Macronutrients: probably one of the most used terms to date when it comes to nutrition. You will hear the term thrown around everywhere you go in the training world. From training facilities, colleges, high schools, and even your basic 24 hour gym.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I have heard, “ It doesn’t fit my macros” or “ I have to hit my macros bro”. The funny thing is, most people do not really understand the benefits of eating a well balanced diet, what macronutrients are, or what they do for the body. The amount of kids or young adults I hear say that, are the same kids who aren’t actually eating food, but drinking 6 protein shakes a day.
Let me say that again, not eating food but drinking a SUPPLEMENT 6 times a day. The definition of supplement is “something that completes or enhances something else.” A protein shake should enhance or add value to your training and recovery, not be the main meal of the day. Yes, things happen where sometimes we have to do this because we have no choice, whether it be travel or school etc. but again, that comes down to no being prepared.
So what are macronutrients? What do they do? What should our meals look like? The three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids (also known as fats). All are extremely important and have their own functions within the body.
Required for building tissues and muscles, hormone production, immune function, and energy just to name a few. (Ex. chicken, steak, protein power, fish etc.)
Main function to provide energy and regulated blood glucose. There are two types of carbohydrates: Simple and Complex also known as simple sugars and starches. The difference between is in how quickly one is digested and absorbed (as well as chemical structure).
Act as chemical messengers in the body, storage and provision of energy, and maintenance of core temperature.
Now how do we use this information? Many of us have heard about a balanced diet but not a lot of people fully grasp this concept. When we say balanced diet, all we simply mean is that we should have elements of all three macronutrients within our nutrition. These will change from person to person depending on their caloric needs, goals, and activity level. So before we start worrying about supplements we should start focusing on our meals and weather or not we are getting the calories and nutrients we need. Stop worrying about shining the rims when your engine does not run!