We’ve all heard these words, but what exactly do they mean and why do they matter?
When we research various bodybuilding diets and ways to optimize nutrition, the words macronutrients and micronutrients always appear. We know what nutrients are. We get them through food and other things we consume and they work to power our lives, giving our bodies the proper fuel it needs to thrive inside and out of the gym. But knowing what these words mean is incredibly important and should not be overlooked, especially for those of us taking health and performance as seriously as possible.
Let’s take a look at the differences between macronutrients and micronutrients so we fully understand how to optimize our health, read those beyond confusing nutrition labels, and understand just what we need to thrive inside and out of the gym. Knowing what to do and what things mean can greatly influence our ability to enhance our health and performance for the absolute best.
What Are we Talking About?
For both macronutrients and micronutrients, it is important we first define what a nutrient is. A nutrient is a compound that cannot be produced by the body yet is essential for daily functioning. Since the body cannot produce nutrients, we must carefully select what we consume so we only get the best fuel to power our body. With many nutrients essential for sustaining life, grouping them into macro and micronutrients can help us easily identify and explain.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are those that our bodies need in larger quantities and provide support for energy, our metabolism, muscle growth, and overall development as we continue to progress with our fitness goals. The three macronutrients that we all know and love are protein, carbs, and fat. As the body’s primary source of energy, these are needed in larger quantities and make up the majority of the calories we consume on a daily basis.
- Protein: Since protein is the building block of all muscle, this plays a vital role in both muscle growth as well as recovery. For those looking to lose weight, it can also improve satiety for less snacking and better appetite control.
- Carbs: A main source of energy, carbs are important for fueling your body and your mind so you thrive inside and out of the gym with everything you do.
- Fats: Fats are important for brain development and hormone production. They can also keep you full so you don’t have to deal with snacking or unwanted calories.
What Are Micronutrients?
As the name would suggest, micronutrients are those that are required in smaller quantities and responsible for supporting your body with things like repairing damaged cells, fighting diseases, among others. These are vitamins and minerals, those powerful nutrients packed into a multivitamin supplement to help cover all your daily doses that are important to your overall health. Examples being calcium, iron, vitamin C, B vitamins, and a host of others are all essential for keeping our bodies operating at a high level. Mainly found in the foods we eat, sometimes it is important for those who may be deficient to supplement in order to not suffer any unwanted side effects or illnesses as a result.
Searching For The Best Quality Nutrients
When it comes to finding the best nutrients, always looking to high quality foods is a sure fire way to ensure you maximize the benefits. Whole foods are a great way to go as they are nutrient dense and it is always important to make sure you supplement if need be so you never suffer a deficiency.
Featured Supplements For Valuable Nutrients
When it comes to supplementation, we felt we should share two supplements with you, one to benefit your macronutrient intake and one to assist with your micronutrients. A protein powder and a multivitamin are two important supplements that we should never take for granted.