Proteins are essential nutrients for the body to repair and grow muscles, but also for healthy nails, hair and skin. But it’s hard to figure out if you eat enough protein to suit your needs. Here are 6 signs that tell you that you need to increase your protein intake.
1) Lack of progress
If you train hard and have a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables but still have no progress, something is wrong. The lack of progress is probably due to the lack of sufficient amounts of protein in the diet.
The body uses proteins for a multitude of things, and building new muscle tissue is not on the list of priorities. So, if you don’t eat enough protein, your body will use those available to keep it healthy and active, not to make your biceps big! The muscle mass builds with the help of the remaining proteins after the basic needs of the body have been covered.
2) Your wounds heal very slowly
Wounds that are healing very slowly are a sign of lack of protein in the diet. Even though vitamin deficiencies can be a cause, most often the lack of protein is at the root of the problem. Eat low protein at every meal!
3) Frequent accidents
Recovery after workouts is one of the determining factors for progressing and having a successful workout at the next session. If you recover hard and you have accidents frequently in the gym, consider adding more protein to your diet.
Those who are doing sports and do not eat enough protein are more prone to injury because these are an essential nutrient in tissue repair and healing. Without protein, your body will not recover fast enough, which can lead to injury.
4) You get sick often
The immune system relies on proteins to function. Without enough protein, the body cannot produce enough white blood cells, as they fight against invaders such as bacteria or viruses.
5) You lose muscle mass
Even if the loss of muscle mass can occur due to too much cardio or too much stress, too little protein can be to blame as well. Muscles need protein to repair and grow, especially after intense workouts. If your muscle mass drops even though you train hard, it’s a clear sign of lack of protein in your diet.
Usually this phenomenon is accompanied by a negative change in body composition (the ratio of muscle mass to fat), meaning you will accumulate more fat and less muscle. This is due to decreased metabolism, decreased muscle mass and an active tissue that burns calories at rest. If your muscle mass decreases with an overall weight loss, and you do not do too much cardio, go to a doctor as there may be some conditions that cause this decrease.
6) You lose your hair
Many factors can lead to hair loss and lack of protein can be one of them. This is because hair, skin and nails are not a priority for the body when there is a deficiency. The body is concerned about survival and hair is not needed for this. So you can see a more abundant loss of hair when you shower and you can also notice a deterioration of the nails.
Eat a protein source at every meal and carefully watch the exact amount of protein you eat every day, so you know if you eat enough. Do not rely only on a single source of protein, vary as much as possible to have a contribution of the whole spectrum of amino acids but also of vitamins and minerals that are packaged with a balanced diet!
Tips on protein deficiency
It is good to have some blood tests on minerals and vitamins if you have any of the above symptoms. Besides protein deficiency there may be other causes.
I’ve said it before, but it’s important so I repeat it. Include in the diet a large variety of foods high in protein. Do not eat daily and meal by meal only chicken breast!
Supplementation with protein powders is a wise option to complete your protein intake, but you don’t have to rely solely on supplements! Diet prevails!
Drink a protein shake with whey isolate or concentrate immediately after workouts. 25-30 grams of whey protein greatly increases protein synthesis, triggers the release of insulin that brings nutrients to the muscles and has an anti-inflammatory effect on them and helps in better recovery. In addition it complements your daily intake of quality protein.
Image source: healthline.com