What are calories and macronutrients?
Calories: A calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Calories in food provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function. Our bodies store and “burn” calories as fuel
Macronutrient: Macronutrient is a bucket term for the three types of nutrients that make up the bulk of what we eat: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Our bodies require ample amounts of each to function properly. Macronutrients are augmented by micronutrients, aka vitamins and minerals, to meet all our nutrition needs. The calorie content of each macronutrient is as follows
Protein – 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram
Fat – 9 calories per gram
Although Alcohol is not considered a macronutrient it still has 7 calories per gram.
Now that you have an understanding on what Macronutrients are and the relationship between them and calories let’s look at the main function of each macronutrient.
Firstly, we will look at Protein;
What is Protein?
What is Protein and what is it used for?
Protein is a macronutrient that plays a vital role in building muscle and recovery. Protein itself can be broken down in a number of amino acids you may have heard of before like BCAA’s and EAA’s. These two forms should not be counted towards your protein target as they are incomplete proteins. Protein has also been proven to have a high safety effect on the body (keeping you feeling fuller for longer) so should be the first macronutrient on your plate.
Where do we get protein from?
Protein is predominantly found in meat products, with each serve of 100g of meat carrying approx.
20g of protein. High fat food such as nuts also contain high quantities of protein.
Now we have covered protein let’s move onto our energy sources; carbohydrates and fats.