Founder of Honeybeard Protein
Every one of our bodies are different, but generally, carbs are not our enemy; especially not post-workout. Carbs are stored as glycogen in our bodies, and is our main source of energy during exercise, especially of the high-intensity kind (think CrossFit, weightlifting.) After draining ourselves, we have to put more gas in the tank (carbs,) and it needs to happen fairly quickly.
Maltodextrin and dextrose are my go-to - mixed with whey protein isolate. Both are cheap - one 12 lb. bag of maltodextrin lasts me 4 months, and is $47. One 5 lb. tub of dextrose is $30 and also lasts me about 4 months.
For high-intensity, (big weightlifting days, intense CrossFit style workouts) I do a 1:2 ratio of 40g of whey protein isolate and 80g of carbs (about 60g from maltodextrin and 20g from dextrose). You can play around with the combination of the two - too much dextrose can upset your stomach.
Other options are two ripe bananas, coconut water, and honey. All will work fine, but you might not want to chew or eat food immediately post-workout, and coconut water can bother stomachs, so play around with it and find what works best for you.
What if I’m on a Keto diet?
I even prescribe a small amount of carbs pre-workout if a client has a big weightlifting day or is having trouble keeping their energy levels high during training. Those 25g of carbs pre workout will immediately be used during the training session and you will be back in ketosis once you’re done. The post workout shake will consist of a whey isolate mixed with water.