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When it comes to protein, we’ve heard it all: essential for muscle growth, weight loss and very helpful with craving control.
But what about it haven’t we heard?
Or better yet, what about protein haven’t we heard that’s still interesting and just may pack the punch we need to increase our intake?
Today, we answer that question:
Appearances Are Everything
While I never believed in judging a book by its cover, I thought it was a suitable eye-opening metaphor for this first reason.
Little do we know, protein is found in anything from our bones, muscles and skin to nearly all our vital organs and tissue.
No people, it’s not just found in our muscles!
It’ll then come as no surprise, that protein deficiency is linked to “thinning or falling out hair, brittle nails and dry skin” explains Stacy Sampson, DO.
Also, faded hair color may be another potential symptom, according to Heathline.
Although self-treatment options exist for these symptoms, such as hair loss shampoo and moisturizers…I say, stick to the basics! Eat more protein!
The Zombie Feeling
We’ve all felt like a zombie at one point. Either from finals in college, stress from work, too much training, too little protein….wait what?
Yes indeed, your zombie like behavior may be the result of a protein deficiency.
Hypoproteinemia – a condition characterized by very little protein in one’s blood.
Stacy Sampson, DO tells us that, “symptoms of hypoproteinemia include feelings of fatigue and weakness, as well as mood changes and irritability“.
If you’re overall very tired and lacking energy, protein may be the culprit.
WebMD backs irritability and mood changes in their article stating, “a low level of protein in your diet could result in low levels of dopamine and serotonin, which’ll leave you depressed and overly aggressive.“
In other words, stay clear of your boss if your protein intake isn’t ideal.
Feel It In Your Bones
Growing up, schools have taught us that milk is the primary contributor of strong and healthy bones…but why?
Calcium is your go to response, but what about the less obvious nutrient, protein!
According to Atli Arnarson, PhD in his article for Heathline, “insufficient protein intake has been linked to lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.”
If you’re an athlete that trains regularly, listen up!
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) explains, “our bones are living tissue and are constantly changing. As we age, some of our bone cells begin to dissolve, while new bone cells form”.
Keep in mind, this is also a reference to bone tissue which includes bone marrow, nerves, blood vessels, cartilage…the whole shebang!
Don’t make things harder on yourself, just eat more protein!
How Much Protein Do I Need?
For non-athletes, the recommended daily amount (RDA) is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. For athletes, although it remains a matter of debate, the average consensus according to Healthline, is around 0.7 grams per pound of body weight.
Always remember, a healthy lifestyle is just as much avoiding junk food and exercising, as it is a well-balanced diet (protein, carbs, fats).
Stick to the basics and enjoy life!
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- Arnarson, Atli. “8 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/protein-deficiency-symptoms#section10.
- Berry, Jennifer. “Hypoproteinemia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320050.php.
- “What Is Osteoporosis?” What Is Osteoporosis? | International Osteoporosis Foundation, www.iofbonehealth.org/what-is-osteoporosis.
- Zelman, Kathleen. “Protein Deficiency: 7 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein.” WebMD, WebMD, 2018, www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-not-enough-protein-signs.