Grab yourself a handful of Haribo Gummy Bears after your next workout.

post workout haribo gummy bears

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

7 min read

My clients have been eating Haribo Gummy Bears after training for YEARS.

I’ve been doing it since 2013, and today I’ll show you why.

It might sound strange to hear me talking about eating jellies after working out, because obviously I realize they’re sweets (and you’ll definitely get some strange looks at the gym), but yes, it’s true, these little pieces of bear-shaped heaven are absolutely perfect for your aching muscles after a tough workout!

Table of Contents

Why Post Workout Haribo Gummy Bears Are Awesome

Haribo Gummy Bears after a workout

It all revolves around the post-workout recovery phase.

This is the 45-60 minute period after your workout, where the body begins the process of a) repairing the muscle fibers which were damaged in your training session, and b) replenishing your energy stores, which are depleted from training like a fucking beast.

We need two things for this:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates

Most people will cover their protein requirements by grabbing a whey protein shake. This is excellent, because whey is digested very quickly, so it’s great for giving your muscles a quick blast of protein when they need it the most.

However, everyone seems lost regarding carbohydrates.

This is where Haribo Gummy Bears are introduced.

You see, the main ingredient in Haribo Gummy Bears is dextrose. Dextrose doesn’t need to be broken down before it can be used, so it gets straight to work from the moment you eat it. This will have an instant impact on your energy levels and speed up the recovery process.

Yes, you could also get a serving of dextrose by adding a fancy powder to your protein shake, but why would you want to cancel out jellies for something which tastes like goblin dick?

I’m normally a fan of getting the bulk of your carbohydrates from slow-digesting foods, but in this instance that would be a mistake. Many people make that error, because outdated nutrition guidelines have them just refusing to believe that they can enjoy a handful of jellies, so instead they opt for foods like fruit (half the sugar in fruit is fructose, which delays the recovery process as it must be broken down by the body before it can be utilized) or they wait until they get home and then have a big post-workout meal, such as pasta (slow-digesting carbohydrates = delayed recovery).

So even though this handful of jellies feels like a little treat, they’re actually helping you smash your fitness goals!



Do We Need To Spike Insulin After A Workout?

post workout Haribo Gummy Bears

This is where things get controversial.

Back in the day, bodybuilding folklore stated that spiking your insulin levels during the post-workout anabolic window (45-60 minutes after training) would lead to a significantly higher uptake of key nutrients into the muscles, which would enhance muscle growth.

That’s why you’d often see bodybuilders smashing through high carb meals after their workouts, and many people believe the reason athletes eat post-workout Haribo Gummy Bears is to tap into those same benefits.

It’s not true.

You see, research now shows us that this old insulin-spiking theory is false.

As long as your carbohydrate requirements are met throughout the entire day, your muscle glycogen levels will return to full capacity on their own, so you don’t really need to spike your insulin levels after training to enhance muscle growth. It also appears that a whey protein shake (25g protein) can produce an almost identical insulin response as a combination of whey and carbohydrates (25g protein and 50g carbs), so even if you did need to spike your insulin levels you’d be able to do that with just a protein shake. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Years ago when I first started using this technique, I was trying to tap into those benefits, because this that’s what was believed at the time, and the key research on this topic had not yet been published. However, when I began passing handfuls of Haribo to my PT clients after finishing their workouts, I noticed that there was a much more powerful benefit here (see below!).



The Real Reason This Trick Is So Effective

Haribo Gummy Bears bodybuilding

This is a fantastic tool for increasing your consistency in the gym.

Check out this e-mail from Kate:

“This little trick of earning a reward after my workout was a game changer for me!

It showed me that treat foods can be worked into my diet without fear/worry, and over time I didn’t crave sweets as much, because my post-workout Haribo quenched the need. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’ve been consistent in the gym all year, stayed on track (mostly) with my diet, and achieved all of my New Year fitness goals.”

That says it all, doesn’t it?

Kate is an old PT client of mine, and I use her as the example here because her relationship with food had been so damaged by bullshit dieting culture in the years before we met, that initially she really couldn’t believe it was possible to enjoy a handful of jellies without gaining body fat.

But that’s exactly what we did.

I handed her 30 grams of dextrose (that’s 17 bears in Haribo currency, not that I’m obsessed!) and told her that she could enjoy those bears for a job well done in the gym. I can still remember the look of fear in her eyes as she tried it for the first time, but it didn’t take long before this little ritual became an important part of our workouts, and she’d be powering through sessions with the added incentive of demolishing some jellies at the end.

After about two months I noticed something HUGE…

Not only had Kate blasted beyond her initial fitness-related goals (as a result of being more consistent and training harder) but her outlook on food had also begun to change.

When I first met her, she came to me as an ex-WeightWatchers member who, like lots of people, had fallen into the deadly trap of trying to cut out all nice foods/treats from her diet, and she’d been stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of going cold turkey for as long as possible, then triggering a binge out of sheer frustration, and then starting over.

So the fact that she was no longer looking at foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and no longer fearing that certain foods would make her gain weight just because they might be treats, this was was a really positive change!

Over time, Kate gradually began to see the importance of focusing on the bigger picture, meaning she felt less stressed about the little things (like a handful of Haribo) and was able to focus more on the things which actually got the best results, like learning how to control her total calorie intake, eating enough protein, and being able to enjoy treats without any of the bullshit fear or guilt which usually comes along with it. (6)

That’s a win/win!

References:

  1. Parkin J. A., et al. Muscle glycogen storage following prolonged exercise: effect of timing of ingestion of high glycemic index food. Med Sci Sports Exerc (1997).
  2. Wojcik J. R., et al. Comparison of carbohydrate and milk-based beverages on muscle damage and glycogen following exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab (2001).
  3. Nilsson M., et al. Metabolic effects of amino acid mixtures and whey protein in healthy subjects: studies using glucose-equivalent drinks. Am J Clin Nutr (2007).
  4. Staples A. W., et al. Carbohydrate does not augment exercise-induced protein accretion versus protein alone. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2011).
  5. 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 J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol (2010).
  6. Stewart T. M., et al. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite (2002).

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

One response to “Why You Should Eat Haribo Gummy Bears After A Workout”

  1. Monica avatar
    Monica

    Been doing this for ages now. Look strange to others at the gym, but it works.

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