Simplifying Macros for Law Enforcement Professionals

Feb 20, 2022
 

 

What Are "Macros"?

 

The majority of the foods we consume are classified as one of the three macronutrients or "Macros": Protein, Carbohydrate, or Fat. By definition from Precision Nutrition, macronutrients are “nutrients the body requires in large amounts.”

Now, that does not mean that a specific food is STRICTLY one macronutrient; most food is made up of 2-3 of the 3 macros, but the majority rule is what classifies it. Keep that in mind as you are learning more about macros throughout this article.

Aside from macronutrients, our food also includes micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), phytochemicals (nutrients from plants) and zoochemicals (from animal food sources such as creatine).

Seems silly to say, but all of this food contains ENERGY - energy and fuel that we need to

1) Stay Alive

and

2) To Thrive.

 

It is important to understand that what you consume each day will substantially affect your body composition (bodyweight, weight distribution, fat mass vs. lean mass), physical and mental performance, hormones, sleep, recovery, and your energy level throughout the day.

 

(Download: Guide to Calculating Macros for LEOS)

 

Most importantly, the more aware we are of what we consume, the better results we will get when it comes to our health which lowers the risk of injury, illness, chronic disease, etc.

Besides understanding what exactly you’re putting into your body each day, you should also understand WHY it matters and what it can do for you mentally, physically, emotionally, hormonally, and more.

Below we will list FACTS about each Macronutrient!

 

 

Protein (molecules made up of amino acids):

  • 4 calories per gram of protein
  • Not readily stored as fat in our body
  • Builds and repairs cells (muscle, skin) for recovery and muscle growth
  • Supports processes in the body such as fluid balance, blood clotting, immune response, hormone and enzyme production
  • High thermic effect helping to speed metabolism
  • Best to consume via whole, minimally processed foods
  • May be beneficial to supplement with whey, casein and other protein powders
  • Needs go up if training volume is high, if ill or if injured
  • Very satiating helping to limit cravings for food

 

Carbohydrates (a group of compounds including sugars, starch and cellulose):

  • 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate
  • Stored and used as immediate energy (go-to source for the body)
  • Spares the use of protein as energy
  • Supports fat metabolism
  • Usually paired with fiber
  • Active people require more and use them more effectively than inactive or sedentary individuals
  • Timing can matter for physical performance/training
  • Should be adjusted based on activity level

 

Fat (triglycerides):

  • 9 calories per gram of fat
  • Multiple types: Saturated, omega 3 & 6, trans
  • Can be used as energy, especially during aerobic or long duration exercise
  • Extremely important for hormone production and transfers in the body
  • Cell creation
  • Refined and processed foods contain artificial fats 
  • Absorption of vitamins (a, d, k, e)
  • Blood vessel function 
  • Insulation and protection of organs
  • A balance of all natural types is best 

(Download: Guide to Calculating Macros for LEOS)

As you can see, each macronutrient plays a very important role in our bodies.

 

OK, now what foods go in which category?

 

Here's a chart you can screenshot and refer back to whenever needed:

 

 

How does this help us as Law Enforcement Officers?

 

1) It goes without saying that your physical & mental performance and abilities matter for your safety and the safety of others that you serve. Optimizing your performance can literally save your life or someone else's. Fitness is the foundation for survival.

 

2) Balanced diet and proper nutrition control energy balance which allows you to look good, feel good, and perform at your best.

 

3) Achieving your fitness and health goals doesn't happen without caring about what you consume each day. This goes for weight loss, muscle gain, hitting PRs in the gym, getting stronger, running longer, etc.

 

4) Longevity. We all want to stay healthy throughout our career, but what about after? When you make it to retirement, those days should be happy and healthy and you should have the ability to be active, travel, enjoy your hobbies, and ultimately relax and enjoy your retirement without worrying about health issues, disease, injuries, or whatever else may come if your health is neglected.

 

Do you you want help with calculating your personal macros? Check out our Guide to Calculating Macros for LEOs where we walk you step by step through calculating your macros.

Not a fan of math?  You can purchase our Nutrition Templates which will calculate your macros for you based on your personal needs.  Take the guesswork out of planning your meals.

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