5 High-Carb Super Grains and Recipes for Athletes

Carbohydrates are the body's first go-to energy source for powering activities. While the body will convert any carb-packed food you consume into muscle glycogen to fuel your training and daily activities, you know that a candy bar doesn't pack much nutritional value. But, fueling up for your next workout or big race doesn't have to mean eating the same old pasta dish or a boring toasted bagel with peanut butter.

Spice up your repertoire with the following five super grains. You'll not only reap the nutritional benefits of the extra fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals these amazing grains contain, but you'll also learn how to use these ancient, exotic carbs to create new, yet familiar recipes.

More: 6 Top Super Foods to Eat This Race Season

Super Grain #1: Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice because in ancient China only the emperor was permitted to eat it, adds striking drama to any dish. It offers a wealth of nutrition, including fiber, vitamin E and more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to research conducted at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. A team of researchers at Cornell University found that antioxidant levels in black rice were six times higher than those found in brown and white rice.

Coconut Macadamia Black Rice Recipe

  • 2 cups uncooked black rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts
  • 3 tablespoons toasted coconut