Once you work out calorie needs, you then work out how much of each macronutrient you should aim for. This is one of the areas that is MOST often confused but This should NOT be based on a RATIO of macro intakes. (eg: '30:40:30 or 40:40:20') Your body doesn't CARE what % intake you have. It works based on SUFFICIENT QUANTITY per MASS.
So to try to make it as simple as possible:
1. Protein: Protein intake is a bit of a controversial issue in nutrition. The general recommendations given in the 'bodybuilding' area are nearly double the 'standard' recommendations given in the Sports Nutrition Arena.
The GENERAL sports nutrition guideline based on clinical trials suggest that in the face of ADEQUATE calories and CARBS the following protein intakes are sufficient:
STRENGTH training -> 1.4 to 2g per KG bodyweight (about .6 / pound)
ENDURANCE training -> 1.2 to 1.8g per KG bodyweight (about .8 / pound)
ADOLESCENT in training -> 1.8 to 2.2g per KG bodyweight (about 1g / pound)
BUT researchers also acknowledge that protein becomes MORE important in the context of LOWER calorie intakes, or LOWER carb intakes.
Recent evidence also suggests that protein intakes of 3g/kg help with physiological and psychological stressors associated with high volume or intense training.
One should also note that ADEQUATE v's OPTIMAL is not discussed when it comes to hypertrophy v's performance.
And lastly - you need to consider thermogenics/ satiety/ and personal preference.
So - General 'bodybuilding' guidelines for protein would be as follows:
- Moderate bodyfat and training load = 2.2-2.8g per kg TOTAL weight (about 1-1.25g per pound)
- Very Low bodyfat or Very Low Calorie or High training load = 2.4 - 3g per kg TOTAL weight (1.1-1.35g per pound)
- High bodyfat, high calorie, or low training load = 1.6 to 2.2g per kg TOTAL weight (.75 - 1g per pound)
Anecdotally, as most find HIGHER protein intake better for satiety, partitioning, blood sugar control, and hypertrophy. UNLESS you have medical reasons for lower protein, or unless guided to use the GENERAL sports nutrition guidelines, I would suggest the BODYBUILDING values.
2. Fats: Generally speaking, although the body can get away with short periods of very low fat, in the long run your body NEEDS fat to maintain health, satiety, and sanity. Additionally - any form of high intensity training will benefit from a 'fat buffer' in your diet - which controls free radical damage & inflammation. General guides:
Average or low bodyfat: 1 - 2g fat/ kg body weight [between 0.40 - 1g total weight/ pounds]
High bodyfat: 1-2g fat/ Kg LEAN weight [between 0.4 - 1g LEAN weight/ pounds]
Low calorie dieting - you can decrease further, but as a minimum, I would not suggest LESS than about 0.30g/ pound.
Note 1: Total fat intake is NOT the same as 'essential fats' (essential fats are specific TYPES of fats that are INCLUDED in your total fat intake)...
3. Carbs: For carbs there are no specific 'requirements' for your body so - but carbs are important for athletes, ACTIVE individuals, or those trying to GAIN MASS. [carbs help with workout intensity, health, & satiety (+ sanity)]. This means if you are an athlete involved in a good volume of training I would suggest you CALCULATE a requirement for carbs as a PRIORITY - then go back and calculate protein / fat:
Moderately active: 4.5 - 6.5 g/ kg (about 2 - 3g/ pound)
High active: 6.5 - 8.5 g/ kg (about 3 - 4g/ pound)
INTENSE activity: + 8.5g / kg (more than 4g/ pound)
For 'others' - simply carbohydrate intakes via the calories left over from fats/ protein:
carb cals = Total cal needs - ([protein grams above x 4] + [fat grams above x 9])
carb grams = (above cals)/ 4
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