You've probably heard of macro counting. But what exactly are Macronutrients (macros)? In this article, we'll take a closer look at this. Are you reading along?
Macros and Micros
Let's start with a little theory. Our food is divided into Macronutrients (macros) and Micronutrients (micros). We divide macros into proteins, fats and carbohydrates and micronutrients into vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Both macro and micronutrients are necessary in a complete diet and must be sufficiently present to prevent symptoms of deficiency and diseases.
Macros are responsible for energy supply and muscle building. Micros play a role in the growth, recovery and proper functioning of the body. The difference between the two is that the macronutrients provide energy and the micronutrients do not. But one thing is certain, they are both important for health.
Counting macros, how does it work?
Macros are the nutrients our body needs as fuels and building materials. During the conversion of these nutrients, energy is released in our body. The body needs nutrients for growth, metabolism and other bodily functions.
The 3 macronutrients; carbohydrates, proteins and fats provide calories.
The calorie yield differs per macronutrient; 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal, 1 gram of protein provides 4 kcal and 1 gram of fat provides 9 kcal.
With this knowledge you can count your macros. In the Netherlands, manufacturers are obliged to state on the packaging of their product how many macros it contains and how many calories the product contains. This is of course super useful when you're working on Marco's counting. You can keep track of exactly how many macros and energy you ingest on a daily basis.
Nowadays you also have various apps that keep track of exactly what you get in a day. My Fitness Pall is one such app. First of all, you determine your goal; if you want to increase your muscle mass, it is important that you have a positive balance so that there is extra energy for muscle building. You then have to ensure that you consume about 200 to 500 more calories than your daily requirement per day.
If you want to burn fat without losing muscle mass, you need a negative balance. You then ensure that you consume about 200 to 500 fewer calories per day than your daily requirement. The perfect ratio between the macros varies from person to person.
Macros: Proteins, carbohydrates and fats
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. Protein is a nutrient, just like carbohydrates and fat. Protein provides calories and amino acids. Amino acids in proteins strengthen and repair the body's cells and muscle tissue. It is therefore important to get enough protein in order to live a healthy life.
There are different types of proteins. For example, a distinction is made between high-quality and less high-quality. When we talk about high-quality proteins, we are talking about proteins with a high-quality protein content that can be easily absorbed by the body. If you want to know more about proteins, read this article: How proteins help you achieve your goals
Do you want to know what your daily protein requirement is, look here.
Carbohydrates are sugars, starch and fiber. They are broken down into glucose in your intestines. Glucose enters your blood and is necessary fuel for your body. The glucose settles in our blood and is called blood sugar. The amount of glucose absorbed by the blood is indicated for each food by the GI or glycemic index.
We also need fats, a lot of people don't know that. It is best to avoid bad fats in snacks and cookies, for example. But our body certainly needs good fats from nuts, oil, avocado and fish to a limited extent! Just like carbohydrates, it is a fuel, in addition, it is necessary for various body processes to work properly. It also helps to keep our immune system, eyes, hair and skin healthy.
You actually have a fourth macronutrient, from which our bodies get energy. That is because alcohol. However, this is a toxic substance, which our body does not necessarily need. Too much of it is even harmful very quickly.