Is Sour Candy Actually An Efficient Pre-Workout?

If you've been looking to take your gym game to the next level, you may have started doing research into "pre-workout" — the mythical food group that has emerged to provide the boost of energy you need to keep up your workout routine. While Forbes' list of favorites details a series of hardcore powders and drink mixes, some are choosing to get a bit more creative.


Abandoning the typical pre-workout that comes in drink, powder, or pill forms, the fitness side of social media has recently begun advocating for sour candy as the energy boost of choice. In a TikTok video tagged as a #GymHack, one user shouted out her personal favorite: blue raspberry sour strips.

Another TikTok creator, after pouring pre-workout powder over sour candy straws, asked her followers, "What candy should I try next?!" The real question, though, is what you should be trying next. Is there any truth behind the sour candy hype? Here's what you need to know.

Sour candy might work, but it isn't a must

The first step to evaluating sour candy's effectiveness as a pre-workout is understanding what pre-workout is supposed to do. Those who take pre-workout are looking for a boost of energy, delivered to their body fast. WebMD notes that this means many popular pre-workouts contain caffeine, but that's not your only option.


Sugar is also a simple carbohydrate that's easy to digest and transform into energy. Who says a sugar rush can't be used to power your workout? According to Shape, the sour strips so favored by TikTok users contain less than a gram of fat, but over 20 grams of sugar. 

An expert for the outlet noted, however, that the sour aspect of some candies doesn't appear to be a necessity. "Any simple carbohydrate is going to provide energy pre-workout," said Jessica Cording, R.D. "There's no additional benefit to the sour part." That means you don't need to be choking down sour pre-workout powder, and some TikTok users have been known to. 

What to look for in a pre-workout

Clearly, if sour candy is your thing, you've got the greenlight. However, the lessons learned from this particular TikTok trend can also help you to choose the perfect pre-workout for your personal taste buds. There's no need to work out on an empty stomach just because you're sensitive to sour. 


A fitness trainer on TikTok shared her excitement about the fact that gym-goers were learning to tap into quick carbohydrates. "A ton of clients that I have worked with in the past ... come into a workout and they're like, 'Oh, I just threw back a protein bar!'" she shared. "That is not what is going to give you the energy that you need."

Indeed, while protein can be valuable post-workout to repair and grow muscles, it's not an easily digestible source of energy. As Healthline reports, workouts tap into your glycogen stores ... an energy source that is replenished through the digestion of simple carbs. For meals close to your workout, simple, high-carb foods (like fruit or sugar) are your best bet. If this odd trend has taught us anything, it's a nice reminder that carbs are not the enemy!