Simple v. Complex Carbohydrates After your Workouts

simple v complex carbohydrates after your workout 



After working out, it is vital to consume protein and carbs to rebuild your muscles and help them grow as mentioned in our blog, What to Eat After your Workout and Why. BUT did you know there are different types of carbohydrates, and you should be consuming them at different times?


Don’t worry, we will explain them to help you get the most out of your nutrition and workouts.


Simple Carbohydrates

  1. What are they?

Simple carbs are SUGAR that are quickly digested and low in fiber and nutrients (except for fresh fruit)

  1. When should we eat them?

To help build your muscles, it is important to eat these in the morning and before and after your workout. Try to refrain from eating them regularly throughout the day (except for fruit and milk) due to the high sugar levels that will spike your blood pressure.

  1. Why do we eat them?

We eat them in the morning because we are coming off a fast and we need a quick form of energy to start the day. We eat them before we workout to give us energy to last through an intense training session and we eat them after we workout because it helps our muscles recover and grow – an anabolic state.

  1. Examples of Simple Carbs

Baked goods, dried fruit, fresh fruit, white rice, white bread, white potatoes, sugary drinks



Complex Carbohydrates

  1. What are they?

Complex carbs are longer chains of sugar that take more time to break down allowing a slower release of energy.

  1. When should we eat them?

They should be consumed with every meal, but most importantly one to two hours after a workout.

  1. Why do we eat them?

They are high in fiber which helps us stay fuller longer and they are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a healthy diet. They are also proven to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels.

  1. Examples

Whole grains, beans, legumes, quinoa, starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oatmeal


Takeaway: It is important to limit your intake of simple carbohydrates except for pre- and post-workout fuel, but rather incorporate nutritional complex carbohydrates in your everyday diet.

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