Without doubt, and as noted on Draxe, protein is crucial for the overall health and we all need to understand this. Regardless of whether you are an athlete or a person who just wants to lose weight safely and quickly, you need protein. Unfortunately a lot of people do not get sufficient amounts of it in their diets.
Why Do We Need Protein so Much?
Protein is the building block of our muscles and it is also found in foods which improve the burning of fat. This fuel motivates and supports our bodies in building healthy cells and tissues. As explained on Draxe, protein is a long chain of amino acids that are pivotal molecules we receive from our diets. They are present in a lot of foods, especially veggies, but they are also obtained from animal products such as meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. Some plant foods also contain it, for example, seeds and beans, but to a lesser extent.
Taking into consideration that proteins are used on the daily for a lot of different processes, from maintaining healthy skin and hair to digestive enzymes, they are dissolved all the time and therefore need to be replaced on the regular.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The average individual usually requires half of his/her body weight in protein per day. Hence, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need at least somewhere around 75 grams of protein if you want to burn fat and build muscles properly.
As we age, the naturally-occurring protein lowers and one study done with mice holds that protein deficiency can also lead to different health issues in humans, including heart issues, muscle atrophy, and kyphosis, all of which are rather common in elderly. Other symptoms of lack of protein are the following ones:
- Slow metabolism
- Difficulty losing weight
- Inability to build muscle mass
- Tiredness and low energy
- Poor focus and learning capacity
- Mood swings
- Pain in the muscles, joints, and bones
- Changes in blood sugar
- Slow healing of wounds
- Weak immune system
9 Symptoms Indicating that You Lack Protein
- High levels of cholesterol
Eating fatty foods is not the sole reason behind high cholesterol and triglycerides, but they can also occur due to elevated inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and eating too many processed and sugar-rich foods. Sugary snacks and packaged goods instead of proper protein, will increase the cholesterol because the liver and cells process fats poorer.
- Anxious and moody
Amino acids, as seen on Draxe, are the building blocks for neurotransmitters that regulate our mood. Proteins assist the brain in synthesizing hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, which are known to be hormones that better the mood and help you feel calmer, excited, and positive.
- Too gassy and constipated
You may not have known by now, but the intake of amino acids is crucial for a lot of digestive and metabolic functions. Hence, in case the body starts feeling tired because of insufficient protein and enzyme production, the muscle contractions in the GI tract and the digestion will be affected negatively and thus, you will experience constipation and pass gas more often.
- Your wounds heal too slow
Did you know that low protein puts you at a higher chance of falls, loss of muscles, and slow healing of wounds? This is because protein is pivotal for proper absorption of calcium and for bone metabolism.
- Irregular menstruation
Polycystic ovary syndrome is among the main causes of irregular periods and infertility in women. According to Draxe, insulin resistance is the underlying cause of this syndrome in 50 to 70 percent of women who have it. And, diets low in protein and abundant in sugar and carbs can lead to insulin resistance, fatigue, weight gain, and inflammation, all of which destroy the balance of the female hormones that are crucial for a regular menstruation.
- Poor sleep
Sometimes, insomnia may be a result of poor blood sugar levels and poor serotonin production. Protein-rich foods before bed can increase the serotonin and tryptophan levels and they also have a small impact on blood glucose levels, which in turn will help you fall asleep easily without tossing and turning for hours.
- Brain fog
Protein is essential for a healthy neurological functioning, so, symptoms like poor focus, concentration, and learning capacity may be an indicator of low neurotransmitters which require amino acids in the brain in order to be synthesized.
- Larger waist circumference
Even though protein-rich foods are often higher in calories than carbs, they will elevate your satiety more than carbs or fats and thus, you will eat and overeat less often and prevent weight gain.
- You lack energy
A nutrition low on proteins can lead to tiredness, more fat deposits, and muscle wasting. And, despite working out regularly, if your diet is not proper, you will probably not see the expected results because of your diet not being able to support the repair of tissues or the energy levels.