Marissa Higgins
Updated Sep 05, 2016 @ 10:50 am
Credit: PBS

If there is anything that makes working out awful, it has got to be those precious few minutes before you start. Sure, we should spend that time drinking water, stretching, and turning off the notifications on our phones, but the reality is, we pretty much spend it dreading the hour of sweating that is to come.

One popular fitness instructor, however, is offering to change up the game in terms of how we view working out. And this is no small change, mind you: She’s encouraging us to eat cookies before we work out.


That’s right: SoulCycle instructor Charlee Atkins regularly treats herself to eating a sugary, carby treat right before working out. But no, it’s not just about the emotional satisfaction that comes with a delicious baked good. There’s actually some science to her logic.

As she explains to NY Mag, “One tip my sports nutritionist told me is to eat half a cookie or scone or cupcake half an hour before class. Because it’s such a simple sugar, it gets absorbed right away. My treat to myself is to have half a cookie an hour before class and it energizes me for the next 45 minutes or so of class.”

Credit: NBC /

She goes on to explain, “I love Balthazar oatmeal butter scones. Like if I have one every single day, which I do, I would be the happiest person in the world. But it’s about timing — if you eat sugar 20 to 30 minutes before class, you’ll hit the peak during class. An hour will be right before class and then you will crash.”

Atkins also stresses that it’s important to have protein shortly after working out. She suggests having a healthy source of protein within a 30 minute window of class, such as peanut butter or some yogurt.

Unsurprisingly, it seems like with working out — and life in general — balance is key. But hey, at least we get to have cookies, right?