Is Oatmeal Among The Best Carb Sources?

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Sep 2022

Despite the popularity of low-carb and ketogenic diets, every serious bodybuilder knows that carbohydrates are essential for optimal progress.

Oatmeal is one of the go-to foods for many dedicated trainees precisely because it is simple to prepare, tastes great, and provides several essential nutrients. Oats are also the basis for most homemade mass gainers.

But are oats among the best carb sources you can get, or might there be better options? Let’s discuss.

Is Oatmeal Among The Best Carb Sources?

Oats are a type of grain with an excellent nutritional profile. Half a cup of rolled oats contains:

     • 145 calories

     • 6 grams of protein

     • 25 grams of carbs

     • 4 grams of dietary fiber

It also includes reasonable amounts of several essential micronutrients, including vitamin B1 and iron.

Oats are a fantastic source of complex carbs. Most carbohydrates in the food are starches––having a complex structure, and digesting more slowly. As a result, eating carbs leads to a steadier rise in blood sugar and energy levels (1). You’re also much less likely to experience a sugar crash that is common when consuming large amounts of fast-digesting carbs.

Oatmeal is also a good source of dietary fiber. Getting enough of the nutrient (at least ten grams per 1,000 calories) is necessary for good digestion, fullness between meals, cardiovascular health, and more (2).

Despite being primarily a ‘carb’ food, oats are also a good source of protein. Oats don’t provide as much protein as other foods like meat, but you can get about 13 grams per 100 grams (dry weight). You can also pair oats with other high-protein foods (e.g., milk and protein powder) and enjoy the food in the form of oatmeal or a mass gainer shake.

So, yes. Oatmeal is among the best carb sources. In the following points, we’ll take an in-depth look at what makes oats an excellent carb food.

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5 Solid Reasons Why Oats Are One Of The Best Carbs For Bodybuilders and Athletes

1. They Offer Large Amounts of Complex Carbs

As discussed above, oats are a great carb source because they provide a hefty dose of complex carbs per serving. Half a cup of oats offers about 24-26 grams of complex carbs.

The good nutritional profile makes oats the perfect addition to a homemade mass gainer.

2. Oats Are Full of Other Beneficial Nutrients

Another important reason oatmeal is a great food to have consistently is its balanced nutritional profile. Aside from being a great source of complex carbs, oats provide high-quality protein, dietary fiber, several vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.

The good nutritional profile makes oats beneficial for your health and post-training recovery.

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3. Oats Promote Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Blood sugar control is vital for your well-being, energy levels, training performance, and overall productivity. Maintaining steady blood sugar levels is also crucial for staying healthy and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes (3).

As discussed earlier, oats are fantastic because they are rich in complex carbs that digest more slowly. Having oatmeal provides a steady stream of energy and keeps your blood sugar in a healthy range. As a result, you feel better and are at a much lower risk of an energy crash.

You can add oats to a mass gainer and maintain steady energy levels even after ingesting 1,000+ calories.

4. Oatmeal Is The Perfect Breakfast

Perfect breakfast? Yes, that is a bold statement, and we are confident in saying so. Oatmeal is one of the simplest, tastiest, and most nutritious breakfast meals you can make in as little as five minutes.

Put some oats in a bowl, pour milk to cover them, and pop them in the microwave for two minutes. Take the bowl out, add some protein powder, and mix a few banana slices. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter, and your healthy breakfast is made.

You can also prepare oatmeal the night before and enjoy it as soon as you wake up. There are plenty of good overnight oatmeal recipes to try.

5. Oatmeal Comes In Many Forms And Never Gets Old

Anyone who’s ever done a bulking phase knows how challenging it can be to eat enough calories. People with big appetites can eat 3,000-3,500 calories and still feel hungry, but many individuals struggle to maintain the necessary calorie surplus day after day for months.

A big part of a successful bulk is coming up with new and tasty recipes to keep your nutrition fun. Eating the same thing repeatedly can work for a while, but most people get tired and struggle to cover their daily calorie needs for growth.

The great thing about oatmeal is that you can make it in countless ways. For example, you can mix your oatmeal with protein powders: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc. You can also add fruit (apple, banana, berries, etc.).

Another way to tweak your oatmeal is to combine ingredients in new ways. For instance, you can mix your oats with a chocolate protein powder and add some peanut butter on top. Once you get tired of that, you can combine your oats with strawberry-flavored protein and add berries to achieve a sweet and fresh taste. Apple slices and cinnamon also work great.

In simple terms, oatmeal is a fantastic bodybuilding food.

Final Words

Bodybuilding is a sport that requires tremendous patience and dedication. Achieving good results takes time, consistent effort, and attention to detail.

Nutrition is crucial because it helps you get the most out of your training. Working out provides a stimulus, but your nutrition makes improvements possible.

One colossal detail you must pay attention to is your food selection. All carb-rich foods might seem interchangeable, but that isn’t the case. As you saw, oats are one of the best carb sources for several reasons.

Aside from good nutrition, strategic use of certain compounds can help you build more muscle and strength in the long run. Check out Hercules Nutrition if you want to buy SARMs (UK) and educate yourself on how they affect your training results.


1. Hou Q, Li Y, Li L, Cheng G, Sun X, Li S, Tian H. The Metabolic Effects of Oats Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2015 Dec 10;7(12):10369-87. doi: 10.3390/nu7125536. PMID: 26690472; PMCID: PMC4690088.

2. Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1266-89. doi: 10.3390/nu2121266. Epub 2010 Dec 15. PMID: 22254008; PMCID: PMC3257631.

3. Asif M. The prevention and control the type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary pattern. J Educ Health Promot. 2014 Feb 21;3:1. doi: 10.4103/2277-9531.127541. PMID: 24741641; PMCID: PMC3977406.

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