Protein or protein is one of the most important nutrients for our body. They are the alpha and omega in the fitness world, because they function as a basic building block for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass, but also for the cells of the immune system. However, they are not only important for active athletes, because they have a really wide effect on our functioning. They have a positive effect on bone health, skin, enzyme production, hormones and play a vital role in all body tissues. Life without them would not be possible and the body also uses them to create connective tissues (ligaments, cartilage and bones) and muscle tissues (smooth, cardiac and transverse striated).
The positive news is that we can find proteins in a wide range of foods that we normally consume every day. Their best source is poultry, dairy products, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and various whole grain products. Optimal protein intake depends on several factors. If it is insufficient, it can affect your health or your inability to achieve your fitness goals. So how do you recognize protein deficiency?
How proteins work in our body
Before we begin to describe the signs that signal a lack of protein, we need to say something about how they work. During digestion, proteins in our body are broken down into amino acids. These help the body to function and grow optimally. Therefore, as mentioned in the introduction, this macronutrient is important for healthy and strong muscles, bones, hair or nails.
We know of nine essential and eleven non-essential amino acids, of which arginine or histidine, for example, are partially essential (necessary in certain situations). The difference between essential and non-essential amino acids is that essentially our body cannot produce itself. Therefore, we should consume them in the diet or nutritional supplements. The storage of amino acids in our body is taken care of by the so-called amino acid pool. It is a term that characterizes amino acids in the circulatory system, where they are immediately available to our body, for example in the synthesis of proteins. However, the capacity of the amino acid pool is very small. Therefore, we should pay attention to their regular supply. Simply put, if we do not get enough protein, our health may be at some risk.
Optimal daily protein intake for adults
So how much protein should we take? The optimal daily protein intake is the amount you should consume every day for the healthy functioning of your body. It depends on several factors, including gender, lifestyle, current weight, sports activity or fitness goals.
The minimum dose should be 0.8 g per kilogram body weight. But this is true for people who live inactive ways. For most others, this amount is insufficient and the most inclined value is thus on average around 1.2 to 1.8 g / kg. However, when you exercise, your protein intake should be even higher. For example, if you do strength sports, you should be at 1.4 – 2 g / kg with protein. However, the need for protein may increase in the case of a really demanding sports load, or in a combination of a hard drawing diet and training.
Signs of insufficient protein intake
As mentioned in the introduction, insufficient protein intake has a very negative effect on your health. A condition in which you have low levels of protein in your blood is called hypoproteinaemia. Signs of poor protein intake vary and can range from less severe to severe.
An example is:
fatigue and weaknessrecurrent viral or bacterial infectionsmood swingscraving for foods rich in protein
It should be added that these symptoms may also be associated with a general lack of energy and other health problems. Therefore, the diagnosis of hypoproteinemia is only possible after a medical examination. However, protein deficiency also brings other problems. Therefore, below we will introduce you to 5 characters that should warn you.
1. Shortly after a meal you feel dissatisfied and hungry
Feelings of hunger fluctuate throughout the day. It is therefore natural that after strenuous training you are more hungry than on days when there is less physical activity. However, if you feel dissatisfied and hungry shortly after eating, it may be a sign of a lack of protein. The body digests proteins more slowly than carbohydrates, which give you an immediate source of energy. It is a good idea to include a source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fats in every meal. The resulting food will be nutritionally balanced, you will spend it longer and it will provide you with a more stable flow of energy or a feeling of satiety.
It is this that is much larger here than with foods with a lower protein content. If their intake is not ideal, you may notice a greater appetite and a desire to put something good under your tooth. Often this urge is associated with the craving for sweet, savory, fatty and caloric foods, the consumption of which can lead to weight gain.
2. You lose muscle mass
Your muscles are the largest store of protein in your body. If you have a deficiency of them, the body will arrange itself by taking them from skeletal muscles. This is to protect important tissues and functions of the body. As a result of this process, protein deficiency leads to muscle loss over time, known as sarcopenia. It is a syndrome of gradual loss of muscle mass, strength or function.
It usually manifests itself in the elderly and even when there is even a slight lack of protein. However, people who are low in protein are no exception, which can be a problem in connection with a lot of sports. However, their increased intake can reverse muscle degeneration, according to studies. It is ideal to combine protein with strength training to help you gain muscle mass. This is then one of the prerequisites for a longer and better life.
3. You have problems with your hair, skin and nails
Hair loss, dry skin or breaking nails can be one of the first signs that your protein intake is not enough.
Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin B, is essential for the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids.
These are found in proteins. And biotin is needed to maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
Lack of protein and biotin usually goes hand in hand. Hair, skin or nail problems can also be related to deficiency:
zincironomega 3 fatty acids
4. You have trouble sleeping
If you have prolonged sleep problems, your body may want an increased protein intake. The process of burning them is much slower than in the case of carbohydrates.
If you lack protein and energy, you can wake up every 2-3 hours during the night because your body wants its next meal. Eating enough of them, along with a well-designed diet, will give you a greater feeling of satiety and better insulin stabilization. Smoother sleep can also be associated with this.
In addition, poor sleep is involved in a number of different problems. If you are more interested in this topic, be sure not to miss our article What happens to your body when you sleep a little.
5. You are stressed and cannot concentrate
The release of stress hormones can have an effect on increased muscle and tissue breakdown. It is important to realize that stress is to blame. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, it will have nothing to recover. Your tissues suffer as a result of a stressful lifestyle and inadequate nutrition.In addition, protein deficiency also contributes to your concentration.
If you can’t concentrate, your diet may be at fault. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine need the right amount of amino acids for their synthesis, which is provided by proteins. Their deficiency can lead to malaise, poor concentration and reduced mental alertness.
Tips on how to supplement the missing protein
If you feel that you lack enough protein, you can reach for some proven tips on how to supplement these important substances. Among the most effective are:
Limit processed foods. Instead of consuming too much simple carbohydrates and sugars, try to eat as little processed food as possible. Give room for legumes, meat, nuts, dairy products and the like.Try to represent protein throughout the diet. The key is that each of your meals contains a portion of protein. Thanks to this, your diet will be balanced and healthy.Give space to an alternative source of protein. Try, for example, vegetable proteins found in legumes, nuts, beans or soy.Think of the tenth. Many underestimated tithes can be a great source of protein supplementation. An excellent choice is, for example, protein bars, cookies and the like.Consider supplementation. Protein supplements are among the most effective tools to help with the supply of more protein. You can supplement them with quality whey, vegetable, beef or multi-ingredient protein.
An overview of the best sources of protein
It follows that a diet high in protein has many benefits to our health and can help prevent more problems. Therefore, you should give space to the best sources of protein, which include:
beef and chickenfish and seafoodmilk, cheese and dairy productslegumes (peas, beans, lentils)pseudo-cereals (buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa…)nuts and seedstofu and tempehvegetable meat substituteswhey and vegetable proteinprotein bars
After reading the article, we know that protein is one of the most important nutrients that should definitely not be missing in our diet. Not only are they the cornerstone of muscle growth and maintenance, but they also contribute to a number of biological processes, including the proper functioning of the immune system. The optimal daily protein intake is about 1.2 to 1.8 g / kg. However, with an active lifestyle, this number should be higher to the upper end of the interval. If our body lacks protein, we can cause unpleasant health problems. Their absence is associated with feelings of hunger, loss of muscle mass, mood swings, poor sleep or inability to achieve sports goals. We should therefore think about protein in every meal. Their best sources include meat, legumes, fish and dairy products.
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