Whole grains come in many forms, such as bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Carbs often get a bad rap, but they’re our brain’s preferred source of energy and our muscles’ main source of fuel during intense exercise and sports. When whole grains are refined or processed, they are stripped of their germ and bran (i.e., the important sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber), leaving just the lonely endosperm or starch (e.g., whole grain bread processed to white bread). Whenever possible, try to go with whole grain or whole wheat options. You can tell if a product is a whole grain if the first ingredient in the ingredient list says “whole” (e.g., “whole grain” or “whole wheat”).

Provided by: Ryan R. Fairall, PhD, CSCS, EP-C, CES / Sports Medicine & Fitness Technology Program Director at KU Jacksonville