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Eat for Gains: Macros and Their Role

Eat for Gains: Macros and Their Role Macros are a hot topic in the fitness community. Everyone is talking about how to calculate your macros, what to eat to get lean, or how much protein you need. The term macros stands for macronutrients, namely protein, carbs, and fats. Vitamins and minerals are classified as micronutrients since your body requires them in small doses. The three macronutrients are needed in large amounts to support health and well-being. Why Are Macronutrients Important? Your body needs protein, carbs, and fats to function optimally. These nutrients play a key role in metabolism, organ function, muscle growth, and bone development. They also provide calories and serve as a source of energy. Micronutrients, on the others hand, contain no calories. Each gram of carbs delivers four calories. The same number of calories can be found in one gram of protein. Fat provides nine calories per gram. How much of each you need depends on your goals. Most athletes count macros, not calories. Let's say your goal is to lose fat. In this case, you should eat more protein and cut back on carbs. To build muscle and strength, increase your carb intake. For instance, bodybuilders keep their carbs below 20-30 grams a day before competitors. Some eliminate carbs completely. Powerlifters consume huge amounts of carbs to gain strength and power. Some eat a whopping 600-700 grams of carbohydrates daily. Now let's see why macros are crucial to your health and how they can bring you closer to your fitness goals: Protein This nutrient is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. Your cells and tissues can not function without it. Protein is an essential component of muscles and bones. It helps build lean mass, supports recovery, and keeps your bones strong. Additionally, it aids in the production of enzymes, hormones, and antibodies for your immune system. A high protein intake can speed up your muscle and strength gains. It also helps preserve lean mass when you're in a caloric deficit. For this reason, it's recommended to load up on protein while on a diet. Under certain circumstances, this nutrient can be used for fuel. Carbohydrates Carbs are your body's primary source of energy. Upon ingestion, they are converted into glucose. The excess is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. If you eat carbs and your glycogen stores are already full, they will be deposited as fat. These nutrients provide energy to your brain, organs, and cells. Certain carbs, such as fiber, keeps your digestive system running smoothly and help eliminate waste. Simple carbs are rapidly digested and serve as a quick source of fuel. Complex carbs take hours to digest, offering steady energy throughout the day. Fats Another key nutrient is dietary fat. Your body uses fat for energy. Good fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, and unrefined vegetable oils, support heart function and lower cholesterol levels. They also help your body absorb certain nutrients like vitamins A and E. Dietary fat regulates your temperature and insulates your organs. They also have a direct impact on blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Trans fats are highly processed and should be avoided. A balanced diet should include optimal doses of the three macros. You can’t give up fats or carbs forever. These nutrients support bodily functions and athletic performance. Even the slightest deficiency can mess up your hormones and affect overall health.
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