As humans, there are different types of fuel we can utilize in the body, especially for movement.
You’ve probably heard about the Keto Diet and utilize fats for fuel, or more specifically ketones when carbohydrates are low. The same premise applies to metabolic flexibility, but with the capacity to adapt. Metabolic flexibility is the ability for us to adapt and use available fuel sources.
This means we are able to use fats some of the time and carbohydrate some of the time. While carbohydrates are an important fuel source for our brain and muscles, fat is important for fueling us as well. If we are only able to utilize one of these fuel sources, we are limited in our functionality.
Ideally we are able to use fat for fuel outside of the gym or in endurance workouts, while we should be able to use carbs for fuel when performing strength training and high intensity workouts. In a perfect world, we are able to switch back and forth with ease.
We can do this by achieving a balanced macronutrient ratio, which differs from person to person. In general, a 30/30/40 macro balance is a good place to start, where 30% of your calories come from protein and fat, and 40% of your calories come from carbohydrates.
Finding your personalized macronutrient ratio and calorie intake level can be done by looking at your basal metabolic rate or working with a trained nutrition professional.