Nutrients play major roles as far as the various bodily functions are concerned. Some bodily functions which are important for human survival hinge entirely on the kind of nutrients that one consumes. For example, nutrients are important for the provision of energy, growth, cell reproduction helping the body to heal itself among other bodily functions (Mahoney et al. 2016). For these bodily functions and more, macronutrients play some of the most important roles. In this paper, I will describe all the major macronutrient categories, highlight the role played by each, and explain how knowledge of macronutrients is likely to help in my future training endeavors.
Macronutrients constitute that class of nutrients which are required by the body in large quantities in order to provide the energy needed by the human body to keep body functions going and also carry out activities of daily life. Macronutrients are essentially classified into three classes namely proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The main role of macronutrients in the body is energy production. The first class of macronutrients are the carbohydrates made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Compared to other macronutrients, the human body needs carbohydrates in the largest amounts. For energy production, carbohydrates are the most preferable source of caloric intake and the reason behind this is that they are easily metabolized and as such, they are the body’s main source of fuel (Moore, 2015). Carbohydrates play an important role in performance, the most important role, because of their simple nature which makes them easily metabolized. For this reason, all tissues in the body have an inherent ability to synthesize the simple carbohydrate glucose to produce energy. Therefore, carbohydrates play the most important role as far as performance is concerned.
All kinds of carbohydrates are recommended because they contribute meaningfully to the various bodily functions. For example, simple carbohydrates like glucose are very important for energy production while indigestible forms of carbohydrates such as fiber are important for digestion. The intake of both simple and complex carbohydrates is recommended because as discussed above, they are the body’s main source of energy and aid in energy production. In addition to this, I would also recommend the intake of fiber which is an indigestible type of carbohydrate for its role in digestion.
Proteins on the other hand are known as the building blocks of the body (Solon-Biet et al. 2015). Experts recommend that about ten to thirty five percent of calories in the human diet come from proteins. The role of proteins in energy production is secondary because of their nature. This implies that other functions of proteins in the body take precedence before energy production despite the fact that proteins provide the body with four calories for every gram. Therefore, even though proteins can also be used for energy production, this role is secondary in that it is a backup source of energy. On the other hand however, proteins play a major role in performance. This is seen in cases where endurance and strength athletes take in more proteins compared to individuals not involved in such rigorous activities (Mahoney et al. 2016). Proteins act as a backup source of energy while at the same time replenishing the body’s worn out cells and tissues.
For the generally healthy public, the consumption of lean proteins which are low in saturated proteins like white meat, chicken meat without the skin is recommended. On the other hand, the consumption of foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats in large quantities like red meat which has the potential to raise cholesterol levels is discouraged.
Fats also play an important role in energy production in that they act as energy reserves. This is made necessary by the fact that the human body can only store small amounts of glycogen for purposes of energy production. Each gram of fat provides the body with about nine calories and it constitutes the largest concentration of energy compared to any other nutrients. Fats also play an important role in performance because they are essential in the provision of energy. Fats have the capacity to enhance the performance of individuals taking part in longer, low intensity as well as endurance exercises (Mahoney et al. 2016). This use of fats during exercises however hinges on the timing of fat intake before taking part in exercises owing to the fact that fat is neither directly accessible for energy production nor quick to digest and convert into a form of energy which the body can utilize.
The recommended types of fats for the general healthy public are unsaturated fats which generally come from plant sources and are known to have health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of contracting heart disease (Solon-Biet et al. 2015). On the other hand, saturated fats are known to cause significant health problems and should not be consumed in large quantities.
As discussed above, macronutrients are important determinants of an individual’s performance and as a result the knowledge about macronutrients is essential for future my future training endeavors. For individuals taking part in rigorous physical activities, the consumption of food and drinks in the right balance is a vital aspect in training. The reason behind this is that, not striking the right balance between the various nutrients has the potential to affect the performance during exercise or training and can also be a contributing factor to injuries (Solon-Biet et al. 2015). Therefore, when one is equipped with knowledge pertaining all there is to know about the different classes of macronutrients, it becomes possible to come up with a proper nutrition plan that strikes the right intake balance of the various macronutrients.
Macronutrients play a key role in the provision of fuel to maintain adequate energy levels. When one is equipped with knowledge about macronutrients, it becomes possible to know that adequate intake of carbohydrates ensures that muscles have an abundant supply of energy which prevents muscle fatigue (Moore, 2015). In addition to this, one is aware that too much intake of fats is not good but it is also not healthy to eliminate fats from the diet while protein intake is essential for energy as well as building new muscle tissue. Therefore, with this knowledge, one can come up with a nutritional plan that is tailored to an individual’s training needs.