14 Mar Macronutrients: The Fuel Your Body Deserves
By Lara Storm, Registered Dietitian
Does a run justify a huge piece of cheesecake?
Just how long do you need to run to work off that box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies or the bacon cheeseburger, fries, and craft brew? Is that even the question we want to ask?
What would it look like if we asked, “What do I deserve to eat to fuel this sexy, amazing, rockin’ body after all of that effort I just put in running?”
Would you put sub-premium gasoline into your new Lamborghini? Of course not! So here are some premium fuels, or macronutrients, your body deserves!
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), water is THE MOST important nutritional ergogenic aid for athletes. For every 15 minutes of exercise, try to drink 6 to 8oz of water or sports drink. Weigh yourself before and after you exercise, and for every pound you lose, drink three cups of water or sports drink to rehydrate.
Very few of us get inadequate protein in our general diet. ISSN recommends 0.8 to 1.0g/kg for general athletes, 1.0 to 1.5g/kg for moderate amounts of intense training, and 1.5 to 2.0g/kg for high volume, intense training. Go for food-based sources of protein such as nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, and lean dairy. For intense training and hectic lives, supplements are helpful.
A good target is 3 to 5g/kg/day for general exercise and 5 to 8g/kg with intense training. That translates to about 1,000 calories for a 150 pound person engaging in general exercise. For intense training, bump that up to 1,900 calories. Go for those whole grains and complex carbs!
It takes about 4 hours for the carbs we eat to become the glycogen we use, so try to get some carbs in before your training. Kim’s favorite pre-run snack is Honey Stinger Waffle with NaturAlmond Butter. Yum!
Isn’t it great that fat is no longer a bad word? Keep it to about 30 percent of daily total fuel (calories). What does that look like? There are 9kcals/gram of fat so if you eat 1,500kcal in a day, 30 percent fat would translate to about 50 fat grams:
1500kcal x 30% = 454kcal; 454kcal/9kcal per gram = 50 fat grams
Focus on healthy choices like lean meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and olive oil.