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Big-name protein bars like Clif, Quest, and Pure Protein run about $10 for a box of anywhere between 4-6 bars. That's a lot of loot for a little protein punch before a workout. Still, gymgoers make no qualms about shelling out Hamilton after Hamilton for their flavored cardboard — err, I mean protein bars. 

But trusty TikTokers are buzzing about an alternative pre-workout snack that offers its own boost for much cheaper: Rice Krispies Treats.

Rice Krispies Treats vs. Protein Bars: The Hype

In her video, TikTok user @kenzireddick says she eats Rice Krispies Treats before a workout to give her body fuel in the form of carbohydrates. She also mentions that the chewy, marshmallow-laden bars digest super quickly, so you don't have to fight an over-full feeling at the gym. 

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@ericrobertsfitness Reply to @thewandererwoman Rice Krispies pre workout because…. #ricekrispietreats #preworkout ♬ Tokyo Drift - Xavier Wulf

Another TikToker, @ericrobertsfitness, admits that there isn't anything overly special about Rice Krispies Treats as a before-workout snack, despite all the hype. He goes on to explain (like the other TikToker) that the body's main fuel source fuel for a workout comes from carbs, so Rice Krispies Treats get the job done with fast-digesting carbs. 

In other words, Rice Krispies Treats give you more energy for your workout, but so will a myriad of other fast-digesting carbs and foods that are good to eat before a workout, like bananas, white rice, and cereal. He ends his video lamenting that carbs are great and he has no effing clue why people ever attempt the keto diet (big same). 

Related: The Best-Tasting Protein Bars (That Won't Remind You of Chalk)

rice krispies treatsPhoto credit: Amazon

Rice Krispies Treats vs. Protein Bars: The Macros

In terms of macros, you're not going to find as much protein in one of these guys as an actual protein bar. An original .78-ounce Rice Krispies bar contains less than 1 gram of protein (compared to an average protein bar's 10-20 grams). Other macros in each include:

Rice Krispies Treat:

  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 17 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Calories: 90

Average protein bar:

  • Fat: 5-10 grams
  • Carbs: 25-35 grams
  • Fiber: 5-10 grams 
  • Calories: 150-400

Rice Krispies Treats vs. Protein Bars: The Bottom Line

So, yes, Rice Krispies Treats are more nutritionally deficient. But, again, it's the price point here that truly sings. A box of 16 Rice Krispies Treats runs about $5, compared to the right-around-$10 price point for 4-6 protein bars we mentioned earlier. So, even if you eat two RKTs to increase those carb totals to be more in line with what your average protein bar provides, it's still saving you more than $1 less than one protein bar. 

Orrrr, you could make your own rice krispies treats at home and increase the amount of protein using protein powder as this recipe from Joy to the Food does. 

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