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Macronutrients

Macronutrients are the main nutrients that make up the foods we eat. Macro means large and therefore we need to consume a lot of them. They act as a source of energy for our bodies measured in the form of calories.

7 Nutrients Required in Large Quantities

There are seven distinct nutrients that our bodies require in large quantities as opposed to micronutrients that our bodies need in smaller amounts. These are Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Chloride and Sulfur. The word macro means large and therefore combining it with the word nutrients these elements are known as macronutrients.

There are 3 Main Classes of Macronutrients:

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the most important fuel source for athletes. Every part of our body uses it for energy, without it, we could’t survive. Carbohydrates should provide 45% to 65% of the total energy intake and should be your main part of meal on match days.

Good sources of carbohydrates: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and yoghurt.

Proteins

Proteins build and repair muscle. For easy and short exercise, proteins do not act as a main source of energy. However, for longer exercises, proteins are important and help to maintain energy levels. Protein should provide on average 10% to 30% of total energy intake.

Good sources of protein: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans and nuts.

Fats

Fat is important part of healthy diet. You need it to grow up healthy, and strong. Fats protect your nervous system and help to transport vitamins into our bodies. Fats should provide 25% to 35% of total energy intake.

Good sources of fat: meat, fish, nuts and seeds, dairy products, olive oil.

  • References:Ūdre, V., 2000. Vispārējā un Sporta Bioķīmija II Daļa [General and Sports Biochemistry Part II]. Rīga: LSPA (in Latvian) / Valtneris, A., 2012. Cilvēka fizioloģija [Human Physiology]. Rīga: Apgāds Zvaigzne ABC (in Latvian).

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