower to digest.” Examples of complex carbs include quinoa, beans, oatmeal, and whole-grain bread.

Although complex carbs are an appropriate choice at meal times, simple carbs may be more suitable before an intense workout because they are easily accessible, fast-acting fuel for muscles. Research over the past century has confirmed that carbs are essential for physical performance during exercise.

Depending on the type and duration of a workout, people should consume some form of carbs before, after, and sometimes during a session. This is particularly important for maintaining a high level of performance in endurance sports such as running and cycling.

Because Rice Krispies treats comprise primarily simple carbs, they are easy to digest. This makes them a suitable choice as a pre- or mid-workout snack.

“When you are taking in a snack during halftime, you want the quick digesting carb so you can top off the body’s glycogen stores for energy during the second half without causing gastrointestinal (GI) distress,” says Ake.

A combination of carbs with fat and protein slows digestion. Usually, this is beneficial because it improves satiety — the feeling of being full, and prevents blood sugar spikes, meaning a person will feel fuller for longer.

However, people typically need snacks that digest quickly and easily before a workout. This may be particularly important for high intensity activities, such as running, that can easily cause a stomachache or GI distress if a person eats an unsuitable food product beforehand.

Rice Krispies treats can be suitable pre-workout snacks for moderate to high intensity activities that require a lot of energy. Examples of these pursuits include an hour-long run, kickboxing class, or soccer game. According to Ake, they are “best suited for longer duration exercise where you need fuel right before or during.”

However, this does not mean they are the right choice for everyone. Lower-intensity activities, such as walking, yoga, and pilates, do not require as much easily accessible glycogen, so they would not require a high carb pre-workout snack.

Ake confirms that she thinks they are not the right choice for everyone. For most people doing low intensity workouts, the energy they get from regular meals should suffice. “If you still want a pre-workout snack, look at whole food options like a banana, applesauce, or a piece of toast,” says Ake.

Rice Krispies treats have recently gained popularity on social media for their use as a pre-workout snack. Because they primarily consist of simple carbs, they are a suitable choice for people performing moderate to high intensity workouts.

The treats are low in fat and protein yet high in carbs, meaning they are easy to digest and are unlikely to cause GI distress. They can provide the body’s muscles with the easily accessible carbohydrate they need to perform at a high level.