Basic Nutrition

Basic Nutrition

Understand the fuel your body needs and how it is used.

Types of Nutrients

  • Macro-Nutrients – essential for human survival and growth


  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats
  4. Water


  • Micro-Nutrients – essential for growth and enhance the function and usability of macro-nutrients


  1. Vitamins
  2. Minerals


The difference between macro and micro nutrients is the amount your need each day. Macro-nutrients must exceed one gram per day.

1. Carbohydrates

Provide energy for your body by converting to glucose.

Three types of carbohydrates

  1. Simple – one or two units of sugar
  2. Complex – more than two units of sugar
  3. Dietary fiber – complex carbohydrates that are not a source of energy and add no calories to your diet.


  •   Protect your muscles.
  •   Regulate the amount of sugar circulating in your body.
  •   Assist in the body’s absorption of calcium.
  •   May help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure.


2. Proteins

Used for tissue growth and repair.

Two types of Proteins:

  1. Complete Proteins – contain sufficient amounts of all essential amino acids.
  2. Incomplete Proteins – missing or do not have enough essential amino acids.


  • Amino Acids are the building blocks for protein (20 different types).
  • Within six months, every protein molecule in your body is broken down and replaced.
  • The more intensely you train, the more protein is required for repair and growth.
  • Consuming more protein than the body needs can result in an increase in fat storage.


3. Fats

A healthy body needs fat.

Major uses for FAT

  1.  Provides a source of stored fat.
  2.  Gives shape to your body.
  3.  Cushions your skin.
  4.  Acts as an insulator in order to reduce heat loss.
  5.  Protects your organs if you fall or are injured.


4. Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals act as regulators and catalysts for a variety of bodily functions.

 Vitamins are essential for:

  1. Building body tissues such as bones, skin, glands, nerves, and blood.
  2. Assisting in the metabolizing of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates so you receive energy from food.
  3. Promoting healing
  4. Preventing nutritional deficiency diseases.


Minerals are essential for:

  1. The formation of strong bones and teeth
  2. Helping to control the nervous system
  3. Fluid balance in tissues
  4. Muscle contractions


Minerals and most vitamins must be supplied through diet since they are not made in the body.


5. Water

Your overall body is between 70 – 80% water.

Your muscles are about 75% water

Your body needs water to:

  1. Digest food
  2. Carry waste products out of your body
  3. Regulate body temperature
  4. Lubricate moving parts


Your body does not store water so you must take in a new supply every day.

The National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board recommends one milliliter (ml) of water for each calories of food we consume.