Are gummy bears good to eat after a workout?

Quick Answer

Gummy bears can be a good post-workout snack in moderation. They provide a quick boost of carbohydrates to help replenish glycogen stores and the gelatin provides some protein. However, gummy bears are high in sugar and low in nutrients, so they should not be the only post-workout food consumed. It’s best to pair gummy bears with other nutritious foods like Greek yogurt, fruit, vegetables, or a protein shake.

What are Gummy Bears?

Gummy bears are small, gelatin-based candies that have a chewy texture and sweet flavor. They are made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, food coloring, citric acid, and flavorings. The gelatin gives them their characteristic gummy texture.

Some key facts about gummy bears:

  • Originated in Germany in the 1920s
  • Haribo is the most popular brand worldwide
  • Come in a variety of flavors like cherry, orange, pineapple, lemon, and raspberry
  • Shelf-stable, usually with a 1-2 year shelf life
  • Around 3-4 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 calories per gummy bear
  • Fat-free but high in added sugars
  • No protein or fiber

So in summary, gummy bears are essentially just empty calories from sugar and carbohydrates. While they can be a tasty candy treat, they lack nutritional value.

Benefits of Eating Gummy Bears Post-Workout

Although not incredibly nutrient-dense, gummy bears do provide some potential benefits when consumed after a workout:

Quickly Digestible Carbs

The simple carbohydrates in gummy bears are quickly broken down into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. This spike in blood glucose helps to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise.

Replenishing glycogen is important for repairing muscle fibers damaged during the workout. It also prepares the muscles for the next training session.

Consuming fast-digesting carbs within 45 minutes after a workout maximizes glycogen resynthesis.

Sugar for Energy

The sugar content of gummy bears can help boost energy levels post-workout. The intake of sugary foods causes the release of serotonin, dopamine, and other feel-good chemicals in the brain.

This may help enhance mood and motivation after an intense gym session.

Some Protein from Gelatin

Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen. It gives gummy bears their chewy texture.

Although not a complete protein source, the gelatin in gummy bears does provide some amino acids like glycine and proline.

These amino acids may help with recovery by supporting muscle repair and growth after strength training.

Electrolyte Replacement

Gummy bears contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium. These minerals are lost through sweat during workouts.

Replenishing electrolytes post-workout can help prevent muscle cramps and fatigue. However, the electrolyte content of gummy bears is rather low compared to sports drinks.

Downsides of Gummy Bears Post-Workout

While gummy bears offer some potential benefits, they also come with some downsides:

High in Sugar, Low in Nutrients

A serving of gummy bears packs up to 8 grams of added sugar, which is almost equivalent to 2 teaspoons.

Consuming too much refined sugar can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and weight gain over time.

Also, gummy bears provide almost no other nutrients. No protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

Lack of Protein

While gelatin offers some amino acids, gummy bears lack full proteins needed for adequate muscle repair and growth after strength training sessions.

Consuming fast-absorbing protein post-workout, like whey or casein, optimizes protein synthesis in the muscles.

GI Issues

The high sugar content of gummy bears can cause digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea when consumed in large amounts.

This can contribute to stomach discomfort after exercise. It’s best to consume gummy bears in moderation.

Empty Calories

With zero fiber or protein, gummy bears don’t contribute much nutritionally. They mostly provide empty calories.

Eating too many may lead to excessive calorie intake without supplying adequate nutrients for recovery.

Blood Sugar Crashes

While gummy bears may provide an initial blood sugar boost, this is often followed by a crash as insulin is secreted to combat the spike.

This can lead to increased fatigue, hunger, and cravings soon after eating gummy bears.

Healthier Post-Workout Snack Alternatives

Here are some healthier snack options that provide a nutrient-dense source of post-workout nutrition:

Greek Yogurt

Provides protein, calcium, probiotics. Top with fruit and granola for carbs.

Cottage Cheese

High in casein protein, calcium, B vitamins. Pair with apples or berries.

Protein Shake

Whey or plant-based protein powder mixed with milk, juice, or water. Provides protein, carbs, fluids.

Trail Mix

Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit provide protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.


Blending milk/yogurt, fruit, greens, nut butter provides nutrients without heavy digestion required.


A bowl of oats topped with peanut butter and bananas supplies complex carbs, protein, and fiber.


Scrambled or hard boiled eggs offer protein, B vitamins, minerals like iron and zinc.


These immature soybeans are a plant-based protein source with fiber, folate, and phytonutrients.

Quinoa Bowls

Quinoa, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, avocado, and lean protein make a well-rounded recovery meal.

Recommended Serving Size of Gummy Bears Post-Workout

It’s best to consume gummy bears in moderation after a workout. Here are some guidelines on recommended serving sizes:

– 10-20 average sized gummy bears

This provides around 30-60 calories and 7-14g carbs

– 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of gummy bears

Equals about 1-2 handfuls or 50-100 calories and 15-30g carbs

– Limit to no more than 1 serving

Any more may provide excessive low-quality sugars without other nutrients

Pair gummy bears with a source of protein, fiber, and fluids for balanced recovery nutrition.

How Gummy Bears Fit Into a Post-Workout Meal

Here are some examples of how a serving of gummy bears can be incorporated into a balanced post-workout meal:

Gummy Bears + Greek Yogurt + Berries

– 1⁄2 cup greek yogurt provides around 15g protein
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears (15g carbs)
– 1⁄2 cup mixed berries

This supplies protein for muscle repair, fast carbs to replenish glycogen stores, and antioxidants.

Gummy Bears + Protein Shake

– 1 scoop whey protein powder made with water or milk for around 20-25g protein
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears (15g carbs)

The protein shake provides essential amino acids while the gummy bears supply simple carbs to help restore muscle glycogen.

Gummy Bears + Veggie Omelet + Toast

– 2 egg veggie omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes
– 1 slice whole grain toast with peanut butter
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears (15g carbs)

This provides high quality protein from eggs, complex carbs from the toast, and simple carbs from the gummy bears.

Should You Eat Gummy Bears Right Before or After a Workout?

Here is a comparison:

Before Workout

– May provide quick energy to fuel your training session
– Don’t consume too close to exercising or may cause indigestion
– Limit to about 20-30g carbs in a pre-workout snack

After Workout

– Helps rapidly replenish glycogen stores after exercise
– Causes less indigestion since metabolism increases during exercise
– Consuming some simple carbs promotes glycogen resynthesis and recovery
– Limit to around 15-30g carbs in a post-workout snack

In most cases, gummy bears are a better option after a workout rather than before. But they can be consumed pre-workout as well in moderation.

Just be sure not to overdo the quantity as too much sugar before exercise can cause GI distress.

Pre-Workout Snack Ideas

If choosing to eat gummy bears before a workout, here are some other nutrients to consume as part of a balanced pre-workout snack:

Gummy Bears + Banana

– 1 medium banana
– 10-15 gummy bears

Banana provides potassium and carbs for energy.

Gummy Bears + Nut Butter Toast

– 1 slice whole grain toast with 1 Tbsp peanut or almond butter
– 10-15 gummy bears

Healthy fats from nut butter sustain energy.

Gummy Bears + Greek Yogurt

– 1⁄2 cup Greek yogurt
– 15-20 gummy bears

Yogurt supplies protein to support muscle function.

Gummy Bears + Protein Bar

– 1 nutrition/protein bar
– 10-15 gummy bears

Protein bar provides protein, carbs, and nutrients.

Gummy Bears + Cottage Cheese

– 1⁄2 cup cottage cheese
– 10-15 gummy bears

Casein protein in cottage cheese provides sustained energy.

Post-Workout Snack Ideas

For post-workout recovery nutrition, here are balanced snacks to eat with a serving of gummy bears:

Gummy Bears + Protein Shake

– 1 scoop protein powder blended with milk or water
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears

Whey, casein, or plant-based protein supports muscle growth.

Gummy Bears + Egg Whites

– 3-4 egg whites, scrambled
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears

Eggs provide high-quality protein for muscle repair.

Gummy Bears + Quinoa Bowl

– 1⁄2 cup cooked quinoa
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears
– Toppings like avocado, nuts, olive oil, spices

Quinoa packs protein, carbs, fiber. Healthy fats from toppings.

Gummy Bears + Tuna Salad

– Tuna salad made with Greek yogurt
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears
– Whole grain crackers

Tuna and Greek yogurt supply protein. Crackers provide complex carbs.

Gummy Bears + Smoothie

– Smoothie with milk, yogurt, banana, peanut butter
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears

Nutrients from smoothie ingredients aid recovery.

Putting it All Together — Gummy Bears Post-Workout Meal Plan

Based on the nutrition information provided, here is an example meal plan incorporating gummy bears into post-workout recovery snacks and meals:

Pre-Workout Snack
– 1 medium banana (25g carbs)
– 5-10 gummy bears (10-15g carbs)

Post-Workout Snack #1
– 1 scoop whey protein powder (25g protein)
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears (15g carbs)

Post-Workout Meal
– 3 oz grilled chicken breast (25g protein)
– 1 cup roasted Brussel sprouts (5g carbs, fiber)
– 1⁄2 cup cooked quinoa (15g carbs, 4g protein)
– 1 Tbsp olive oil (healthy fat)
– 1⁄4 cup gummy bears (15g carbs)

Post-Workout Snack #2
– 1 container 2% Greek yogurt (15g protein)
– 1⁄4 cup mixed berries (10g carbs)
– 10-15 gummy bears (15g carbs)

This supplies an adequate ratio of protein, carbs, and healthy fats over the meal timing appropriate for exercise recovery. The gummy bears provide simple carbohydrates to help replenish glycogen alongside nutritious whole foods.


Gummy bears can be included as part of a healthy diet and may provide some benefits when consumed after a workout. The simple carbohydrates help restore muscle glycogen while the gelatin offers a bit of amino acids.

However, gummy bears should be paired with more nutrient-dense real foods like protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to optimize the nutritional quality. Limit gummy bear portions to 1 serving or less.

Consuming too many gummy bears post-workout, or at any time of day, can cause GI upset and mostly provide empty calories. For the best recovery, aim for a balance of high quality proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, and micronutrients.

But enjoying a few gummy bears along with nutritious post-workout meals can be an effective way to satisfy a sweet craving while replenishing your body after exercise. The key is moderation.

Within the context of an overall healthy diet, a serving of gummy bears here and there fits into a sustainable nutrition plan that allows room for treating yourself.

Leave a Comment