By: Gavin Hemmerlein
Let’s start out with looking at Macronutrient (Macro) intake and Micronutrient (Micro) intake. Both of these are very important in different ways in our life, but having a grasp of the topic can liberate you.
Macronutrients are split into 5 basic units; Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, Water, and finally Alcohols. Each unit has a different amount of kilocalories (4, 4, 9, 0, 7 respectively). The main three to be concerned about are the first three. They will be your performance drivers. This is because water has none, and you should only be consuming alcohol in moderation anyway. Binging is a no-no. STOP DOING IT!
A proper development of a healthy diet MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT MACRONUTRIENT INTAKE! I cannot stress this point enough. You WILL NOT get anywhere by neglecting the ratio of the macros. It is asinine to believe so. I am sure this will cause some anger, but if you want to discuss this civilly, I will take you up on that in the comments. The ratio of what to consume will be inevitably tied back to your goals. A marathoner, basketball star, and bodybuilder will all have different percentages of protein for their diet (10-15, 20, and 25% respectively).
The Micro side is where everything gets a little more fuzzy. These are vitamins, minerals, and other items that fit into the subcategories of the Macros. There are recommended daily intake (RDI) values, but these do not take into account activity. For that I default to ISSA’s list of Performance Daily Intakes (PDI), which is a really great resource for somebody who has taken the time to get certified. It’s as simple: as activity goes up, so does your needs!
Micronutrient sections will probably take up the most time on this series. Often I don’t stress enough how much Micronutrient intake can affect performance, but it is there. There are reasons I don’t put as much emphasis as I should, but that’s for another day.