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Functions of Nutrients

Nutrition is the science of the food we eat and how our bodies use it.

There are 6 Essential Nutrients. The six essential nutrients include the 3 macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and the 3 micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and water.

The Principle of Nutrient Interaction states that no nutrient works alone and that nutrients have many roles.

There are three broad functions of nutrients; to build and repair tissue, regulate metabolism and to provide energy.

Carbohydrates are the body’s “high intensity” energy source.  This is the primary function of carbs.  Carbs come from plants (grains, fruit, vegetables).  Our bodies store carbs as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue (excess can be stored as fat).  The RDA of carbs per day is 45% – 65% of our daily intake.

Protein is the body’s “back up” for high intensity work.  The building blocks of protein are amino acids.  Protein is stored in the body as muscle tissue. Excess protein is stored as fat.  The RDA of protein per day is 10% – 35% of our daily intake.

Fat is the body’s endurance fuel and is used for low intensity energy.  Fat is stored as adipose tissue.  The building blocks of fat are fatty acids.  The RDA for fat is 20% – 35% of our daily intake.


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