The Three Macronutrients and Why They’re Essential for Athletes

At Village Catering, we know that food is fuel. As the official caterer of the Temple University Owls, the Philadelphia Soul, and the Philadelphia Flyers, we know that when athletes eat, it’s more than just a meal—it’s preparation for a performance on the field. If you are an athletic director or coach, make sure that your team members are consuming all of the following three macronutrients, along with plenty of water.

  • Protein for power. Protein is one of the most important macronutrients for an athlete because it is responsible for building and maintaining muscle. Dietary experts recommend that athletes make lean protein compose 15-30% of their diet—more if they are looking to build muscle and less if they are involved in endurance sports.
  • Complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates serve two purposes for an athlete’s body. First, the carbohydrates found in colorful vegetables (think bell peppers, kale, and spinach) provide essential micronutrients necessary for metabolic functioning. Carbs are also an athlete’s primary source of quick energy during a stressful workout or game. While pre-packaged sources of carbohydrates like sports drinks and energy bars may be convenient, they often lack micronutrients and are packed with processed sugar. Avoid them on rest days and try to opt for complex sources of carbs for emergency energy—for example, whole grain pasta and bananas.
  • Nourishing fat. Contrary to popular belief, dietary fat is necessary for both absorbing nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight by promoting satiety. The key is choosing healthy sources of polyunsaturated fats—avocados, salmon, olive oil, and almonds are all perfect ingredients for athletes looking to maintain peak performance.

Keeping your athletes on track starts in the kitchen—and Village Catering is here to make sure your team has their best season ever! Give us a call today at 215-437-3337 to learn more about how athletic catering can help set your team up for success!