Believe it or not, one of the best foods you can eat alongside your post-workout whey protein shake is Haribo Gummy Bears.
My clients often get strange looks when tucking into some Haribo 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 it’s “sweets” doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad for your body.
After all, there are thousands of people out there who believe you must do hours of cardio and live on boring lettuce to lose weight. If you follow my blog, you know life just isn’t like that.
I say this at the top of today’s article because undoubtedly the most common question I receive regarding post-workout Haribo is “Surely that doesn’t work? Because it’s jelly!”
Haribo Gummy Bears (or Gold Bears as they’re known here in the UK) provide your body with near-perfect post-workout carbohydrates and simultaneously help to curb any cravings.
Sure, you could obtain your post-workout carbs from mixing in a fancy “carb powder” (i.e. maltodextrin) with your whey protein, but the psychological advantage of allowing yourself a ‘treat’ is massive for most people.
Why Post-Workout Haribo Gummy Bears Are Great
After a tough gym session, such as this leg workout, our body is calling for protein and carbs to restock our depleted muscles.
Whey is the established choice here for protein because it’s fast digesting, meaning it hits your muscles a lot quicker than food.
But when it comes to carbohydrates, people often mistakenly go for things such as fruit.
Fruit is great for you, and you should definitely be eating it, but during the post-workout window it’s not the number one choice for spiking insulin levels.
That is because around 50% of the sugar found in fruit is fructose.
Fructose needs to be broken down by the body before it can be used, thereby slowing down the process of feeding your muscles after a tough workout.
We are looking for post-workout carbs where the sugars arrive in the form of dextrose (also known as Glucose). Dextrose doesn’t need to be broken down by the body, therefore giving you superior results.
Haribo Gummy Bears are ideal for this, as are Wonka Pixy Stix.
A Practical Power Tool
After our workout we are trying to spike our levels of insulin. This helps us to build more lean muscle and recover.
Fructose does not spike our insulin levels – this is due to the fact that fructose does not get mainlined into our blood stream at all.
Dextrose, on the other hand, will do just that.
But there is another reason for utilizing Haribo Gummy Bears after a workout, and it’s a biggie – killing sweet food cravings.
That’s where they can go from practical to power tool.
I remember a client who came to me a couple of years ago, worried that she was never going to reach her weight loss goals.
She was a WeightWatchers member trying to lose a certain number of pounds for her wedding, and due to her love of eating sweets, she found it very hard to stick to her diet plan and was absolutely dreading the next group
Instead of telling her to cut out her favorite foods and making her diet really boring, I showed her that the best time to eat sweets is after a workout and, sure enough, she achieved all of her goals without coming off her diet once.
The best part is that, in her own words:
“I got results while still eating a few sweets, but everyone else at my club looked like they’d been punishing themselves.”
She also mentioned that she believed having that post-workout “reward” waiting for her caused her to train harder and stay focused on maximizing her time in the gym. Double win.
Of course, it is very important to remember that common sense still applies. I am not advising you to eat only these little miniature pieces of heaven and nothing else. I realize you probably know that already, because you’re smart. But I mention this because the first time I gave somebody this tip in a gym here’s what they told their friends:
“Russ says just eat Haribo and you’ll lose weight, so that’s what I’ll do!”
I know. That’s putting words into my mouth. And quite frankly I’d rather you were putting Gummy Bears into my mouth.
So if you’d like to give my post-workout Haribo Gummy Bears technique a try, it’s important to know how much should you have.
After a workout, my clients try to have 30-40 grams alongside their whey protein shake.
That’s about 17 bears for those of you who are new to Haribo currency.
Why 30 grams? Well. studies show us that having a 30 gram serving of carbohydrates after a workout will spike insulin levels as much as a 90 gram serving, so I recommend grabbing your 30 grams then keeping more of your carbohydrates for other times of the day.
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1. 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”. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology Published 1 August 2010 Vol. 299 no. R533-R540 DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00077.2010