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20 Best Carbs For Runners (2022 Updated)

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (along with protein and fat) and are the body’s primary source of energy. During exercise, carbs are broken down into glucose and used by the muscles for fuel.

For runners, carbs are an important part of their diet as they help to maintain energy levels and performance.

There are two types of carbs – simple and complex. Simple carbs are made up of single sugar molecules and are found in foods like candy, cookies, and cake. Complex carbs are made up of multiple sugar molecules and are found in foods like grains, pasta, and rice.

Both simple and complex carbs are important for runners, but complex carbs are particularly important as they provide a slow and steady release of energy. This is important for runners as it helps to avoid the energy crashes that can occur when simple carbs are used for fuel.

Complex carbs can be found in a variety of foods, including:

-Whole grains: bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats

-Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas

-Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, oranges

-Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas

Runners should aim to include complex carbs at every meal and snack, especially on days when they are training. By including complex carbs in their diet, runners can help to ensure that they have the energy they need to perform at their best.

20 Best Carbs For Runners

Product Image Product Name Features Price

NutraBio – Super Carb Raspberry Lemonade

  • Raspberry Lemonade

Gu Energy Gel, Tri-Berry – 24 pack

  • Tri-Berry

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel, Apple Pear – 21 pack, 1.3 oz pouches

  • Easy to take down and a smooth mouth feel
  • Recommended to be consumed shortly before and/or during endurance activity and consumed with water

Evogen GlycoJect Extreme Karbolyn Carbohydrate Powder Wild Berry

  • GlycoJect is a perfect rehydration, reloading complex that will ensure maximum replenishment
  • Fast Absorbing: absorbs up to 80% faster than dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize or other fast-absorbing carbohydrate sources

Science in Sport Energy Caffeine Gels, 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates, Endurance Sport Energy Gels with 75mg of Caffeine, New Orange Flavor – 2 oz – 6

  • OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE | Each Gel contains 22 grams of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates to help restore glycogen levels to optimze endurance and energy

Science in Sport Isotonic Energy Gels 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates Performance & Endurance Sport Nutrition for Athletes Energy Gels for Running C

  • 2 Fl Oz (Pack Of 20)

GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

  • Single Packet

Gu Energy Gel

  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet

GU Tri Berry Energy Gel – 24 Pack

  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet

Universal Nutrition Carb Max – 30 Servings Unflavored

  • Unflavored

GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

  • Single Packet

Jelly Belly Lemon Lime Sport Beans 24 Count 1 oz

  • Lemon Lime

GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, Lemonade – 24 count, 27.1 oz box

  • Roctane’s advanced formula amplifies GU’s original Energy Gel recipe and adds new ingredients to boost performance.
  • Similar to original GU formula with significantly higher concentrations of amino acids and sodium.

Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews – Raspberry

  • Single Serving

GU Energy Gel – Caramel Machiatto (Single Serving)

  • Per serving 32g
  • Carbohydrates
  • L-Isoleucine

GU Energy Gel, Just Plain – 1.1 oz pouch

  • Comprised of 85% complex carbs and 15% simple sugars
  • Formulated with all 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine

MuscleBlaze Carb Blend, 3 kg / 6.6 lb Orange

  • Orange

High 5 Energy Gels Box-Berry

  • Convenient, instant energy boost during exercise
  • 23g of carbohydrate energy
  • Smooth and light, easy to swallow

High5 Energy Gel 38G x 20 – Summer Fruits

  • 40 g X 20

OTE Super Carbs Drink 850g 61-80g Lemon/Lime Powdered Drinks

  • 61-80g
NutraBio – Super Carb Raspberry Lemonade
  • Raspberry Lemonade
Gu Energy Gel, Tri-Berry – 24 pack
  • Tri-Berry
Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel, Apple Pear – 21 pack, 1.3 oz pouches
  • Easy to take down and a smooth mouth feel
  • Recommended to be consumed shortly before and/or during endurance activity and consumed with water
Evogen GlycoJect Extreme Karbolyn Carbohydrate Powder Wild Berry
  • GlycoJect is a perfect rehydration, reloading complex that will ensure maximum replenishment
  • Fast Absorbing: absorbs up to 80% faster than dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize or other fast-absorbing carbohydrate sources
Science in Sport Energy Caffeine Gels, 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates, Endurance Sport Energy Gels with 75mg of Caffeine, New Orange Flavor – 2 oz – 6
  • OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE | Each Gel contains 22 grams of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates to help restore glycogen levels to optimze endurance and energy
Science in Sport Isotonic Energy Gels 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates Performance & Endurance Sport Nutrition for Athletes Energy Gels for Running C
  • 2 Fl Oz (Pack Of 20)
GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel
  • Single Packet
Gu Energy Gel
  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet
GU Tri Berry Energy Gel – 24 Pack
  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet
Universal Nutrition Carb Max – 30 Servings Unflavored
  • Unflavored
GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel
  • Single Packet
Jelly Belly Lemon Lime Sport Beans 24 Count 1 oz
  • Lemon Lime
GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, Lemonade – 24 count, 27.1 oz box
  • Roctane’s advanced formula amplifies GU’s original Energy Gel recipe and adds new ingredients to boost performance.
  • Similar to original GU formula with significantly higher concentrations of amino acids and sodium.
Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews – Raspberry
  • Single Serving
GU Energy Gel – Caramel Machiatto (Single Serving)
  • Per serving 32g
  • Carbohydrates
  • L-Isoleucine
GU Energy Gel, Just Plain – 1.1 oz pouch
  • Comprised of 85% complex carbs and 15% simple sugars
  • Formulated with all 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine
MuscleBlaze Carb Blend, 3 kg / 6.6 lb Orange
  • Orange
High 5 Energy Gels Box-Berry
  • Convenient, instant energy boost during exercise
  • 23g of carbohydrate energy
  • Smooth and light, easy to swallow
High5 Energy Gel 38G x 20 – Summer Fruits
  • 40 g X 20
OTE Super Carbs Drink 850g 61-80g Lemon/Lime Powdered Drinks
  • 61-80g

1. NutraBio – Super Carb Raspberry Lemonade

NutraBio - Super Carb Raspberry Lemonade

  • Raspberry Lemonade

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Health Central USA
iHerb
Discount Nutrition Shop

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Servings Per Container 30
Calories 100
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Calcium 95 mg
Phosphorus 81 mg

Reviews From Real Customers

bodybuilding.com
Superhuman67
iHerb Customer

2. Gu Energy Gel, Tri-Berry – 24 pack

Gu Energy Gel, Tri-Berry - 24 pack

  • Tri-Berry

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Amazon.com
Running Warehouse US
The Feed
Road Runner Sports

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Units in Package 24
Directions How to Gu Properly: Training: Eat one Gu 15 minutes before and then one Gu every 30 to 45 minutes during training. Racing: Eat one Gu 45 minutes before the start, one Gu 15 minutes before the start and then one Gu every 30 to 45 minutes during the race. Always wash down Gu with a few gulps of Gu2O Sports Drink or water. And, as a guideline, drink 20 – 30 ounces of fluid per hour throughout training and racing.
Ingredients Maltodextrin (Glucose Polymers), Filtered Water, Fructose, Gu Amino Acid Blend (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine), Natural and Artificial Berry Flavor, Potassium and Sodium Citrate, Gu Antioxidant Blend (Natural Vitamin E and Vitamin C), Calcium Carbonate, Fumaric Acid, Sea Salt, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Gu Herbal Blend (Chamomile, Cola Nut [has Caffeine], Ginger), Citric Acid, Pectin.
Serving Size 1 pack
Calories 100

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Marin
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David D.

3. Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel, Apple Pear – 21 pack, 1.3 oz pouches

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel, Apple Pear - 21 pack, 1.3 oz pouches

  • Easy to take down and a smooth mouth feel
  • Recommended to be consumed shortly before and/or during endurance activity and consumed with water
  • Formulation based on sports science research

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Amazon.com
Gatorade

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Food Serving Size Description 1 pouch
Food Serving Size Measure 37g
Food Servings Per Container 21
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free

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RobertaH
krutka123
biuh-5

4. Evogen GlycoJect Extreme Karbolyn Carbohydrate Powder Wild Berry

Evogen GlycoJect Extreme Karbolyn Carbohydrate Powder Wild Berry

  • GlycoJect is a perfect rehydration, reloading complex that will ensure maximum replenishment
  • Fast Absorbing: absorbs up to 80% faster than dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize or other fast-absorbing carbohydrate sources

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Sold By Price
Amazon
Get Yokd
Ib Supplements & Nutrition

Product Details

Reviews From Real Customers

jorge A.
Ashley D.
evogennutrition.com

5. Science in Sport Energy Caffeine Gels, 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates, Endurance Sport Energy Gels with 75mg of Caffeine, New Orange Flavor – 2 oz – 6

Science in Sport Energy Caffeine Gels, 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates, Endurance Sport Energy Gels with 75mg of Caffeine, New Orange Flavor - 2 oz - 6

  • OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE | Each Gel contains 22 grams of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates to help restore glycogen levels to optimze endurance and energy
  • Size : 6 Count

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Amazon
eBay – amped_97

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Package Dimensions 6.6 x 4 x 2 inches; 15.2 Ounces

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Damon
Rosemarie C.
Braden C.

6. Science in Sport Isotonic Energy Gels 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates Performance & Endurance Sport Nutrition for Athletes Energy Gels for Running C

Science in Sport Isotonic Energy Gels 22G Fast Acting Carbohydrates Performance & Endurance Sport Nutrition for Athletes Energy Gels for Running C

  • 2 Fl Oz (Pack Of 20)

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Amazon
Science in Sport

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Package Dimensions 8.74 x 8.11 x 3.9 inches; 3.15 Pounds

Reviews From Real Customers

Kailyn I.
walnutlord

7. GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

  • Single Packet

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The Feed
Campmor
Fleet Feet

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Protein 0g
Sugars 7g
Sodium 60mg
Carbohydrates 22g
Fiber 0g

Reviews From Real Customers

katie

8. Gu Energy Gel

Gu Energy Gel

  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet
  • Dual source energy from maltodextrin and fructose that use non-competing pathways for efficient absorption and lasting energy
  • Use for training or racing; take one packet 5 minutes before and every 45 minutes during activity
  • Branched-chain amino acids to help decrease muscle damage and mental fatigue
  • Strawberry Banana is Caffeine Free, and contains 55mg Sodium, 35mg Potassium

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Sold By Price
Amazon
Vitacost.com
AllStarHealth.com
Bicycle Johns Santa Clarita

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Food Serving Size Description 32 g
Food Serving Size Measure 32g
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Fat Free

9. GU Tri Berry Energy Gel – 24 Pack

GU Tri Berry Energy Gel - 24 Pack

  • The Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel designed to help athletes perform their best; 100 calories and essential electrolytes in a portable packet
  • Dual source energy from maltodextrin and fructose that use non-competing pathways for efficient absorption and lasting energy
  • Use for training or racing; take one packet 5 minutes before and every 45 minutes during activity
  • Branched-chain amino acids to help decrease muscle damage and mental fatigue

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon
SwimOutlet.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Training During
Caffeine Caffeine Free

10. Universal Nutrition Carb Max – 30 Servings Unflavored

Universal Nutrition Carb Max - 30 Servings Unflavored

  • Unflavored

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eBay – forzasports
Walmart
Best Price Nutrition

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Multipack Quantity 1
Body Part Body
Assembled Product Weight 1.615 oz

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Kel214

11. GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

GU Caramel Macchiato Energy Gel

  • Single Packet

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Amazon
The Feed
Campmor
Fleet Feet

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Protein 0g
Sugars 7g
Sodium 60mg
Carbohydrates 22g
Fiber 0g

12. Jelly Belly Lemon Lime Sport Beans 24 Count 1 oz

Jelly Belly Lemon Lime Sport Beans 24 Count 1 oz

  • Lemon Lime

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The Spokesman Bicycles
Ride Brooklyn

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Flavor Lemon Lime
Serving Size 1 Package
Serving Per Container 1
Calories 100
Total Carbohydrates 25

Reviews From Real Customers

Milton
HeatherH
paducahrider

13. GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, Lemonade – 24 count, 27.1 oz box

GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, Lemonade - 24 count, 27.1 oz box

  • Roctane’s advanced formula amplifies GU’s original Energy Gel recipe and adds new ingredients to boost performance.
  • Similar to original GU formula with significantly higher concentrations of amino acids and sodium.
  • Ideal for use 15 minutes before training or competition.
  • Contains 35mg caffeine per serving.

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Amazon
eBay
Walmart – Heart Rate Monitors USA
The Feed

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Flavor Lemonade

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Michael
MLB851
Dennis T.

14. Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews – Raspberry

Skratch Labs Sport Energy Chews - Raspberry

  • Single Serving

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Amazon
REI
The Feed
Wheat Ridge Cyclery

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Food Serving Size Description 5 Pieces
Food Serving Size Measure 25g
Food Servings Per Container 2
Derived Nutrition Claim Soy Free
Derived Nutrition Claim Nitrite Free

Reviews From Real Customers

joshua d.
Jenkins T.
Nick

15. GU Energy Gel – Caramel Machiatto (Single Serving)

GU Energy Gel - Caramel Machiatto (Single Serving)

  • Per serving 32g
  • Carbohydrates
  • L-Isoleucine
  • Vegan ingredients
  • 100 Calories

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Bike-Discount
Fitness Sports

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Energy kJ (kcal) 1306 (312)
Fat 0 g
of which saturates 0 g
Carbohydrate 72 g
Protein 0 g

16. GU Energy Gel, Just Plain – 1.1 oz pouch

GU Energy Gel, Just Plain - 1.1 oz pouch

  • Comprised of 85% complex carbs and 15% simple sugars
  • Formulated with all 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine
  • Contains 100% RDV for natural vitamin E and C
  • Contains histidine which buffers lactic acid accumulation
  • Item Specifications

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Marathon Sports

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Details
CACHED false
EXECUTIONTIME 0

17. MuscleBlaze Carb Blend, 3 kg / 6.6 lb Orange

MuscleBlaze Carb Blend, 3 kg / 6.6 lb Orange

  • Orange

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NavaFresh – United States

Product Details

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healthkart.com

18. High 5 Energy Gels Box-Berry

High 5 Energy Gels Box-Berry

  • Convenient, instant energy boost during exercise
  • 23g of carbohydrate energy
  • Smooth and light, easy to swallow
  • Real fruit juice

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NxDeals.com

Product Details

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Reviewed by Run4It customer
epitomeofhappiness
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19. High5 Energy Gel 38G x 20 – Summer Fruits

High5 Energy Gel 38G x 20 - Summer Fruits

  • 40 g X 20

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Wiggle.com
ChainReactionCycles

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Product Genre/Category Sports

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Izzy
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20. OTE Super Carbs Drink 850g 61-80g Lemon/Lime Powdered Drinks

OTE Super Carbs Drink 850g 61-80g Lemon/Lime Powdered Drinks

  • 61-80g

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ChainReactionCycles

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Details
Option Lemon/Lime, Blackcurrant

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Neil H
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Conclusion

There are many different types of carbohydrates, and each one has a different effect on the body. Some carbs are simple and quick to digest, while others are complex and take longer to break down.

The type of carbohydrate you choose to eat before a run can make a big difference in your energy levels and how you feel during and after the run.

Simple carbs, like those found in candy and soda, can give you a quick boost of energy, but they can also cause a sugar crash a few hours later. Complex carbs, like those found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, take longer to digest and provide a more sustained source of energy.

If you’re looking for a quick source of energy before a run, a simple carb like a candy bar or a sports drink may do the trick. But if you’re looking for sustained energy throughout your run, a complex carb like a banana or a bowl of oatmeal is a better choice.

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