Macronutrient metabolism

Macronutrients form the main component of our diet and are of great importance for our metabolism, especially as energy suppliers. Three groups of macronutrients shape the energy supply and are absorbed by us through food. Fat, for example, is ingested in the form of butter or oils, carbohydrates preferably through potatoes, rice or bread. The third group is proteins, which enter the body through meat, vegetable sources such as pulses, or dairy products. After the intake of food, these macronutrients are metabolised or metabolised by our body. The term metabolism covers several processes, namely the uptake of substances into the cells, the chemical processes that take place there, as well as the transport in the blood and the release of end products.

The three macronutrients have in part very different effects on our metabolism and form the foundation of all metabolic processes in the body. Each of the nutrients fulfils different functions, whether it is digestion, respiration or cell division. Fats provide large amounts of energy, utilise vitamins, take on protective functions and are building materials for our cells. The human organism needs unsaturated fatty acids in particular for metabolism and the elasticity of cell membranes. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are the most important energy supplier for the brain and physical activity and increase the blood sugar level. The more carbohydrates the body is supplied with, the more insulin it has to produce to transport the sugar from the blood into the body cells. Proteins are mainly responsible for building and balancing old cells and are therefore indispensable for our body. Furthermore, proteins act as hormones, enzymes and as antibodies in the defence against infections. In addition, proteins have a satiating effect. With a share of about 60 %, the muscles are the main storehouse for proteins.

The ratio of macronutrients consumed can vary and be adjusted according to the goal. Endurance athletes will pay attention to a high intake of carbohydrates, while strength athletes or those who want to lose weight will feed their body a higher proportion of proteins. But even without a specific goal, the body should be supplied with sufficient amounts of all groups of macronutrients.

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