What are MACRONUTRIENTS?*

Monday, 27 May 2019, By Chris Foy

Macronutrients are nutrients that your body requires in fairly high doses. These are carbohydrates, protein and fat...alcohol is also considered a macronutrient. Compared to micronutrients which are nutrients that your body requires in much smaller doses, think vitamin and minerals.

 

All of the food you eat is composed of these macros and some foods are more dominant in particular macros than other foods. For example, your animal products like chicken and beef are high in protein and things like your rice and bread are high in carbohydrate.

 

All three macros are important for metabolic function and all play their part.
So what percentage of each macro should make up your total daily energy intake? This is a hotly debated topic and at the end of the day the answer is....it depends.
Everyone will have different carbohydrate requirements to fuel energy needs, different protein requirements depending on body size/muscle mass and different fat requirements depending on what their goal is.

 

If anyone tells you that everyone should be eating a certain way then they either don't really know what they're talking about or are caught up in a belief system rather than actual scientific evidence (which essentially equates to the same thing).
Here's a brief breakdown of what you need to know:

  • Carbs - The body's preferred fuel source. Carbs are essential to fuel exercise performance, fuel the brain and regulate neurotransmitters...carbs will not make you fat unless you are in an energy surplus.
  • Protein - Essential for muscle growth and repair as well as just about every metabolic function in the body! - Gut health, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune function...seriously amino acids (building blocks of protein) are required for EVERYTHING!
  • Fat - The raw material for sex and adrenal hormones as well as playing many other roles like transporting certain vitamins around the body, helping to reduce inflammation and improve blood pressure/CVD risk.

This is a very brief and very rudimentary breakdown just to give you an idea of what the different macros do and why they are all important. The most important thing when it comes to body weight is energy balance and then manipulating macro ratio can help determine what your body composition looks like.

 

It's important to remember that no particular macronutrient is "bad". They all play their part in a healthy body and it's really about understanding what they are and what they do. Educating yourself around this will help you make the best choices when it comes to nutrition. Always be wary of people who tell you to cut out certain macros or foods completely. Have an open mind and always look at the research!

If you want to know more then speak to a fitness professional to find out how you should break up your daily macronutrient intake for your personal goals.

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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