Workouts! Every gymgoer seems to be always wanting to know more and more about a proper fitness regime so as to keep himself acutely up to date. And yet, every time something or the other, completely out of the blue, will come up and he’d be like, oh man, how come I never knew about this!

One such thing, which not a lot of people are aware about, is the importance of “carbs after workout”. It won’t be wrong to say that your post workout meal is probably the most important one in your entire day – for maintaining a fit body, citing which, getting it right becomes all the more important. But it doesn’t mean that you can ignore other meals because of this. Each and every part of your diet should be optimized, based on the needs of your body.

Workout results in burning out of the muscle glycogen, a storage form of glucose, which then needs to be replenished. Exercising causes the breakage of tissues at the microlevel, which is very much necessary because the new tissues that will form, will adjust themselves to give you a stronger, leaner and muscular body.

This whole process can only be fuelled by the intake of some of the best carbs after workout. And to truly maximize the gains here, consuming fast digesting carbs post workout coupled with proteins, should be your best bet.

Following are some of the best carbs that can be taken post workout,

1) Chocolate Milk

One glass of low-fat chocolate milk is said to contain 160 calories. Also, chocolate milk has low content of saturated fat and cholesterol and is rich in several B-complex vitamins and minerals.

Apart from all this, probably the most important take-away of chocolate milk is that it contains an ideal amount of carbohydrates to protein ratio, which is needed for refuelling and repairing of the tissues damaged during workout.

When mixed with whey protein powder, not only the carb content shoots up to 36g a cup, even the calories content more than doubles to 340.

2) White Rice


Next up on the list is plain white long grain rice, which is another option to suffice the much-needed intake of post workout carbs. With a glycaemic index of 64, the highest among all sorts of grains, white rice can come really handy for replenishing the lost glycogen during your workout.

Pair it with chicken, fish or vegetables for a great carb-protein combo.

3) Dextrose Monohydrate

Dextrose Monohydrate has often been adjudged as arguably one of the best post workout carbs. And let me tell you, it’s not a supplement but just a type of sugar and yes, we’re telling you to have sugar but only after working out, and there are reasons to support this,

  • Having a very high glycaemic index ranking at 100, dextrose has the capacity to raise the lost levels of glycogen quickly.
  • The purity of dextrose is close to 99.5%.
  • Dextrose consists of 3.4 kcal/gram which is sufficient for the calories you’re supposed to have post workout.
  • In comparison to common sugar, dextrose is capable of supplying rapid energy, thereby boosting the overall energy levels of the body.
  • This consistent level of energy then helps in reducing the fatigue instantly.
  • Also works very fast in repairing the damaged tissues.
  • Just to show how good Dextrose Monohydrate actually is, it has several applications and is used in drinks, confectionary, meats and cereal products as well.

I would recommend MFF Dextrose Monohydrate as it is a high quality 100% pure carbohydrate made from corn starch and forms the best combo when taken with a protein shake thus helping in protein synthesis apart from all the traditional benefits that are associated with carbs.

4) Sweet Potatoes

With a carb content of 35g and 210 calories, sweet potatoes are another great source to recover the glycogen levels. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes are complex carbs and hence considered better. Mash these up and pair them with chicken or a salmon and you’ll have yourself a great post workout meal.

5) Dried Fruits and Nuts

These are something, for which, you don’t have to dedicate specific time to eat. Just put some in your bag or your pockets and as soon as you’re done with your workout, take some in.

With 27g of carbs and 300 calories, per half a cup of serving, these will be one of the handiest of your post workout diets. And did we forget to say that they are rich in protein content as well!!

6) Oatmeal


Even oats are loaded with carbs and given the fact that these contain approx. 10 gms of protein per half serving of a cup as well, you don’t have to pair it with any other food for that perfect carb-protein combo. Oatmeal in itself is capable of sufficing your needs for both the essential nutrients.

7) Whole Wheat Foods

Be it a whole wheat bread or a whole wheat pasta, the carb content of this food ranges between 50g to 75g making it a very appropriate post workout ingredient. Apart from that, the calorie content, which is 333, also adds up to the ideal meal requirement.

8) Low Fat Yogurt and Bananas

Both of the above two are excellent carb sources. Where the yogurt comprises 11g of carb on an average, based on serving, a 100gm worth of bananas contain 23g of carb content, making both of these good enough servings to satiate the carb intake post workout.

Some final words of wisdom,

It’s normally said that carbs should be taken as soon as possible post workout. But that doesn’t mean you need to just put down your dumbbells and start drinking. The ideal time is within an hour after your workout while the perfect time is within half an hour.

The amount of the carb intake will depend according to the per pound weight of your body, but on an average, it should lie somewhere in the range of 0.25-0.4 grams per pound. For e.g., a person with a body weight of 180lbs should look at an approximate intake of 45gms – 75 gms.

Try mixing your post workout carbs with a protein shake; and not we, but you’ll be able to make out the difference.

Anand Vatsya

The author Anand Vatsya

An engineer turned writer, I count reading, human psychology and maintaining a proper fitness regime as my areas of interest, apart from writing of course. Exercising not just helps me in staying fit but it also facilitates the regulation of my mental prowess, and makes me feel absolutely stunning about myself. Because I believe that until you feel good about yourself, both mentally and physically, you cannot pursue anything. And luckily for me, my fitness regime alone suffices both of my needs.
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