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Complex carbohydrates are foods from plants consisting of three or more simple sugars bound together, known as polysaccharides. Unlike monosaccharides, like table sugar, complex carbs require a prolonged enzymatic process for digestion, which results in a slow, even, and ideal energy flow—avoiding fluctuation in blood sugar (glucose) levels which can affect energy. Complex carbs contain fiber and many nutrients; some examples include grains, roots, vegetables, pastas, breads, and legumes. 
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- Gastelu, Dan; Hatfield, Frederick C (2006). Specialist in Performance Nutrition: The Complete Guide. Carpenteria, CA: ISSA, 17.