Believe it or not, one of the best foods you can eat alongside your post workout whey protein shake is Haribo Gummy Bears.
Yes, those little pieces of miniature heaven.
My clients get a lot of strange looks when they’re tucking into some Haribo jellies with their protein shake after a workout, so in today’s article I want to show you why they do this.
But first of all, let me say this:
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Just because something is typically classed as “sweets”, doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad for your body.
After all, there are thousands of people out there who believe you must do hours of endless cardio and live on chicken and rice to lose weight. If you follow my blog, you’ll already know that’s bulls**t.
I say this at the top of today’s article because the most common question I get regarding post workout Haribo Gummy Bears is, “Surely that doesn’t work? It’s jelly!”
But they’re not simply jelly…
They’re damn near perfect post workout nutrition! Haribo Gummy Bears (or Gold Bears if you live in the UK) provide your body with fast-digesting carbohydrates to begin the recovery process following a tough workout.
(Not to mention, they’ll also curb any sugar cravings.)
Sure, you could obtain your post workout carbs via mixing a fancy “carb powder” (i.e. maltodextrin) with your whey protein shake, and that would do just as good of a job.
But for most people, the psychological advantage created by being able to enjoy a treat every time they train hard is huge.
Why Post Workout Haribo Gummy Bears Are Great
After a hard workout, our body is calling for protein and carbohydrates to restock our depleted muscles.
When it comes to protein, whey is the easy choice because it is fast-digesting and incredibly convenient.
It’ll hit your muscles almost immediately, without needing to be broken down by the body first.
But when it comes to carbohydrates, many people are lost.
Most people mistakenly opt for fruit.
Fruit is fantastic for you, and full of useful vitamins and minerals, but it’s not the number 1 choice for spiking insulin levels after a workout.
That’s because around 50% of the sugar found in fruit comes in the form of fructose.
Before it can be used, fructose must first be broken down by the body, thereby slowing down the process of feeding those hungry muscles which are still shaking from your gargantuan leg workout.
Instead, opt for post workout carbs which arrive in the form of dextrose.
Dextrose doesn’t need to be broken down at all, thereby making it an even faster way to hit your muscles with quality nutrition.
Haribo Gummy Bears are ideal for this, as are Wonka Pixy Stix, as the main form of sugar used is (you guessed it) dextrose!
But There’s More…
When we consume carbohydrates after a workout, we are doing so with the goal of spiking our insulin levels.
This helps us to build more lean muscle and begin the recovery process.
But fructose does not spike our insulin levels at all, because it does not get mainlined into our blood stream at any point.
Meanwhile, dextrose does.
And as I mentioned earlier, the psychological advantage created by having “a treat” after a workout can be absolutely vital to helping some trainees stick to their exercise routine for a longer period of time, thereby achieving superior results again.
I remember a client who came to me a few years ago worried that she was one of those people who “just can’t lose weight no matter what”…
She was a WeightWatchers member at the time, and was trying to lose 10lbs before her upcoming wedding. But with the big day looming ever closer, she could feel her stress levels building up as the weight was not budging.
She put this down to her love of all things sweet.
“I tried and tried to cut out all treats. But the same thing would happen over and over – I’d stick to my diet for 1-2 weeks, then get sick of my life, and go back to square one.
That was me for 5 years!”
She put the bulk of the problem down to her love of sweet foods, and found it unbearable to eat “100% clean” like the people around her kept advising.
So, instead of telling her to cut out her favourite foods and live like a chicken, I showed her a couple of things.
First off I showed her that the best time to eat a treat is after a workout – as discussed above – because the body will make better use of sugary carbohydrates during this short time-frame.
Secondly, I taught her that the best diet is the one you can stick to.
You can work any food into your diet if you really want to. In fact, taking a more flexible approach to dieting generally leads to even better results despite the fact that you are still eating occasional foods that fitness industry a**hats consider “dirty” or “not clean, bro”, because it promotes greater sustainability.
This was shown in a study published in Appetite, where subjects who tried to follow a rigid diet protocol experienced symptoms associated with eating disorders (anxiety, desire to binge eat, excessive concern with body/shape) whereas those who followed a more flexible approach did not. (1)
I advise using an 80/20 rule here.
So she’d head to the gym, smash her sessions, then grab her whey protein shake with a handful of Haribo Gummy Bears to celebrate not dying in the midst of 100 rep dropsets.
And it worked.
“I got results while still enjoying a treat, but everybody else at my club told me I was doing something wrong.
I can finally stick to my diet, and I’m happy with the way I look in the mirror, but they all still looked like they’d been punishing themselves all week. So go figure.”
Claire mentioned that having a “reward” in the shape of post workout Haribo Gummy Bears caused her to train harder than she used to, and stay focused on maximizing her efforts in every workout. Double win.
How Many Haribo Gummy Bears Should You Eat?
Now that I’ve shown you why my clients eat Haribo after training, let’s answer the big question:
How many should you eat?
Of course, common sense still applies. I’m not telling you to melt a truck full of jellies into your bath and then swim in it every night with your mouth open.
Although you probably already know that, but I must point out the obvious, because sometimes people use it as an excuse to binge eat.
“Russ says eat Haribo and you’ll lose weight, so I’ll have it all day!”
Quite frankly, that would be putting words into my mouth…
And I’d rather you were putting Haribo into my mouth.
So here’s the deal.
After a workout, my clients will enjoy 30-40 grams of sugary carbohydrates alongside their whey protein shake.
That’s about 17 bears, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Haribo currency.
And don’t just gulp them down.
You earned them.
Hell, I’ll go to town on these little bad boys like White Goodman during his private reflection period.
Some people at your gym will say you need to eat a big bowl of pasta after the gym “for even more gains”, but this is not true.
Remember, all we are trying to do here is spike our insulin levels. Studies show that consuming 30 grams of carbohydrates will create the same insulin spike as consuming 90 grams of carbohydrates, so it makes sense to only have what you need and keep more calories/carbohydrates for the rest of your day. (2)
If you enjoyed today’s article “Why You Should Eat Haribo Gummy Bears After A Workout”, share it on Facebook or Twitter. I appreciate it.
- Stewart, T. M., et al. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite. (2002)
- Glynn, E. L., et al. Muscle protein breakdown has a minor role in the protein anabolic response to essential amino acid and carbohydrate intake following resistance exercise. Am Journal Physiol. (2010)