Know the macronutrients and organize your diet

Nutrition 23/10/23 07:07 Migue A.

Controlling your diet is part of your routine as a cyclist. Add this to your list: controlling your macronutrients is very useful for organizing your diet.


Controlling macronutrients: what they are

If you are not a professional cyclist, you will have realized that you are also obliged to be your manager, your personal trainer, your fan club and, of course, also your nutritionist. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself by planning your diet. And one of those strategies is to control macronutrients.


You may have heard of them as macronutrients or macros and they became famous in the world of bodybuilding. Like counting calories, the macro method has a method that seems rudimentary but works. And you don't have to be a whiz at math.


Let's start from the beginning. Macronutrients are the essential elements for life. That's right, and they are called macros because we need them in a significant amount. In fact, they are the most ingested, and there are only three, like primary colors. And all foods are composed of one, two or all three macronutrients. What are they? Well, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.


How to control macronutrients

Let's do a macro to macro analysis. Let's start with carbohydrates, the main source of energy for our body. The rule of three is quite simple: each gram of carbohydrates provides, approximately, about 4 calories. Considering that carbohydrates are the first thing your body is going to consume, you can calculate how many servings you ingest and predict when they are going to be spent.


All foods are required to detail the servings, so you can check the amounts, although you will mainly find carbohydrates in flours and breads, pasta, fruits, vegetables and some dairy products.


Proteins are considered the second macro. The formula is the same: each gram of protein is estimated to provide your body with another 4 calories. However, they have a nuance: your body cannot store them as it does with carbohydrates. Therefore, it is essential that you plan your protein intake daily. For a cyclist, proteins are fundamental, because they are also important in the recovery phase if your goal is to maintain or gain muscle mass. The foods that contain the most proteins are red meats, but also poultry, fish. The egg is fundamental, because its protein is not only abundant but also of excellent quality.


Finally, fat is the third in discord and the great enemy. It has earned an almost undeserved reputation we could say. Yes, it is the culprit for weight gain if not burned, but they are also fundamental. Because, as always, it depends on what fats we are considering. Fatty acids, the famous omega 3, are important for reducing muscle inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular problems. When you are squeezing your body with cycling, they are even more important.


But, yes, be more careful with them, because in their contributions lies that risk of gaining weight, and each gram of fat carries up to 9 calories. Is this bad? Not if you burn them. So for long and demanding races they are essential because they burn slowly. Let's say they are the diesel of your cadence. Nuts, avocado, oils and vegetable fat (better and healthier always than animal) are the main source.


By measuring these three macros you can achieve a very balanced and very consistent intake with what you burn on the bike. As we said at the beginning, they are simple math but they can help you a lot. So now you know: your app will tell you how many calories you burn per workout approximately, and a scale (your best friend in a diet) for you and another kitchen one will help you control your macronutrients.



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Conoce los macronutrientes y ordena tu dieta


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Découvrez les macronutriments et organisez votre régime alimentaire