12 Macro Facts to Know for 2016

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If you want to maximize your potential with nutrition, you need to know a lot more than a few key ratios, and when to eat what. Get to know each of the four major macronutrients as if they were your four favorite workouts: what they do in your body, how they work best, and if they serve you any deeper purpose… beyond just making you look like a boss.


It’s the King of the Macros! You pound shakes and devour Quest Bars. Chickens flee in terror when you step onto a farm. But scientists have actually discovered more than 100,000 different proteins to date, many of which do far more than just sculpt your guns.


Sufficient recovery requires a lot more than adequate rest between workouts. Whey protein is a key component for rebuilding your muscles, plus it contains plenty of amino acids needed to build a rock-solid immune system. Whey’s aminos have shown to boost levels of glutathione [1], one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants, better than any other source of protein.

Low protein levels (usually caused by malnutrition or disease) can cause “edema,” a condition of excessive swelling, most often seen in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Protein helps hold salt and water inside your blood vessels, so fluid doesn’t leak out into tissues. Go eat some more chicken so you don’t let yourself get TOO swole, bro!


Not all protein blends are created equal. The best way to tell the true potency of a protein powder is with a simple calculation: P/Cal – The amount of total calories that come from protein. A gram of protein counts as four calories, so take that number (protein x 4), divide by total calories… and bam, P/Cal! That “50g Protein Per Serving” sticker on the label is just so damn enticing… until you realize that’s from four scoops and 650 calories (no wonder Gainers come in 5lb jugs). Powder brands like Quest with P/Cals in the 80-90% range allow you to add in extra carb or fat powders afterward if you need those to meet your macros. Don’t be fooled by “proprietary” blends; only you know your own exact nutritional goals.


A former black sheep macro of our nutritional world, fat actually comes with a fat stack of benefits, the least of which is winter insulation. Let’s flip into ketosis for a minute and see what happens when we’re burning ketones instead of glucose…


A ketogenic diet (high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb) forces the body to become “fat adapted,” burning fats as fuel rather than carbs. The best part about “going keto”: you don’t need fear missing out on great flavor. Keto-friendly foods are known for having an incredibly rich and taste, and they’re incredibly satisfying. Once you’re nice and lean, you can still eat fats instead of carbs (for the most part) to remain shredded like you never before thought possible. Just ask Mike Rashid!


Ketogenic diets can prevent seizures, which is why they’ve been used for decades to treat epilepsy in children. Kids unsuccessful with medicinal treatment have, in many cases, been cured immediately and entirely of the condition through therapeutic ketosis [2]. It’s not as simple as taking a pill, though, as the toughest thing about staying in ketosis is your own body’s preference for burning carbs before fat. Stock up on the right foods ahead of time… keto isn’t something you can just flirt with like a cute co-worker. You need to go all-in.


Keto-scientist and researcher Dominic D’ Agostino suggests that a diet-induced ketosis (especially when combined with the use of nutrition supplements like MCT oil powder) can greatly reduce the brain’s need to use oxygen for burning glucose [3], therefore extending breath-hold time. A brain primed with fat is better equipped to withstand low oxygen levels. It can even resist potential cell damage from extended time with low oxygen (hypoperfusion) when fueled up to 75% from ketones.

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