Updated: Oct 26, 2018
Do You Know How Important Macronutrients Are?
We are all well aware of how important a healthy, well-balanced diet is in combination with regular exercise for our overall health. When it comes to pursuing a diet in order to reach fitness goals, most people make sure to watch their caloric intake. What they don’t realize is that caloric intake is only part of the equation. They are not aware that macronutrients are just as important, if not a little more than how many calories they are taking in.
What are Macronutrients?
Micronutrients and calories coexist in such a way that one doesn’t exist without the other. Macronutrients are the components that make up the number of calories that are contained within a given food item. The most well-known macronutrients (that people don’t realize are macronutrients) are fats, proteins, and carbs. Here is a visualization that will demonstrate how the macros make up the caloric content:
1 Gram of Protein=4 Calories 1 Gram of Carbs=4 Calories 1 Gram of Fat=9 Calories
Reasons Why Tracking Micronutrients Is More Important Than Tracking Calories
Not all calories are created equal. Calories are seen as units of energy for the body but it depends on where they are coming from as to how the body will use them. They can either become energy that the body burns or they can become something that is stored and turned into fat. For example, 200 calories of broccoli are not equal to 200 calories from a piece of cake. 200 calories of broccoli will contain 2 grams of fat, 35.5 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. 200 calories of cake is going to have 9 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, 33 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Although the calories are equal, the macronutrients are not.
When you eat in reference to when you work out is important too. Your body will utilize different macronutrients at different times and the timing makes a huge difference. This timing can really help to establish an extremely beneficial timing-based workout. The nutrients you intake post-workout is the most important. These nutrients will help to rebuild damaged tissue, regain burned energy, and maximize the effectiveness of the workout.
Pre-Workout (30 mins to 2 hours before)- Simple carbs and Proteins
Post-Workout (15 to 45 minutes after)- Complex carbs and Proteins
Although caloric intake is important, the macronutrients that compose those calories are more important. These are a part of a diet that most people do not account for and they are something that will be more beneficial to a person’s diet and fitness goals. Take the time to understand the macronutrients more than you take the time to count calories. Taking this approach can really allow a person to receive maximum results from their journey to a healthy body.