The Whats and Whys of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats

Nutrition forms the base of the hierarchy of fitness and is the first paragraph of Glassman’s “Fitness in 100 Words” so here’s a little primer on what macro-nutrients are.

Protein is used for building muscle and is found in animal products primarily. When we work out we “break down” our muscles and the protein rebuilds them stronger. It contains 4kCal/gram. (We’ll explain why this is important further down).

(We know there are vegan and vegetarian sources of protein, remember this is just a brief overview!)

Carbohydrates are for energy to do our squats and burpees. We get carbs primarily from fruit & veg, pasta and potatoes. CrossFit’s general advice is “get off the couch, off the carbs”. To clarify we’re not anit-carbohydrate, but anti EXCESSIVE carbohydrates. It’s very easy to eat well over your daily carbohydate needs with some Coke, pizza, and jellies! Carbohydrates contain 4kCal/gram.

Fats are essential for our cell make up and hormonal balance. Animal fats, avocados, butters and nuts are sources of fats. Fats contain 9kCal/gram.

As a general rule we should aim to have 30% of our total calories come from Protein, 30% from Fat, and 40% from Carbs.

Men typically need 2000-2500kCal a day and women 1600-2000kCal a day. These vary depending on body composition, age, goals, activity levels etc.

Use or book a Free Nutrition Consult to find out what’s right for you.

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