Protein is crucial to the body for muscle growth and repair. We also need protein for healthy hair, nails and skin not to mention overall health and well being!
Sometimes it can be difficult to know if we are eating enough protein to fit our needs, here are some signs that you may need to include more in your diet.
Signs Your Body Needs
#1 Lack of progress
If you are training hard and eating a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables but still is not seeing progress, there is something amiss. This lack of progress is most likely due to not eating enough protein.
✓ Your body uses protein for a huge number of things and unfortunately building muscle is not at the top of its priority list. Therefore, if you do not eat enough, your body will not be capable of building muscle as the protein it does receive will be needed elsewhere in the body to keep you alive and moving rather than building your biceps!
#2 Wounds heal slowly
Slow-healing wounds are a sign of insufficient protein in the diet. Although vitamin deficiencies are also possible culprits for this issue, it is often a lack of protein in the diet that can be the root of this problem.
✓ This is especially prominent if you are not ensuring to eat some lean protein at every meal.
#3 Often injured
Recovery after training is crucial to making progress in your next session, and if you are constantly suffering from injuries it might be worth considering adding more protein to your diet.
Exercisers that do not consume enough protein are at a higher risk of injury due to the fact that this is an essential nutrient to promote healing and repair.
✓ Without enough of it, your body simply won’t recover as quickly as it should and this can result in injuries!
#3 Often sick
The body’s immune system relies heavily on receiving enough protein to function.
✓ If you do not build in enough of this essential nutrient in your diet, your body will not be able to manufacture white blood cells which are used to defend it against invaders such as bacteria and viruses – leading to being run down and being more susceptible to catching illnesses!
#4 Losing muscle
Although muscle loss can be the result of excessive cardio, too little protein to meet your body’s needs is a major culprit too. Muscle needs protein to repair and grow after a training session, so if you are losing it, this is a major warning sign that you are not eating enough protein in your diet.
Often when this happens, you will also notice your body composition may shift into a higher body fat level than it had been before.
✓ This is due to a decrease in metabolism caused by the loss of muscle which made it easier for the body to store fat; the less muscle you have, the less calories the body requires to function.
#5 Hair loss
Although many factors can contribute to hair loss, protein deficiency can be one of them. This is due to the fact the hair, skin and nails are not the body’s priority in times of deficiency.
The body is concerned with survival, and hair is not necessary for that purpose. This can result in more hair loss than normal when you take a shower, and you may notice your nails going brittle too.
✓ Try to include a protein source at every meal and track how much protein you eat so that you know if you are hitting your target numbers on a daily basis. There are plenty of free apps that making doing this easy and hassle free.
✓ Don’t rely too heavily on any single protein source, try to vary them so that you are receiving the full spectrum of amino acids and also all the accompanying vitamins and minerals that go hand in hand with a varied balanced diet.
Protein Deficiency | Tips
✓ It is worth getting blood tests at the doctors to check for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, especially if you suffer from any of the issues above as often with nutritional deficiencies, there can be more than one at play contributing to your symptoms!
✓ Supplementing is also an option for people on the go that might not always have time to prepare a full meal or are struggling to meet their protein needs through whole food sources.