Protein is an essential macro nutrient in our diet, whether you are involved in fitness or not. If you are looking to hit some fitness goals it is even more so. In this article we will look at the different signs that may appear if you are not consuming enough protein per day.
Loss of muscle mass
Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle mass therefore if you are lacking protein, you may notice a decrease in your overall muscle mass. This may become obvious when you notice strength decreasing in the gym or if your muscles are feeling weaker / softer overall. To maintain / build muscle mass you want to be aiming for between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per lbs of bodyweight.
Increased risk of bone fractures
Protein helps with bone density which is beneficial because it can reduce the risk of injuries and provide benefits to your skeletal system. As you get older your bone density reduces therefore by following a high protein diet it should help combat the negative impacts that this may have.
Hair, Skin and Nails issues
Your hair, skin and nails are made up of protein strands and therefore protein is needed in your diet to keep them healthy. If your hair is brittle and dry this can be a sign of a protein deficiency. Likewise if you have a protein deficiency you may notice your nails and skin are more prone to breakages. You may notice that an increase in protein intake causes your hair and nails to grow at a faster rate.
Always feeling hungry
Protein is the most satiating food source therefore if you have a high protein diet you are likely to find you are feeling less hungry throughout the day. By having a high protein breakfast you are more likely to feel full until your second meal.
Struggling with recovery
If you are finding that you are struggling to recover after exercising, this may be down to a lack of protein. By keeping protein high, you are putting your muscles in the best possible position to recover. You should also take into account other factors such as sleep.
Similarly to the point where we covered protein being the most satiating macro nutrient, this will also help reduce your sugar cravings. If you find that you are constantly craving sugar, you should look to reduce your carb intake and up your protein intake to help reduce these cravings.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to following a high protein diet and if you are experiencing any of the signs above then you may need to increase your daily protein intake through consuming high protein foods or by using some supplements.