What Are Good Carbs For Body Building?

If your fitness goal is to build muscle mass or get stronger, going to the gym and doing the appropriate workouts is only half of the job.

What Are Good Carbs For Body Building?

Without the appropriate diet and nutrition, results are hard to come by. 

The foods you eat will provide you with muscle recovery and energy, so you can perform to the best of your abilities at the gym! 

While protein is the popular nutrient that is known for muscle growth, it is not the only important one. Carbohydrates are also very important when it comes to building muscle. 

However, ensuring that you are eating the healthy kind of carbs is crucial, and unfortunately, not many people are aware of what carbs are good, and what carbs are bad. 

This article is going to be discussing what are the best carbs for your body-building journey and why! 

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

When deciphering what carbs are good and bad, we can think of them in two categories; simple and complex. 

Simple carbohydrates are broken down and digested much easier, and provide the body with a quicker source of energy.

Not all simple carbs are bad for you, but many of them are processed, lacking in essential nutrients, especially fiber. 

When you eat simple carbs, they may provide you with a short boost of energy, but that is then followed by a serious crash.

This happens because insulin is then released to regulate the amount of sugar or glucose in the body. 

The insulin will send this sugar out from your bloodstream into the liver and muscles, storing it as body fat. The result is low blood sugar and low energy. 

Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and digest, and they are very high in starch, fiber, and other essential nutrients.

These carbs will give your body a consistent glucose release, rather than a spike, and as they are rich in fiber, they will keep you full of energy and satisfied throughout the day. 


Most fruits are made of a simple structure and can be digested very quickly. Bananas, on the other hand, have a complex structure of water, fat, protein, and fiber. They also have starch and sugar. 

They are very rich in potassium and other essential vitamins needed for all-around good health, and potassium is a great nutrient for muscle recovery, making this a very important fruit for those who are looking to build muscle. 

One medium banana contains 3 grams of fiber, 14 grams of natural sugars, and 27 grams of carbs. They are a very easy food to incorporate into your day.

You can have a few bananas an hour before your workout, and they’ll give you a good amount of energy.

You can also add one to your protein shake or protein smoothie after your workout in order to replenish your glycogen stores. 

Sweet Potatoes

What Are Good Carbs For Body Building?

While regular potatoes are great, they have a relatively high glycemic index (GI), meaning our bodies digest them quickly, which can lead to the spike in sugar levels we want to avoid.

Sweet potatoes, however, are the complex version of regular potatoes and have natural sugars and are filled with dietary fiber and vitamin B6. 

They are perfect for your pre-workout meals, even if you work out in the morning and need some breakfast.

They can be made into a breakfast hash, or you can bake them as your side for your lunchtime meal. 

Brown Rice

Although both brown and white rice have similar carb counts, white rice is heavily processed, stripping it of its nutrients, making it a simple carb that will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. 

Brown rice, on the other hand, is known as a complex carb that is filled with fiber and other nutrients.

This makeup means it gives you that slow release of insulin, keeping you full and energized for longer. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to brown rice. You can use it as a carb-side to some protein and veggies, or you can whip up a stir-fry.

It is best to eat this carb during the daytime, as our bodies are better metabolized for eating it at this time, so it is the perfect lunchtime option. 


Legumes are any peas, beans, and lentils, and you’re bound to already have some lying in your pantry! 

They are bursting with both carbohydrates and proteins, both essential nutrients when it comes to building muscle. 

They are also complex, meaning they are rich in fiber, and other nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. 

They are very easy to put together in your meals, just like rice! You can add some crunchy seasoned chickpeas to your salad at lunchtime, make a lentil soup, or add edamame beans to your stir-fry!


Quinoa is one of the few plant-based complex carbs that is a complete protein! This means it carries all the essential amino acids that your body needs in order to recover from exercise. 

It also contains magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. Basically, you can’t go wrong with quinoa, and it is completely vegan too! 

Just like the other options on this list, quinoa is very easy to incorporate into your meals.

You can add it to your salads, or use it as a replacement for rice along with some protein and veggies.

It’ll take on the taste of anything you add to it, so you can have all kinds of fun experimenting with it! 

Final Thoughts 

Carbohydrates are just as important as protein when it comes to bodybuilding.

Ensuring that you eat the right kind of carbs will mean that you will have consistent energy throughout your workouts, and also throughout your day. 

Being wary of simple and complex carbs is the first step in the right direction, as complex carbs contain all the essential nutrients your body needs in order to thrive. 

We hope this article has provided you with a good insight into what carbs are best when it comes to bodybuilding. 

Jenna Priestly