Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. They help fuel your organs and central nervous system. Additionally, they are one of the three macronutrients your body requires on a daily basis. The other two are proteins and fats.
There are three different types of carbs:
Starches, also known as complex carbohydrates, are found in foods such as corn and potatoes.
Sugars are known as simple carbohydrates. They are found in processed foods in the form of “added sugars” in sodas, syrups, and candies. They may also be found in natural foods such as honey, veggies, fruit, and milk.
Fiber is found in foods like nuts, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. It assists in the digestion process and keeps you satiated. Your body stores carbs in your liver and muscles and puts them to use when you’re in a deficiency. There are several negative side effects that can be triggered by a deficiency, including headaches and fatigue.
If you engage in weight training, supplementing with carbs can improve gains by sustaining energy and facilitating your recovery. When you use carbs before or during your workout, it keeps the glycogen that fuels your muscles immediately available and can replenish lost glycogen when used following your workout session.
Of course, it is very important to keep in mind that not all carb supplements are created equal. In this article, we’ll review what we feel are the top 5 best carb supplements on the market today. We’ll also explain the general benefits of carb supplementation, along with how we chose the ones for our list and what you need to keep in mind when choosing a carb supplement.
Benefits of Carbohydrate Supplementation
Many people believe that carbohydrates make you fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, research shows that there is no difference between low carb and high carb diets when caloric intake is the same. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. They are used to fuel organs, central nervous system, and muscle groups.
In the world of strength and conditioning, using a carbohydrate powder along with a protein powder can give you the boost you need when it comes to increasing muscle mass along with giving you the energy boost you need.
Since your body also requires glycogen for fuel, supplementing with carbohydrates can ensure that the glycogen is ready to replenish what is lost during physical exertion. In addition, your body is able to store carbs that can be released when you’re not getting what you need from your diet.
Beyond your fitness goals, if you find yourself in carbohydrate deficiency, you may experience side effects such as difficulty focusing or concentrating, headaches, and fatigue, along with other symptoms. This is another reason you might want to consider carbohydrate supplementation.
Top 5 Best Carb Powders
XWERKS Motion has a 2:1:1 ratio of the 3 BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. According to the website, Motion should be consumed during and after your workout. In addition, this carb powder provides electrolytes for hydration. It promises to give you a boost of energy. Motion is only available in 2 flavors and is a premium carb powder – but if you want a high-quality carb powder that you can use during or after your workout, this is going to be one of the best.
The two flavors are: Watermelon and Raspberry Lemonade. Each package contains 30 servings and costs $49. This means that each serving of XWERKS Motion is approximately $1.63…less than a bottle of Gatorade.
|Ingredients||Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium|
|Flavors||Grape, Raspberry Lemonade|
|Cost/Servings||$49 for 30 servings|
Transparent Labs Carb Powder
Transparent Labs Carb Powder contains 25 grams of clean complex carbs and no sugar. This carb powder can replenish glycogen stores in your muscles, boost the production of ATP, and enhance protein synthesis. It contains Cluster Dextrin as the carbohydrate, which is easily dissolved in water and its easy for your body to digest. Therefore, it can be taken before, during, or following your workout sessions. Simply combine one scoop with at least 12 ounces, but no more than 20 ounces of water. In addition to the 25 grams of carbs, Transparent Labs Carb Powder contains 100 calories.
This supplement is available in 3 flavor options: Unflavored, Tropical Punch, and Blue Raspberry. Each container offers 30 servings and costs $40. Therefore, this one falls somewhere in the middle- not too expensive but not cheap either.
|Ingredients||Complex carbohydrates/Cluster Dextrin|
|Flavors||Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch|
|Cost/Servings||$40 for 30 servings|
Jacked Factory Carb Surge
For anyone looking to improve their overall athletic performance- whether an amateur or professional- Carb Surge powder by Jacked Factory is one of the best. It contains both Cluster Dextrin and Carb10 which are very powerful components. This supplement contains both slow- and fast-absorbing carbs that go down easily and have very little effect on insulin production/secretion. It can be taken before, during, or after your workout to get you started, improve your performance, and help you recover.
Jacked Factory Carb Surge costs $34.99 for 30 servings. There are three flavor options: Peach Mango, Blue Raspberry, or Unflavored
|Ingredients||Carb10, Cluster Dextrin|
|Flavors||Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Peach Mango|
|Cost/Servings||$34.99 for 30 servings|
Steel Supplements Hyperade
Hyperade by Steel Supplements contains all 9 essential amino acids, electrolytes, and glutamine. It also contains a healthy amount of Cluster Dextrin. There are four flavor options: unflavored, Bohemian Bliss, Orange, and Lemon Lime. Each container offers 40 servings and is a bit on the more expensive end of the spectrum at $65.
|Ingredients||9 essential amino acids, electrolytes, Cluster Dextrin, glutamine|
|Flavors||Orange, Lemon Lime, Bohemian Bliss, and Unflavored|
|Cost/Servings||$65 for 40 servings|
Performance Lab Sport Carb is a supplement that absorbs quickly but replenishes energy consistently. This is among the best carb powders on the market today. It contains the following ingredients: KarboLyn, Coconut Water Powder, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, and Cinnamon. This carb powder is vegan friendly, non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free. This product costs $79 for a one-month supply, which is 1 tub. One tub contains 20 servings. Therefore, this is one of the most expensive options on the market.
|Ingredients||KarboLyn, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Coconut Water Powder, Cinnamon|
|Cost/Servings||$79 for 20 servings|
How We Selected the Top 5 Best Carb Powders
Just like with any other supplement on the market, there’s a wide variety of carbohydrate powders on the market today. When we were going through them to find what we felt were the best of the best, we considered several different factors:
- Carbs per serving
- Additional Ingredients
We’ll explain each one of these in detail below:
Carbs per serving
Due to the fact that we are talking about carb powders on this list, we figured that carbs per serving was a good feature to consider. We wanted to be sure the ones we chose offer a decent amount of carbs per serving. Based on the average 2,000 calorie diet, approximately 45 to 65% of those calories should be from carbohydrates. Therefore, you need 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day. The powders on our list can fill in the gaps in your diet to help you reach your goal.
We understand that when it comes to flavor, everyone has different preferences. Some want a flavored supplement, while others prefer something unflavored that they can add to their favorite protein shake or something else. Therefore, you will find a variety of options on our list so that everyone is satisfied.
Once again, everyone is different, so not everyone has the same budget. Also, it’s important to understand that price is not always directly related to results. We have offered a variety of price points on our list. Of course, you can be sure that the more expensive options on our list are worth it for the ingredients. However, we also tried to include some that are more budget-friendly for those who can’t afford to spend a lot but want to do something to stay in shape. Plus, if you’re looking for a carb supplement, chances are you’re taking other supplements as well, so you need to spread out the costs.
No one wants a supplement that is going to cause digestive issues. If that happens, you’ll probably regret your purchase and possibly even toss it out. Therefore, we took the time to choose carb powders that are easy to digest. Also, we made sure that the supplements contained ingredients such as cluster dextrin, which is easy for the body to digest and release into the bloodstream, so it gets to the muscles faster.
While it’s true that the supplements that contain additional vitamins and minerals may be more beneficial for your body, we also understand that more does not always mean better. We included a variety of products that contain carbs, protein, and some vitamins and minerals. So, whether you’re looking for a minimalist product or one with a large ingredient list, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
One thing we did avoid is products that contain ingredients that are harmful. We do have some that contain artificial ingredients and since some people prefer to avoid these, we’ve made sure to make it clear when those are present.
How Much Do Carbohydrate Powders Typically Cost?
On average, carbohydrate powders cost $15 to $80 per tub. However, what you really want to focus on is the cost per serving, which can range from $0.45 to $4. Also, as we mentioned, just because something has a high price tag does not mean that it will give you the best results and just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it won’t work. You must determine what your personal goals are and determine which ingredients can help you meet those goals before deciding which one to choose.
Things to Think About Before Buying a Carb Powder
If you are interested in using carb powder, start with one from our list. If it doesn’t work, try another one. You can experiment until you find one that works for you. Here is what you need to think about before you purchase a carb powder:
- Personal needs
- Personal budget
When you are choosing a carb powder, or any other supplement, it’s important to take the time to determine if you are in a carbohydrate deficit. If you’re not getting enough carbs in your diet, you will likely struggle to concentrate, and you may even have headaches.
If this is the case, you may want to consider one of the options we’ve listed here that provides the most carbs per serving or consume sweet potatoes or other whole foods for additional carbs along with the carb powder.
If you’re using a carb powder to meet fitness goals, you’ll want to make sure you consider the carbs you’re getting from the rest of your diet to make sure that you choose a supplement that can help you meet your overall goals, whether you take it prior to your workout, during your workout, or following your workout.
The next thing you’ll want to think about is budget. This is typically a fairly big deal for most people. The higher priced carb powders are typically made from clean, whole foods or have large ingredient lists. The cheaper options typically have less ingredients, but this does not mean that they are not as effective. Think about how much you’re willing to spend on a carb powder. No matter what your budget, you’re sure to find one that will meet your needs.
Let’s be honest- no one wants a carb powder that tastes terrible. Most people prefer a smooth texture with a decent flavor. If you don’t have a particular flavor preference, you might want to consider an unflavored product that can be added to a smoothie or protein shake.
Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient. Your body requires them on a daily basis to provide you with energy. Carbohydrate powders are a great option if you’re in a carb deficit or you want to replenish the carbs that you burn off during your workout. No matter what situation describes you, you won’t regret increasing your carb consumption and you may actually reach the fitness goals that you set for yourself.
We’ve provided reviews of what we feel are the top 5 best carb powders on the market today. These powders are beneficial for everyone, whether you’re an expert athlete or a beginner. If you’re looking to increase your carb consumption, you can be sure that these powders will help. Before you start shopping, make sure to think about your goals, your budget, and your flavor preferences. Once you’ve determined the answers to those things, you’ll be able to find the perfect supplement for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Carb Powders
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about carb powders.
How do carb supplements help?
A carb supplement gives you more energy so that you can increase the length of your workouts, replace glycogen that is lost during your workouts, and can even fill in the gaps if you are in a carbohydrate deficit.
Don’t carbs cause weight gain?
Absolutely not. No matter what you read or what you’ve heard, carbs alone will not cause weight gain. Weight gain is the result of a caloric surplus. Due to the fact that carbs are actually the primary source of energy, they may actually help you lose weight because you have more energy to exercise longer.
Does the type of carb powder matter?
In a way, yes because it matters how your body reacts to it. That being said, cluster dextrin is believed to be one of the best options if you’re worried about digestion or need a carb powder that will process through your body quicker.
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