How To Know You Are Protein Deficient? What Are The Signs?

Madhura Mohan

Posted on November 09 2020

 

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ost of the people are still of the opinion that biceps are the only thing that protein reinforces. In my opinion, there’s a need to reinforce the importance of protein overall. Protein isn’t just crucial for your muscles, but is essential for a variety of bodily functions and is an important component of every cell in the body.

If you remember, in our school days, our teacher used to define protein as the ‘building block of life’. You must be thinking, yeah, we’ve read and forgotten…Never mind, this article throws light on the importance of protein for good health and tells you about what signs indicate you are protein deficient.

Protein is not simply called as the building block of life, but it truly is the building block, that’s because protein is one of the major macronutrients which is an important component that is present in our cells, bones, blood, muscles, skin, hair, nails. Protein is required to build immune cells, hormones, enzymes, in making haemoglobin, neurotransmitters, for building and repairing muscles, stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining proper circulation, for growing healthy nails and hair. You might already be getting serious about protein...

Now it’s not needed for me to say, what happens when you don’t give your body the required amount of protein…after all, it’s a building block guys, consuming too little protein, over time, can impact every aspect of our health…can impede your fitness, can make you gain weight, can make you sick and more.

 

How Do We Know We Are Lacking This Vital Nutrient? Let’s Learn Below…

 

NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE DESIRED WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS

If you have already read our blog, Can Whey Protein Help You Lose Weight?, you must have read this line, protein is the utmost important component in the process of weight loss. Protein has a role to play in your weight loss through appetite control mechanism. Intaking proper amounts of protein will help in regulating the hormones, glucagon-like peptide and cholecystokinin which play a role in appetite control and blood sugar regulation. In addition, protein diet helps suppress the hunger hormone, ghrelin, keeps you full and satiated, so you reduce your calorie intake which contributes to weight loss. The essential amino acids in a protein source help build muscle mass and lose body fat.

Take Away: The recommended daily amount of protein required for an average man is 56g and 46g for women. Consume accordingly to get the desired fitness results.

 

NOT ACHIEVING DESIRED MUSCLE GAIN

When you don’t supply your body with enough dietary protein, your muscle mass will get depleted. This is especially true among elderly and women of menopause age, in whom the muscle mass is inherently on the decline.

When you do your workout, you break down your muscles, and in order to repair and rebuild them, a proper protein supply is paramount. Not fueling your body with protein after a workout will only lead to muscle break down, which ultimately results in muscle loss.

If protein is the building block of our body, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Aminos helps build muscle mass, repair and regrow them. When you skip protein intake for several days or weeks due to several circumstances, it will cause you to experience a loss of muscle mass and strength.

Take Away: Try to fuel with a quality source of protein within 30 minutes after your exercise.

 

FEELING HUNGRY/CRAVINGS OFTEN

I often hear people complain that no matter how often they eat, they still feel hungry. Consuming a diet high in simple carbs, low in good fat and sufficient protein is the chief cause for cravings.

Carbs, although are a good source of energy, your body digests them rapidly and never leaves you feeling full. This causes you to snack on every now and then. One of protein’s critical function is to regulate normal blood sugar levels. Eating a meal that is mostly carb, not having enough protein will digest fast and cause a rise in blood sugar. The spike in blood sugar is followed by a drop and this constant spiking and dropping will make you crave more carb-rich food.

Take Away: Make sure to add enough protein at every meal to keep your cravings in check. The protein-rich meal is an efficient strategy to improve appetite control and prevent cravings or overeating.

 

FALLING SICK OFTEN

After having read the above points, don’t connect protein merely to weight loss and building muscles. Protein is also the major contributor for building stronger immunity, if you’re saying what? I’d want you recall that protein is the building block of life. Yes, as already conveyed, protein is an important component to fight viral and bacterial infections. Supporting immune function is one of the vital functions of protein. The antibodies and immune cells, what we call as the powerhouse of immune system are all reliant on protein. Consuming very little protein in the diet will result in poor immunity, causing you to catch cold and cough often. You already know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein, in that case there are certain essential amino acids which the body cannot prepare on its own and need to be taken through diet.

Take Away: Not consuming adequate dietary protein will lead to a shortfall in producing antibodies and make you fall sick often.

 

FEELING FATIGUED

Now, feeling fatigued is yet another cause of protein deficiency which most people don’t realize. It is very common if you feel tired after your long busy hours at the office, or if you are suffering from illness. What if you feel tired at random times, even after 7-8 hours of a sound sleep? There is a possibility that you’re anemic. Anemia results when your body lacks enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. This condition will make you feel weak and fatigued. So, how is it connected to protein?

Protein is a component of haemoglobin (which is a protein), which is present in our red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body, inadequate oxygen-rich blood can cause you to feel fatigued. Not having enough protein will impair the release of erythropoietin, which causes the inadequate release of red blood cells followed by developing anemia.

Take Away: You probably may not feel tired right away, but over time, people who aren’t eating enough protein may feel more fatigued than usual. Don’t’ ignore on protein intake.

 

EXCESSIVE HAIR LOSS

Tried all the hair fall solution on this planet? Still could not stop hair fall? While hair fall could be a cause of pollution, stress, vitamin deficiency, iron deficiency, hormonal imbalance, oxidative stress and so on, not consuming proper protein is also a major cause for hair fall.

Hair loss, hair damage and hair thinning could put you to sleepless nights, which is especially true among girls. Hair is chiefly made up of a type of protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles.

When your protein intake is low, your body will conserve it to more important functions, such as keeping our immune system active, building muscles. Not providing the hair follicles with enough protein will obviously cause hair fall, dry and brittle hair.

Take Away: Before you notice more hair piling up on your hairbrush, check whether you’re meeting your daily protein requirements.

 

BONE FRACTURES

It’s not enough if you just supply your bones with a healthy dose of calcium, your bones need healthy dose of protein too. Protein is an important nutrient for bone health and plays a role in the prevention of osteoporosis and stress fractures. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bones caused by overuse of bones. Factors that cause stress fractures usually include inflammation or poor muscular strength. Stress fracture usually occurs in the lower leg and foot, which bear the weight of the body.

Protein is a big component of muscles which are crucial for mobility and in preventing fractures. When your body lacks sufficient protein to fuel the vital organs, it borrows from storages in skeletal muscle tissue, causing your muscles to become weak. Without strong support from skeletal muscles, your bones are more susceptible to fractures.

Take Away: Don’t let the muscular stress transfer to your bones, which can eventually lead to a crack in the cortex. Focus on proper protein dietary intake and keep your bones strong.

 

SWELLING OF FEET/FACE

Low levels of protein intake could lead you to develop a condition called edema, which is fluid buildup or water retention. Edema causes swelling in your legs and feet from the buildup of fluids. Protein plays a role in holding salt and water inside the blood vessels, so that fluid doesn’t leak into the surrounding tissues. While fluid retention is caused by many conditions, one of the prime reason is not eating enough protein. Protein deficiency may also lead to fluid buildup inside the abdominal cavity, causing a bloated belly.

Take Away: Maintain proper levels of protein to ensure the fluid doesn’t make its way into the tissues.

 

Special attention required on protein intake guys…get more serious about it…

Keep in good health and stay fit till I keep you posted with yet another interesting blog…

 

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