Yesterdays London Marathon saw an awe-inspiring array of performances. Over 40,000 people from across the world took part with Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru winning the men’s elite race and Kenya’s Mary Jepkosgei Keitany winning the womans elite race. During a Marathon it is estimated you burn between 2600 and 3000 calories which is more than the recommended daily intake for an average male adult! Solid nutrition before and during the event maintains long term sustainability of one’s stamina and health whilst having zero side effects on the system. This means consuming the right quantity and quality of macro nutirents to fuel performance with no long term side effects. In this article we’ll break down the different macronutrients and learn more about them all.
What are macronutrients
There are three macronutrients in our body, namely, fats, protein and carbohydrates.
No, they are not bad for your body at all. They are an essential part of your body and it needs to make up 20% of everything that you consume. They are responsible for developing the brain, keeping the cells functioning properly, helping the body in vitamin absorption and protecting all organs.
Protein regenerates body tissues and helps the immune system to do its best in fighting off infections. Another important function of protein is to produce hormones. This macronutrient has the best reputation among athletes and bodybuilders.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which is the primary source of energy for the body. These are also essential to regulate your mental health. Your diet should contain at least 60% of carbohydrates.
How much macronutrients should you consume?
Ideally, you should consume 27% of fat, 53% of carbohydrates and 20% of proteins. However, this ratio can fluctuate depending on your gender, age, weight and goals. You can achieve almost all kinds of body goals by just adjusting your macronutrient intake and a proper exercise regime. There is no need to go for artificial options when you can transform yourself by natural means without incurring any ill effects.
What are the best sources of each macronutrient?
The best sources of each macronutrient are different. Here is where you will find an abundance of each:
For fats you need to be careful since not all fats are good for your body. The good fat can be found in almonds, pumpkin seeds, olives, walnuts, avocados, cheese, dark chocolates and fatty fish.
Some extremely good sources of proteins for vegetarians are beans, pulses, milk, cheese, flax and chia seeds, nuts, legumes, avocado, raw greens like Kale and spinach and quinoa.
Non-vegetarians can go for sea-food which is an excellent source of protein. Eggs, white meat and lean beef are other good sources of protein as well.
Apples, carrots, cauliflower, oats, bananas, millet, kidney beans, chickpeas, sweet potato, chestnuts, blueberries, low fat yoghurt and brown rice are rich sources of carbohydrates that are low in fat.
What are the common misconceptions?
Despite so many benefits of these macronutrients, there are many myths surrounding the intake of each which aren’t true. Anything natural can never be bad if taken rightly.
This macronutrient has the worst reputation among all. Although it is true that saturated and synthetic trans fats might clog your arteries but not all fats are bad. These fats are not good for you because they are manufactured synthetically and are not natural. Healthy fats are needed to reduce bad cholesterol from your system and to raise good cholesterol. These also prevent heart disease and lower dementia and depression.
The misconception about protein is that people believe the more your intake, the better the results of muscle mass building. This is entirely wrong. Excess intake of macronutrients results in more fat deposits since if they are not absorbed, they turn into fat. The human body is capable of absorbing only up to 40g of protein. Bodybuilders and athletes keep on taking in protein in the form of protein bars and powders but as explained, this does not help.
A lot of people these days are opting for no-carb diets which can be hazardous to one’s health. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient that is needed for optimum mental and physical performance. Of course, this doesn’t discount the fact that you should consume carbohydrates in limits and refrain from consuming them late at night before going to bed.
To sum it up, there is no argument on the fact that macronutrients consumed in a natural manner are beneficial to your overall health. No synthetic supplements can bring to you the benefits that these macronutrients can. Once you know the quantity apt for your body, you can achieve any health and body goals that you wish to. Moreover, these macronutrients are easy to obtain and are already a part of our daily lives. All you need is a little tweak here and there and your perfect amount will be set. So, steer clear of all the artificial products in the market, simply because you don’t need them!