Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Gummy Bears? Unveiling the Sweet Secret

Gummy bears are the last thing one may think of where bodybuilding is associated. After all, gummy bears are known for being a storehouse of carbohydrates and sugar, none of which are viewed positively when it comes to being in shape.

So what exactly is the deal with bodybuilders eating gummy bears as a snack around the workout window?

Well, believe it or not, the fact that gummy bears contain so much carbohydrate and sugar is the very reason why bodybuilders eat them before, during, or after an intense workout session.

Gummy bears contain the right macronutrients that help these athletes replenish the lost glycogen as quickly as possible to aid in muscle recovery. It also helps in the lifting performance of the bodybuilders.

There is science to substantiate this practice but if you are still not convinced then you will surely be by the end of this post.  Read on to know more.

Key Takeaways

  • Bodybuilding training is intense and can quickly deplete the muscle glycogen and cellular ATP, both of which are needed for muscle repair.
  • The body needs a simple carbohydrate source before, during, and after workouts for optimal gym performance and recovery.
  • Gummy Bears constitute convenience and relevant nutrients that can help in endurance training.
  • Consuming gummies around the workout window means that your body is actively consuming energy and thus the sugar from the candy does not get stored as fat.
  • Gummy bears have simple carbs that have a high glycemic index which can replenish the glycogen sources that will directly help in post-workout recovery and ready your body for the next round of training.

Are Gummy Bears Good For Working Out?

Are Gummy Bears Good For Working Out

Yes, Gummy bears happen to be a good snack option for those who are into bodybuilding and professional weightlifting.

To begin with, it must be clarified from the very start that nobody is implying that bodybuilders or anybody should eat a bowl full of gummy bears every day and even consider it as a healthy nutrient source. It must be eaten in moderation and during particular periods.

It’s important to remember that gummy bears are worth considering due to their potential to assist in replenishing your body’s glycogen levels that deplete considerably after a workout.

So, we arrive at a more detailed answer as to the utility of gummies, you should first know what happens to a human body after a strenuous workout session.

Two of the molecular resources of the body get depleted after lengthy and strained exercise- they are the ATP ( Adenosine Triphosphate) stores and Glucose stores. When ATP levels decrease, the body responds by increasing heart rate, sweating, and causing shortness of breath in order to restore oxygen and cellular respiration levels.

This process is essential for maintaining the body’s energy balance and ensuring that all cells have the energy they need to function properly.

More relevantly, the level of glucose also comes down during a workout and this happens through a process called glycosis. To provide energy and strength to the muscles, glucose is spent in the form of glycogen.

The crucial point to note is that glycogen reserves can be rapidly and easily depleted.

To add to this, if you are not able to supplement your body with enough resources to replenish what it has lost during the workout then it will negatively affect your performance in the gym which will affect muscle gain.

To optimize glycogen resynthesis after exercise, the consumption of a carbohydrate supplement immediately after training is recommended. Glucose or glucose polymer supplements are most effective for muscle glycogen replenishment. [1]  And what do you think gives gummies their texture? You guessed it right -polymers or more specifically gelatin and starch.

Adding protein to a carbohydrate supplement is also vital as it may increase glycogen storage rate due to the synergistic effect of protein and carbohydrate on insulin secretion. Thus your post-workout meal should also contain some good sources of protein.

Carb intake, however, is a little tricky because some carbohydrates are difficult to digest and take a long time to pass through your body’s digestive system. So you have to take something that is easily digested and readies the muscles for another workout within 24 hours or a little more.

This is where gummy bears come in. These candies or treats provide a quick source of sugar that is high in glycemic carbs, dextrose, or maltodextrin. [2] This helps replenish what has been lost and provides instant energy for the body.

Since you are in an energy depleted state, the body utilizes sugar content to restore expended energy, so the sugar present in gummy bears is promptly used and not stored as fat.

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Gummy Bears?

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Gummy Bears

Bodybuilders are some of the most health-conscious people one may ever come across and therefore it may seem almost baffling to know that eating candies full of sugar and carbs is a regular practice for some of them. But there are good reasons as to why they do it:

Gummy Bears Before Workout

Gummies can be a good pre-workout snack to fuel your muscles for the strain it is about to undergo. The body will readily use carbs over fat for moderate to high-intensity exercises and thus eating candies like gummy bears is an easy way to get assimilated sugars and carbs into your system before a workout.

To get the best out of this practice, the window of 30-60 minutes before a hardcore exercise session is ideal for a carb and sugar load. With the right combination of nutrients delivered at the right time, one can activate their body’s muscle machinery to increase muscle strength, improve endurance, and increase lean muscle mass. [3]

Gummy Bears During Workout

Simply put, the practice of eating gummy bears during workout is a good way to keep the energy levels up. The reason is that gummies contain two of the things that help in fuelling a rigorous exercise regime – carbs and sugar.

During prolonged exercise, skeletal muscle tissue largely relies on carbohydrates and fat as fuel sources. The contribution of these sources depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise, with carbohydrates playing a greater role as intensity increases.

Therefore, the availability of carbohydrates within the body greatly affects endurance capacity and performance.

In a sports nutrition research, improving carbohydrate availability through ingestion has been a major focus of the study, and it is well-established that consuming carbohydrates during moderate-to-high-intensity exercise lasting over two hours can significantly enhance endurance performance. [5]

Ingesting small amounts of carbohydrates during exercise can improve performance in shorter, more intense workouts lasting between 45-60 minutes as well,  and with peak oxygen uptake above 75%. Even if the body’s natural carbohydrate stores are not depleted, this can still have a positive effect. [5]

Gummy Bears After Workout

The forty-five-minute window following a workout is called the Anabolic phase in the principle of the Nutrient timing system. During this phase, the muscles with the help of the right nutrients initiate recovery of muscle protein and the replenishment of depleted muscle glycogen stores.

Immediately after a workout, the muscle cells are extremely sensitive to the anabolic effect of the hormone insulin. This sensitivity however does not stay for long and the muscles become insulin-resistant after a while.

Insulin resistance is something that drastically slows down muscle glycogen synthesis, repair of existing muscle, and building of new muscle. [3]

Therefore, during this phase, consuming simple carbohydrates is very important for fueling muscle glycogen recovery and also for repairing the tissue and muscle. [4]  Thus, eating gummy bears after workout may seem like a move that spoils the effort you just spent, but in truth, it helps your body get ready for more intense training by letting it heal.

Don’t miss:

Why Do Bodybuilders Drink So Much Water
Why Do Bodybuilders Eat White Rice
15 Healthy 1000 Calorie Meals for Bulking
Should I Drink Protein Shake During Rest Days

Final Verdict

Some of you might be wondering, “Why not just eat fruits instead?”. Well, your rationale is not at all wrong as fruits too contain carbohydrates and sugar which means theoretically they can be a healthier alternative to gummy bears. But, here’s the thing, fruits contain complex carbs which means that they have a low glycemic index.

Eating something with a low glycemic index right around the workout window will not do anything to support the repair of the sore muscles or the synthesis of new muscles. While it may be good for your health it really does not matter if you choose the time period before, during, or right after a workout to eat fruits. They are also high in fiber, high fiber foods take a long time to digest and absorbed by the body.

Gummy bears on the other hand can have an instantaneous effect and give you enough fuel to perform well in the gym as well as help in recovery. Besides, gummies are tastier than fruits so it is the clear winner here.


  1. Ivy, J. L. (1998). Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. International journal of sports medicine, 19(S 2), S142-S145.
  2. Hofman, D. L., van Buul, V. J., & Brouns, F. J. (2016). Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 56(12), 2091–2100. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2014.940415
  3. Ivy, J. (2004). Nutrient timing: The future of sports nutrition. Basic Health Publications, Inc..
  4. Gonzalez, J. T., Fuchs, C. J., Betts, J. A., & van Loon, L. J. (2017). Glucose Plus Fructose Ingestion for Post-Exercise Recovery-Greater than the Sum of Its Parts?. Nutrients, 9(4), 344.
  5. Cermak, N. M., & van Loon, L. J. (2013). The use of carbohydrates during exercise as an ergogenic aid. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 43(11), 1139–1155.