There are three macronutrients that, for the most part, make up our food. Each ‘macro’ has its own unique functions in the human body.
Growth & repair
Protein is the most important macronutrient in your diet, helping the body repair make new cells, build muscle and carry a good body composition. We can get the protein needed in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts and certain grains and beans. Our bodies do not store protein in the same way does fats and carbohydrates, so it is key to consume protein in our diet every day, ideally spread evenly across your meals.
- Meats (lean or fatty) like beef, steak, or wild game
- Poultry such as chicken or turkey
- Seafood, such as wild caught fish and shellfish
- High quality deli meats
- Dairy like Greek yogurt, milk and cottage cheese
- Beans and Lentils (vegetarian)
Hormones & Vitamin absorption
Dietary fat is essential to human function, giving your body energy and supporting cell growth. Specifically, fat is essential for the absorption of certain vitamins (A, D, E, K), hormone regulation and healthy skin hair and nails. Fats are the slowest digesting macro so they are great at keeping you full, but should be avoided in excess too close to your pre and post-training meals
- Oils e.g. olive oil, coconut
- Full fat dairy
- Fatty meat
Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for our bodies. While important as part of a balanced diet for everyone, they are gold for athletes to fuel perform and recover. Carbs are vital for proper hormone and thyroid function and the fibre from carbohydrates promotes better digestion. About 50 to 60% of your daily carbohydrates should be consumed around your workouts. Choosing complex carbs over simple refined sources is important.
- Rice – brown, jasmine, basmati, wild etc
- Vegetables – broccoli, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin etc
- Wholegrain bread
Written by Sally Cowan