Complex carbs and protein rescue broken-down, depleted muscles after a workout. Carbs spike insulin, which drives crucial micro and macronutrients (protein) into your muscles. At the same time, carbs replenish muscle and liver glycogen, and fuel all of the natural healing processes that amount to muscle growth. Here are five complex carb options worth eating after your next workout sessions.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are the rustic, more wholesome cousin to white potatoes. Although they taste sweet, sweet potatoes are extremely fibrous and loaded with a winning mixture of simple and complex carbs. This combination supplies both immediate and gradual energy, fueling you for hours worth of recovery after your workout. (Yams, squash and pumpkin fit the bill as well).


Similar to sweet potato, corn boasts a healthy mixture of simple and complex carbs. Corn is starch heaven, supplying tons of complex starches that encourage nutrient uptake while satisfying your post-workout hunger. Waxy maize, a popular post-workout supplement among serious lifters, derives from corn. Along with squash, corn also makes a perfect universal side dish.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is whole grain, a double-duty complex carb you can enjoy before or after your workout. This complex starch is loaded with fiber, vitamins and a bit of protein, roughly 5 grams per cooked cupful. Brown rice’s neutral, slightly nutty taste lets you flavor it as desired. Enjoy it cold, warm, hot, solo or tossed with veggies and healthy sources of fat.


Oats are a classic stallion food selection and arguably the most universally respected of all post-workout complex starches. Oats and oat flour deliver a nearly full array of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and slow-digest carbs. The easiest way to consume post-workout oatmeal is in your protein shake. Use your blender to transform oats into a fine meal. Add the meal by the scoopful to your post-workout protein shake.

Whole Grain Bread/Pasta

Sometimes mere liquids and veggies fail to feed your large post-workout appetite. Whole grain breads and pastas include whole wheat or exotic grains like spelt and barley. Like brown rice, these fibrous, starchy whole grains are packed with nutrients and slow-digest carbs: Perfect for post-workout.

Meal Prep Options

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