How to Optimize Nutrition for Macronutrients


What your body needs, in terms of macronutrient ratios, is completely dependent on your fitness goals not necessarily just your body weight. In this article I am going to talk about the necessary ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fat for fitness enthusiasts.

I have divided the fitness enthusiasts into two different categories: endurance athletes and bodybuilders. Endurance athletes consist of the athletes that perform tasks that require great cardiovascular endurance. These include long-distance runners, basketball players, football players, hockey players, swimmers, soccer players, etc. Bodybuilders include your typical weightlifter that lifts weights 4-5 days a week and whose workout regimen contains very little cardiovascular exercise.

How much protein do I need for my body weight if I am an endurance athlete or bodybuilder?

1. Endurance Athletes – How much Protein do I need if I am in an endurance sport like cross country?

  •  For endurance athletes, protein requirements range from 0.5-0.9 g of protein per pound of body weight for optimum performance.

2.  Bodybuilders – How much protein do I need if I am a bodybuilder?

  • Protein requirements for bodybuilders are about 0.7-0.9 g of protein per pound of body weight. Bodybuilders need a high ratio of protein in their diet to sustain a tough workout regimen and a high body weight. An important note here is that protein is not what builds muscle. An intense training program builds muscle. Consuming an adequate amount of protein allows the individual to get the most out of his or her workout as the muscles need protein to grow.

How many carbohydrates do I need if I am endurance athletes or bodybuilder?

1. Endurance Athletes

  • These types of athletes should be consuming approximately 3-5 g of good carbs per pound of body weight. Good carbs come from foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. “Bad” carbohydrates include foods such as candy, sweets, white bread, cakes, and other processed foods. By consuming good carbs, you will prevent glycogen depletion, which allow you to not only train at your best, but compete at your best as well. Make sure to divide your good carbs’ intake evenly into 5-6 meals spread throughout the day to obtain your desired body weight.

2. Bodybuilders

  •  Bodybuilders do not need nearly the amount of good carbs needed for endurance athletes and should consume 2-3 g per pound of body weight of good carbs daily. This good carb consumption should also be spread evenly throughout the day into 5-6 meals to obtain your desired body weight.

How much fat do I need if I am an endurance athlete or bodybuilder?

1. For both endurance athletes and bodybuilders, 20-35% of the diet should come from fat. Try to consume most of your fat from nuts, nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.), olive oil, fish, and flax-seed. (Ps: consuming fat and gaining fat body weight are not the same thing!)

>Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance by: Melinda Manore and Janice Thompson

>Ace Personal Trainer Manual 4th Edition

>Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook 4th edition by: Nancy Clark

Daniel Maman

Daniel is a certified personal trainer (ACE), has a Bachelors of Science degree in Sports, Exercise, and Wellness, and spends his free time keeping up to date with the latest research in health and fitness. In his free time, you can find him playing basketball, doing muay thai, camping, traveling, reading, and eating tomatoes like they're apples.

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  • Written by: Daniel Maman
  • ACE Personal Trainer
    BSc Sports, Exercise, & Wellness
  • Last Updated on August 3, 2023

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