It is very important to include these three macro-nutrients with every meal, they are Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. Each macro nutrient has a vital role to play in your diet, most of us have protein and carbohydrates, however not all of us include fats. So let's start with the first macronutrient which is Protein. Protein is great for your muscles, great for recovery and strength. Protein is derived from the word 'Proteus' which means first, so it is very important to have your proteins with every meal especially for breakfast. It also contains essential amino acids that are building blocks of protein for your muscles, remember I mentioned above that protein is great for recovery, well this is exactly that. Essential Amino acids are ''essential'' and required to build, repair and grow new muscle fibers. Examples of good protein are, eggs, steak, fish, chicken, turkey and supplements like whey protein. Protein can't really be used as an energy source however, so for energy we rely on Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are your main energy source and they help you before and after your workout. Your body can have up to 105 grams of carbohydrates per hour which is then converted into glucose and stored within the body to be used an energy. There are two different types of carbohydrates, these are simple and complex carbohydrates, both have their own specific role within the body depending on what you want to achieve. Simple carbohydrates are foods like white rice, white pasta, rice cakes, they are refined foods that are stripped of a lot of their nutritional value. Because of this they are quickly processed within the body and release energy quickly. Too many of these type of foods throughout the day can give you a short burst of energy but then leave you feeling sluggish and tired. A good time to perhaps consume these foods would be 30 minutes before a workout, when you are going to use the energy. On the other hand, there are complex carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are the opposite to simple. They are slow release, the body takes time to process the foods once consumed and will release the energy a steady pace throughout your body. Examples of this are sweet potato, brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread etc. The final macronutrient is Fats. Healthy fats can also be used as an energy source where carbohydrates are at a minimum. If a goal of yours is to lose weight and control it then healthy fats are great for you and you are going to want to consume them. Why? Well, when you eat healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, chemical messages are sent to your brain to let you know you are full. So, when it comes to portion control and not over eating, healthy fats will keep you strict on how much to eat. By consuming Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats together your body will be busy digesting the foods which also means a steady release of energy. Let's just look at this as an example. Take a banana, a ripe yellow banana on it's own is a pretty fast release carbohydrate that will be converted into glucose and into the blood stream within 15 minutes of eating it. However, have a banana with some healthy peanut butter (fats) it will take the body longer to digest, maybe 30-45 minutes making it slightly slower and steady release energy within the body. Take this one step further, have the banana with the peanut butter and a source of protein like, a whey protein shake, the absorption rate will be even slower, possibly over an hour, releasing energy even slower than before. So, you can see, having all three food groups together also keep you feeling fuller for longer and help with the release of slow energy throughout the body. Try it out and let me know what you think.