Carbohydrates are one of the basic food, and required for healthy lifestyle. Carbs include starches, sugars, and fibers. Most people think of carbohydrates means bread products and rice, but carbohydrates actually includes many food groups such as fruits, vegetables, and some milk products.
Carbs are important to your overall health, and especially to your brain. Your brain operates solely on glucose derived from carbohydrates, taking 20% of your daily caloric intake to provide itself with energy.
Benefits of Carbohydrates
Different types of carbohydrate supplements provide different benefits. These benefits are specific to the different types of supplements, but a general list of benefits includes:
- Better absorption of essential nutrients
- Glycogen replenishment
- Improved energy levels
- Optimized gains for athletes
Best Carbohydrate Supplements of 2021– Top 10 Brands Picked
OUR TOP PICK
This carb supplement is geared at enhancing your performance and recovery.
Marketed as ‘all thriller, no filler’ this product is 100% complex carbohydrates. It has no additives, no artificial flavorings, no artificial coloring, low sodium, and zero fat so what you get out of it is purely carb content.
This product works by helping your muscles produce more glycogen. This allows you to work out longer and harder because your muscles have more energy to use. According to the manufacturer, this carbohydrate supplement keeps your glycogen levels at peak rate so you can work your hardest.
Cytosport also claims that this powder can help kickstart your recovery after a workout. The product is anti-catabolic which means that it prevents muscle breakdown after a workout. This means your rest times between workouts don’t need to be quite so long.
The recommended serving size is four scoops which means that you get 16 servings per tub. With 52g of carbohydrates per serving, you can tailor your serving size to suit your macronutrient needs.
Customers love the fact that it is a tasteless product. You don’t get that horrible chalky aftertaste as you do with cheap, poor quality products.
Another loved aspect is that the powder mixes smoothly without clumping. This can’t be said for a lot of the carbohydrate supplements out there.
- Encourages glycogen production.
- Kick starts recovery.
- Mixes smoothly.
- Pure maltodextrin.
- Only 16 servings per tub.
- Carb for carb it is less effective than other products according to customers.
Genius Carb is specifically aimed at endurance athletes. It doesn’t use maltodextrin like other carbohydrate supplements because it wants to avoid peaks and troughs in your glucose levels.
Instead, this carbohydrate supplement is made from pea starch and claims to offer an insulin response that is 82% lower than powders made from maltodextrin. By keeping glucose levels stable, this product can prevent the brain fog, tiredness, and cravings that are associated with snacks and powders high in glucose.
Perfect for long-distance runners, cyclists, swimmers, and hikers, this product is designed to keep you performing at optimal levels for a longer period.
You can also use Genius Carb in conjunction with their protein supplement as a way to build mass. Both products are free from calorific fillers so what you ingest is pure carbohydrate and protein. Mass will come through your muscles rather than fat.
Customers are adamant that you can actually feel a difference in your performance and energy levels. Some take the product on its own while others combine it with other Genius products. In both cases, customers are blown away by the improvement.
- Reduces insulin spikes.
- Promotes balanced glucose levels.
- Customers notice significant improvements.
- Pure carbohydrate, no filler.
- 30 servings per tub.
- Needs to be used in conjunction with other products to promote good recovery.
- SUPERIOR LOW-GLYCEMIC ENERGY SOURCE – Carb-loaders & endurance athletes have come to accept the effects of maltodextrin and fast digesting sugar (glucose) but Genius Carb offers an 82% lower insulin...
- GREAT FOR BIKING, HIKING, RUNNING OR ENDURANCE SPORTS – Avoid the peaks, valleys and unnatural spikes in blood-sugar that maltodextrin causes and instead fuel optimal, non-crash performance with...
- HEALTHY WEIGHT GAINER (STACK TIPS) – Looking to add serious mass? Do it the right way, avoid the filler-based mass gainer supplements and combine our smart carb source with genius creatine & protein...
This product is specially designed to aid your recovery, post-workout. It works by replacing muscle glycogen lost during the workout.
To replace the glycogen, this product contains dextrose which is a fast-absorbing, high-glucose carb. Essentially dextrose is a simple sugar that is chemically identical to glucose.
Dextrose is often used in sweeteners and as an IV fluid used to quickly raise blood sugar. Post JYM products act in a similar way to IV fluids, they quickly raise your blood sugar levels so that your muscles can begin the recovery process.
Post JYM Fast-Digesting Carb comes in 6 different flavors and should be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout. Customers are happy with the flavors, but you should note that the product contains artificial flavorings. If you want an all-natural product then you should probably shop around.
There are 30 servings in each tub so you’ll need to replace it every month or so. Some users recommend taking only half the recommended serving size to limit calorie intake. If you do reduce the serving size you will get more use out of the product. Be warned that the product needs to be used within 6 months so it’s not something you want to keep.
- Promotes quick recovery.
- Increases glycogen production.
- 6 flavors.
- Blends well.
- Higher sugar count than other brands.
- Contains artificial flavors.
- MORE MUSCLE - Replenishing muscle glycogen stores as quickly and fully as possible after an intense workout is paramount to maximizing muscle recovery and thus muscle growth and strength. This is the...
- GREAT TASTE - No other post-workout supplements surpass the delicious of taste Pro JYM. Post-workout is the one time when having a sugary drink will actually benefit your body and not be stored as...
- FASTER REPLENISHMENT - Research shows that the best way to replenish muscle glycogen stores after workouts is to consume high-glycemic carbs immediately following the workout. Dextrose is the quickest...
Made from complex carbs, this product promotes slow digestion and has a low glycemic index. This means that you won’t have the big highs and lows you get with some products.
You should be able to work out for longer periods of time due to the slow but consistent release of energy. According to the manufacturer, this product will help you hit your peak performance by giving your muscles the energy they need.
It is also advertised as a mass builder, however as it contains no protein this claim is refutable. The wording of the mass gain claim says that it can help when added to your existing supplement regime so on it’s own it is not going to help you gain.
One of the big selling points of this product is high-quality ingredients. According to Nutra-Bio, this product uses only the ‘best’ ingredients and is GMO-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, lactose-free, and soy-free. It is also kosher and suitable for vegetarians.
Most customers are really pleased with the way the product boosts their workout prowess. They notice a distinct energy boost that allows them to train longer for harder.
The only real complaint about this product seems to be the fact that it can be a bit lumpy when mixed.
- Contains complex carbohydrates.
- Promotes stable glucose levels.
- Uses high-quality ingredients.
- Free from most allergens.
- Claims to encourage mass gains but only does so in conjunction with other products.
- Can be lumpy when mixed.
- COMPLEX CARBS – NutraBio Labs Carbo Max uses long-chain polymetric fraction maltodextrin. This is a high grade carb source that is over 62% long chain polysaccharides. That means slow digestion and...
- MASS GAINER – Add CarboMax to your supplement regimen to help with weight gain. CarboMax is lactose and dairy free.
- PEAK PERFORMANCE – Carbohydrates are the fuel necessary for your body to generate ATP. Serious athletes can supplement their diet with additional carbs to ensure peak performance.
As the name suggests, this product is designed to produce energy and promote gains. It contains maltodextrin from non-GMO corn which encourages glycogen production.
Maltodextrin is a complex carb that releases energy slowly but efficiently over time. This powder should help you push your work out further by allowing you to work harder for longer. It replaces the glycogens that are lost as your muscles work.
One of the best things about this product is that the nutrient and ingredient content is available on the listing. It is not only helpful for checking whether this product meets your macronutrient needs, but it suggests that the product isn’t hiding anything.
With zero fat and 62g of carbohydrates per serving, this is definitely a pure product. It is not bulked out with fillers which is always appreciated.
In terms of gains, customers report gains of as much as 30lbs in a month! The average seems to be around 10lbs a month which is still excellent. You still need to keep a balanced diet and work hard to get the gains but this product seems to be very helpful as a gain aid.
- Contains complex carbs for gradual energy release.
- Promotes the production of glycogens.
- Upfront and clear about ingredients.
- Promotes and aids mass gain.
- Doesn’t blend well.
- More expensive than other options.
- Same trusted quality with a brand new look! Packaging may vary
- ENERGY PRODUCTION: Carbo Gain is pure maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate derived from non-GMO corn.
- PURE MALTODEXTRIN: Maltodextrin is comprised of "glucose polymers," which are chains of glucose molecules that are easy for the body to digest and assimilate.
Available in 23 different flavors and 3 different sizes, this carbohydrate supplement is designed to give athletes the energy and boost they need to be better than competitors.
The idea behind this product is to give athletes a way to carb load before events without suffering the carb crash that happens when they ingest food heavy in simple sugars.
The carbohydrates in the supplement come from potatoes, corn, and rice and are complex carbs that will release fuel slowly. This will give you the ability to train or compete for longer and perform at your peak without depleting your energy.
Karbolyn fuel can be taken before, during, or after exercise. When taken before and during, the product promotes the production of glycogens which is used as fuel by your muscles. When taken after training, these glycogens are used to kick start your recovery.
The flavors seem to be hit and miss. Some find them too strong, others love them. I suppose it depends on your tolerance for sweet tastes. The powder mixes well with water and other shakes.
Customers find that they no longer need to have big meals before training which helps them feel less bloated. The only real customer complaint is the cost. This is much more expensive than similar powders!
- Can be taken before, during, and post-workout.
- Available in a range of flavors and sizes.
- Promotes the production of glycogens.
- Reduces insulin crashes.
- Can help to reduce the need for big meals before workouts.
- Expensive in comparison to similar products.
- Flavors can be a bit strong.
- Fast-acting, long-lasting, high-performance fuel
- Pre-workout: quickly 'carb-load' in minutes not hours
- Post-workout: replenish muscle glycogen for faster recovery
This supplement is very clear about the fact that it avoids the use of maltodextrin. Instead, it uses complex carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, yams, and oats. It is marketing itself as a natural product.
The big selling point of this supplement is that it claims to be able to avoid the energy crash you get with some maltodextrin products and products that use simple carbohydrates. The choice of carbohydrate sources suggests that this product will keep you going without the carb crash.
Another difference between this product and it’s competitors is the claim that this product is clinically dosed. According to the manufacturer, most other carb supplements under-dose their products by using a proprietary blend.
Clean carbs claim to use doses backed by scientific research to correctly and clinically dose their product. Where that study can be found is murky though.
One thing that comes up a lot in reviews is the presence of whole oats in the powder. For some, this makes the texture too lumpy and gritty. If you are adding it to an oat bowl or similar then you won’t really notice it. If, however, you plan on just drinking it down you should be prepared for the whole oats!
- Clean, natural complex carbs.
- Uses clinically researched doses.
- Encourages the slow and stable release of energy.
- Very expensive.
- Contains whole oats which make the texture lumpy.
- SUSTAINED ENERGY - Clean Carbs is made with 100% natural whole-foods from pure complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, yams, and oats, provide long-lasting sustained...
- FASTER RECOVERY - Research indicates, that your body rapidly burns through glycogen stores during high-intensity and endurance training. Replacing glycogen stores after strenuous exercise and training...
According to Vitagro, their product is the ‘fastest fuel for intense workouts’ and is used by athletes, Olympians, and celebrities. You need to be a celebrity to afford it as it is one of the most expensive supplements on our list.
Another claim made by the manufacturer is that their product is the only peer-reviewed product available on the market. This is not the only product we have come across that claims to be backed by scientific evidence and they are equally vague about where this research can be found. I recommend doing your research before buying into such claims.
The product can be used before, during, and after workouts to promote glycogen production. Vitagro’s product is made from Fractionated Barley Amylopectin which essentially means the carbohydrates come from barley or starch.
The manufacturers claim that the product releases energy 23% faster than other sports drinks and keeps their users going for longer. Customers certainly seem to agree. There are a slew of happy users who report that their energy and endurance levels are much better when they use this supplement.
The flavored versions and the neutral flavor seem to be more than palatable. The biggest complaint is that mixing it in can be a bit of a pain. The supplement seems to have a grainy structure which can make it difficult to mix fully.
- Does not use simple carbohydrates.
- Promotes the production of glycogens.
- Can be used before, during, and after workouts.
- Boosts energy and stamina.
- Has a grainy texture.
- THE FASTEST FUEL FOR INTENSE WORKOUTS Vitargo is a trade secret and favorite among professional athletes, Olympians, and celebrities. We are the world's only peer reviewed and scientifically...
- EXPLOSIVE ENERGY & QUICK MUSCLE RECOVERY Carb load with Vitargo to break through your plateaus and massively increase gains. Best used as a pre workout drink, Intra workout supplement and post workout...
- READ BEFORE YOU BUY Don’t be fooled by imitators. Our carbohydrate supplement has been clinically tested and proven in athletes to provide results that crush our competition. Vitargo is the only...