What are Macronutrients and Why Do We Need Them?

Macronutrients are nutrients that give our body calories and energy. The prefix macro indicates large, so these are nutrients our body needs large quantities of. Macros are used to help our body and muscles grow properly, to kick start our metabolism, and many other bodily functions.

The three main forms of macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these provide equal value to a balanced diet and are vital to ensure our body performs at its highest capabilities.

Carbohydrates – A good way to view carbohydrates is our main fuel source. As we consume carbs, our body quickly converts them into energy. Outside of being an energy source for our body, carbs also are needed for recovery, proper kidney function, proper central nervous system function, and proper heart function. As we begin to build muscle mass, it is even more important to make sure our carb intake levels are high. You will need that fuel to power through tough and intense workouts needed to make gains in the weight room. Also, if our body does not have enough carbohydrates to fuel itself, it will begin to use proteins as its main fuel source which will keep our body from using that protein to build muscle.

Proteins – When creating muscle mass and increasing muscle strength, protein is a huge must-have. Protein is used by our body for growth and tissue repair. In order to build muscle size and strength, micro tears are made while lifting and then they are repaired. Without proper protein levels, this process could not be possible. Proteins can be used as an energy source, although it is not our main source of energy.

Fats – Most of us hate to hear the word fat, especially when we are in the process of trying to lose it or transform our body to have less of it. Even though this may be one of our main goals in the gym, fats have a large role in our diet and are needed for our body to work correctly.  Fat is used to produce energy but also aids in natural growth and protection of vital organs. Fats allow the body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, all of which provide important value to our body.

When focusing our diet to help aid in our weight room gains, macronutrients are extremely important. Here is a list of foods that will help bring macronutrients into your diet:

  • Whole grains
  • Apples
  • Brown Rice
  • Lean meat
  • Oily fish
  • Poultry
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Animal fat

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