You’ve seen it before, marathon runners chowing down on gummie bears before the final stretch, or athletes getting a sugary boost before a big play. When you’re eating clean, it’s ok to indulge on junk food carbs, but only if it’s done right. The philosophy of the sports nutrition world has been to go with low GI carb foods like oatmeal, whole-grain bread, or quinoa. The reason: low GI carbs keep your body in check—regulating blood sugar levels. Yet, that’s about to change with fast-digesting carbs—junk food carbs—can provide that beneficial lifting impact.

For starters, insulin holds the key to unlocking lifting benefits like an improved overall performance and pump. Insulin gets produced and released by the pancreas. From there, it enters the bloodstream and then hits your muscle tissues. Your muscle fibers are lined with insulin receptors, and once insulin docks on to a receptor, muscle cells start to uptake glucose and other nutrients—triggering a biochemical reaction to help start muscle protein synthesis. So, your goal is to keep insulin levels high when training. Tossing back a few candies when walking into the gym will up your insulin levels—ultimately enhancing your overall workout experience.


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About 15 to 30 minutes before your training session, throw back a few gummie bears or sugary pieces of candy. Your muscles need fuel; an average lifter will go through 50 grams of carbs in a workout. If glycogen levels aren’t topped-off going into a workout, performance will suffer and fatigue will set in.


bodybuilder flexing arm

Unknown to many, insulin can actually provide a pump during an intense workout. To get a slight insulin spike, throw back a few pieces of sugary candy. Those fast-digesting sugars will get absorbed into the blood stream right away—triggering a rise in insulin. When insulin enters the blood stream, it starts to widen your blood vessels. This creates a better blood flow—producing a pump and more nutrients to be hitting your hard-training muscles. Fun fact: bodybuilders will eat candy on a competition day to get that pump and to be more vascular.


man resting on bench at gym

After a rigorous workout session, your muscles need to be refueled not only with protein but also carbs. The most optimal carb choice post-workout are simple carbs—candy. Since candy is a fast-digesting carb, it will drive an insulin spike—replenishing your glycogen stores while providing the necessary nutrients from your choice of protein.