Gummy Bears or Bananas?


By Austin Gwaltney ACE-CPT, B.S., USAW, FMS II



Recently, ISC coaches were discussing carbohydrates and what is the fastest absorbing carb for post workout consumption. Here are some of the details!

After you are done with your workout, you are looking to replenish your carbohydrate storage as quickly as possible to increase lean muscle synthesis and recovery. According to research by Jeukendrup, the head physiologist at gatorade, your body synthesizes carbohydrates and proteins 300% faster within two hours after exercise. Right now, you may be downing an apple or a banana to get in those carbs. It might surprise you to know that gummy bears are a better option than bananas for immediate post workout carbs.

Why should I eat candy after I workout? I thought candy was “bad” to eat?

It all comes down to the sugar or carbohydrate structure. I am not condoning eating any candy post workout, only specific types that increase energy uptake. And eating the foods in controlled amounts i.e. 30 grams.

For example, if you ate a banana post workout, your carbohydrate uptake would be close to 50% the speed of uptake in comparison to gummy bears. Simply, because gummy bears made with glucose as their primary ingredient, and glucose is simpler to breakdown by the body.

Fructose or fruit sugar requires more work for the body to breakdown.

Here is an image illustrating these findings:


How can I use this to my advantage in training?

First off, get gummy bears or a product with glucose as the primary ingredient.

Secondly, if you are ever craving something sweet, just eat two handfuls of gummy bears after your workout.

Not only will this curb a sweet tooth, but it will encourage faster replenishment of glycogen.

Overall, faster absorption will increase your ability to recover andwill help both your training and your body composition. Eating between 10-15 ( 20-30g) gummy bears immediately post workout is an easy fix for immediate recovery and energy replacement!

Cheers to gummy bears!


Jeukendrup, Asker E., and Michael Gleeson. Sport Nutrition: An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2004. Print.


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