Macronutrients Explained

Different combinations of macronutrients in different ratios can have dramatic impact on your body composition and overall energy levels. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of how your body utilizes different macronutrients because without this fundamental understanding you won’t be able to make informed decisions about what to eat.


Primary Function: To build and repair body tissues and structures.

  • Protein has been shown to induce a satiating of hunger greater than its caloric content alone. In other words eating more protein helps you to feel more full.
  • Protein is broken down into amino acids and then used in various functions of the body depending on the body’s needs.
  • Amino acids will be preferentially shuttled to the repair and building of new body tissue(muscle) as long as the body is in a positive energy balance(i.e. you’re not starving yourself).

Protein Rich Foods: Meat, fish, eggs, nuts

Recommended Daily Intake: 

  • .7g/kg for inactive individuals
  • 1.0g/kg for moderately active individuals
  • 1.5-2g/kg for highly active individuals

If you aren’t recovering from workouts then a lack of protein could be at cause although more commonly improper rest, lack of carbohydrates, and improper periodization of training is to blame for lack of recovery than lack of protein.


Primary Function: To fuel the body’s metabolic needs.

  • All carbohydrates are broken down in the body as glucose(except for fiber which is not digested at all).
  • The difference between a simple carb(sugar) and a complex carb(starch) is the speed at which your digestive system converts them into glucose.
  • The glycemic index(GI) is a measure of how quickly different foods raise the blood glucose(or blood sugar) levels. A higher GI indicates a faster digesting carbohydrate.

Recommended Sources of Carbs: Yams, squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, brown rice, oats, bananas.

Recommended Daily Intake:

  • 15% of daily calories for inactive individuals
  • 25-40% of daily calories if your goal is to gain weight
  • 5-20% of daily calories if your goal is to lose fat


Primary Function: To fuel the body’s metabolic needs.

  • The body can switch between primarily burning fat for fuel and glucose (carbs) for fuel. The body can survive without any dietary carbohydrates but cannot survive without dietary fat.
  • Use fat to “fill in” calories that you need after budgeting for your proteins and carbohydrates.
  • The amount of fat you eat should be tied directly to your level of carbohydrate intake. The more carbohydrates you eat the lower total percentage of calories you should get from fat. Conversely the less carbohydrates you eat the more percentage of calories you should get from fat.
  • On a cutting diet high levels of fat(>50% of your total caloric intake) will help keep your body from converting protein into glucose for fuel(aka “burning” muscle). 
  • Seek to strike a 1:1 ratio between Omega-3 fatty acid and Omega-6 fatty acid intake. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, free range eggs, and grass fed meats. They exhibit anti-inflammatory actions whereas Omega-6 fatty acids exhibit pro-inflammatory actions.
  • The majority of your fat intake should be in the form of saturated fats. No, saturated fats are not bad for your heart.

Recommended Sources of Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats, fish, fish oil, nuts, free-range eggs

Recommended Daily Intake: Fat should be used to “fill in” the missing calories based on your goals and daily needs.



Powered by Caritech Web Design