Everything You Need To Know About Macros: What They Are and Why They’re Important
Do you keep hearing people talk about “fitting your macros”? Well, what exactly are macros?
Macros, or macronutrients, are the major nutrients that the body needs to survive. They are the primary source of energy for the body and promote vitality. There are 3 macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Lets look into each macronutrient in detail and touch on the roles that each play in your body.
Protein is the building block of cells, tissue, skin, hair, connective tissue, muscle fiber and several other parts of the body.
The recommended daily protein intake ranges from 0.8 gm/kg for a sedentary adult to 1.2–1.7 gm/kg for an athletic adult, and 1 gm of protein is equal to 4 calories.
Protein is vital for growing muscle mass and strength, making it an essential component of an athlete’s nutrition. Higher protein intake can help with the repair and replacing of damaged proteins, the support of lean mass increase, optimal immune system functioning, and much more.
Common sources of protein that some performance athletes use regularly are eggs, beef, chicken thighs, bratwurst, pork chops, whey protein powder, and casein protein powder.
By carefully planning daily macronutrient needs, people are able to enjoy fattier meats, which can be very satisfying and keep hunger at bay.
Fats play a vital role in nutrition and making sure we feel satisfied when eating. Athletes are recommended to eat 1 gm/fat per kg of ideal body weight. Fats are the most nutrient-dense macro at 9 calories/gm.
The trick is to consume more of the good fats and to say no to bad fats. Some good fats come from supplements such as MCT oil. Other types of good fats come from whole foods, such as eggs, avocado or fatty meats. Whole foods should be your primary source of nutrients.
Fat’s main role is to protect the body’s organs. It is also involved in the promotion of growth, development, and maintenance of cell membranes.
If you plan on trying a keto diet, replacing carbs with fats is vital to your success. They will keep you feeling full and maintain balanced hormones. Meal planning — knowing what you are going to eat ahead of time — will help you in this process.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy (and everyone’s favorite macro), making them a critical part of our nutrition. The body needs carbs to produce the energy we need to carry out our daily activities.
When we eat carbs, the body breaks them down into glucose which is then transported by the bloodstream to where it’s needed. Carbs are the fuel of choice for the heart, brain, and central nervous system.
1 gm of carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories, and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that carbs should make up ~50% of an average adult’s daily caloric intake, with 130 gm/carbs per day being the minimum recommendation.
Carbs tend to get a bad reputation, but that reputation is totally undeserving. Carbs are quite literally the difference between maintaining muscle and building muscle. And, like everything else in life, moderation is the key!
Above all, make sure to listen to your body and consult a medical professional when trying new eating plans.
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