Macronutrients are a bodybuilders main source of energy, and not only help the muscles work, but also help them recovery.
Without eating enough of the right types of macronutrients, it’s literally impossible to build muscle.
They are called macronutrients because by the body requires large amounts of them each day, unlike micronutrients (like vitamins and minerals), which the body requires in much smaller amounts.
Macronutrients provide calories (energy) for the body.
Although you are probably very familiar with the names of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein and water), you may not be familiar with the unique role each of them plays in the muscle building process.
Why are Macronutrients Important for Building Muscle?
Macronutrients play a number of crucial roles when it comes to building muscle mass.
Here is a list of the four macronutrients with a brief overview of the roles they play in building muscle and gaining weight.
Carbohydrates – Can be of either the complex or simple variety.
Your body stores carbohydrates in the form of, glycogen both in the liver, and in the muscle tissue.
Glycogen is the primary energy source used during weight training workouts, making adequate intake of this macronutrient a crucial component of your weight gain diet.
Adequate carbohydrate intake will ensure that your body will have the energy it needs for hard weight training workouts.
Protein – Directly responsible for building and maintaining muscle tissue.
The body literally converts the amino acids that are in the protein you consume into muscle tissue.
Eating the right high protein foods will ensure that your body gets the amino acids it needs to undergo this process.
Fat – Aside from being the main source of energy for the body while at rest, fat and essential fatty acids in particular play many roles at the cellular level that are needed to build and repair muscle tissue.
Fat also plays an important role in the production of the hormones you need to grow muscle.
Water – Water is responsible for a countless number of bodily functions that are required for muscle growth and recovery.
If your goal is to increase your lean body mass, dehydration can quickly bring your gains to a stand still.
it’s important to drink as much water as possible, since your program will increase your body’s requirement of the nutrient.
Many whole foods provide a mixture of macronutrients, but are normally classified as either a carbohydrate, a protein or a fat.
This classification is based on the most abundant macronutrient in that food.
For example, a serving of whole oats contain about 11 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and a 56 grams of carbohydrates, making this grain a top choice in the carbohydrate category.
What are Macronutrients Composed Of?
Macronutrients are sources of energy for your body.
With the exception of water, each macronutrient provides a specific number of calories per gram.
Here is a break down of the number of calories that each macronutrient is composed of:
The only other substance that provides calories is alcohol, which has about 7 calories per gram.
Since alcohol isn’t essential to our survival, it isn’t considered a macronutrient.
Alcohol calories are often referred to as “empty calories” because they provide no nutrients to the body.
Excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to the success of your muscle building program, so lay off the booze while you are training.
What are the Best Sources of Macronutrients for Bodybuilders?
There are plenty of bodybuilding foods available that are packed with high quality macronutrients.
Generally, the best foods are unrefined foods.
If it was made by mother nature, it’s probably a nutritious food.
Examples of some of the best sources of macronutrients for bodybuilders include:
Putting it All Together
Consuming a balanced macronutrient intake is essential for muscle growth, since macrountrients provide our body’s with energy and the “building blocks” of tissue growth, among other essential things.
The best sources of macronutreients are unrefined whole foods like lean meat, fruits & vegetables, grains, and nuts and seeds.
The key to a successful muscle building diet is consuming macronutreients in the correct ratio for your body type, consuming a variety of different types of macronutrients, and consistently eating the right types of macronutrients every day.