Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Simple Carbs After Workout

OK OK, before any of you get all excited and jump out of your seat, take a deep breath, hold on a second, and let me explain. I have told you all before that complex carbs are the way to go, which they are, but there is actually a time that it is important to take in some simple carbs.

First, let me refresh your minds about complex and simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs, like veggies, whole grain pastas and breads, oatmeal, and brown rice, are good for you because they are digested slower, making you feel fuller longer and giving you more energy throughout the day. They reduce the effect of insulin, which initiates hunger and fat storage. Interestingly enough, about 30% of the calories from the complex carbs are burned during digestion! OK, now on to simple carbs. Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugar, are digested fairly quickly, bombarding the blood stream with sugar, therefore bringing your energy levels up and down very quick as well. Also, there are barely any calories burned during digestion.

So why in the world would I take in simple carbs!? Believe it or not, there is a time when taking in simple carbs is very important! When is that time? Right after your workout. It is important to take in about 60-100 grams of simple carbs right after the workout to kick-start recovery. Your blood-sugar levels will still remain rather low because the carbs will either be burned or stored as glycogen. Some simple carb ideas for this time include sports drinks (Gatorade) or white bread with honey.

*A little note though. You need to make sure you also take in 40-60 grams of protein (preferably whey protein) right after the workout as well because the carbs and protein work hand-in-hand in the recovery process.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Coach Josh


  1. Hey Josh,

    I’ve got a question on reading nutrition labels on food. Say for instance I have a FiberOne bar. The label says 29g carbs (9g fiber and 9g of sugar). Does this mean the 9g of sugar are simple carbs and the remaining grams are complex carbs?

    Thanks for the help!!

  2. Most labels are very deceiving, so it’s important to watch carefully. The complex carbs are probably only the 9g of fiber, and the remaining are more and likely simple carbs. Remember, it’s important to stay away from sugar and simple carbs as much as possible!

  3. Thomas /

    I’m trying to stay away from the simple carbs as much as possible, but i feel like i’m stuggling to get enough calories in everyday. Everything i’ve been eating is either fat free or low fat and has either good amounts of protein or complex carbs. so i am reaching my goal on the amount of protien and complex carbs everyday but i still feel that my calorie count is too low. Should i care about the amount of calories or no? I’m 18 years old and i’m really trying to gain some lean muscele mass.

  4. You need to pay attention to the amount of calories you take in. Make sure you aren’t taking in too little or too much. You need to have a caloric deficit at the end of the day if you’re looking to lose weight/get cut. However, if you’re strictly looking to build mass, then increase the cals.

  5. Whats the difference between sugar and sugar alcohol, is sugar alcohol any good for you or should you stay away from it.

  6. I’m pretty sure sugar alcohol contains the sweetness of sugar, but just without all the calories that regular sugar has. Sugar alcohol is better than sugar, but just don’t go overboard with it. There are many different opinions on whether or not sugar alcohol is good for you.

  7. thank you

  8. Caleb /

    Josh, would Rasin Bran be a good choice for complex carbs in the mornings or pre-workouts? I was led to believe it had complex carbs instead of simple. Just wondering your opinion. Thanks

  9. Raisin Bran is pretty high in sugar actually, but it does also have whole grain flakes. You need to take in simple carbs like a fruit right before and after your workouts.

  10. Hey Josh,

    I was thinking about working out at 11 in the mornings until about May 16th and then I will switch to about noon with a switch in schedule. My question is how long should you wait to eat after working out? I read somewhere mentioning you could take whey after drinking the recovery formula an hour later so would about an hour before eating be the right amount of time?


  11. You could eat at the same time you take the protein shake, which is what I normally do.

  12. David /

    What do you mean by “You need to have a caloric deficit at the end of the day if you’re looking to lose weight/get cut.”? I weigh 157 pounds, and according to my calculations from the nutrition guide, I have to take in 2,484 calories. So you’re saying that I need to take in less calories than 2,484 to “lose weight/get cut”?

  13. Josh /

    @David. That means that you have to burn more calories than you take in every day. Also, have you made me your coach? If not, you can do so by clicking on this link and I will be here to answer your questions:

  14. could tkae it before your workout or just after. if so the how much grams would u need?

  15. @Ryan. Use the Recovery Formula and you won’t have to monitor what you take in.

Leave a Reply