Carbohydrates are important to consume after a workout because they replenish your depleted muscle glycogen stores. Research shows the best way to replenish these stores is to consume high- glycemic or fast digesting carbs as soon as possible. By doing so, you aren't cheating your muscles from optimal recovery. Research shows that delaying carb consumption up to 2 hours can reduce the rate of replenishment by 66% !
Why gummy bears?
Gummy bears are made of dextrose which is pure glucose. Since it's already pure glucose, the body doesn't need to digest it and it can be absorbed into the bloodstream as quickly as possible. It will replenish muscle glycogen, pull water into your muscle cells to aid recovery and maximize your muscle size.
What about fruit?
Fruit and high fructose corn syrup for that matter, contain fructose- a sugar that is not immediately absorbed through the bloodstream. To digest fructose, the body directs it to the liver to be converted into glucose and then stored as glycogen. The liver will release the storage when it is necessary to maintain blood glucose levels. Ultimately, it's a round about process to do the same thing, but minimizes the efficacy of your ingested carb source.
What do I recommend?
Balance. Again, the body needs everything in moderate amounts. Do I personally eat gummy bears or pixie sticks after every workout? Absolutely not! But I make sure I have a mix of high glycemic and low glycemic carbohydrate sources to replenish my stores and aid recovery.
Other high-glycemic foods to try
- White Rice/Potatoes
- White Bread/Cakes/Muffins/Cookies etc.
- Rice Cakes
Now does it make a little more sense why doughnuts and deadlifts or chocolate milk are a fad in the fitness industry?