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Four Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein
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Four Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Protein

Protein, once seen as a niche bodybuilding and elite athlete supplement, is now an essential part of a balanced diet, overall fitness, and weight maintenance.

For many years, protein has been overlooked, especially for those wanting to lose fat who typically focus on calories and fat consumption. However, protein is a really important macronutrient which assists with muscle growth and helps to repair body tissues through the process of muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

However, how can you recognise if you’re not getting enough protein?

In this blog post, SCI-MX’s sports and nutrition expert, Matt Durkin shares a few tell tale signs you’re not consuming enough protein.

You’re losing muscle mass

Protein encompasses 20 amino acids; these amino acids are crucial for building of muscle within the body. When the body does not get the required amount of protein needed, muscles cannot stimulate MPS and muscle mass can subsequently suffer and decrease, even if a strict training plan is in place.

Decreased muscle mass can present itself as decreased strength, a change in weight and visible muscle changes to the body.

Your muscles are not healing the same

The body’s muscles are damaged (small tears) each time exercise is performed. Muscle repair is one of the main benefits of protein consumption. This means that if you do not have enough protein, your body may not be able to repair and rebuild as efficiently. Prolonging muscle repair due to inefficient protein can cause athletic performance issues and reduce strength and function if proteins are not replenished.

You’re having trouble maintaining and/or losing weight

Protein is the most crucial nutrient for weight loss and maintenance. Diets higher in protein directly promotes a satiety response; the hormone within the body that maintains the feeling of fullness for a prolonged period, whilst simultaneously reducing the levels of ghrelin; the hormone which makes the body feel hunger. The production of satiety through a high protein diet can help you to maintain and lose weight, compared to a high carbohydrate or fat diet which have the weakest effect on satiety levels, leading to possible weight gain

Changes to skin and hair

When protein is lacking from a diet, the body’s hair and skin suffers. Protein is a major component of healthy skin and hair, a lack of the macronutrient presents itself as dry, flaky skin, damaged hair and can trigger telogen effluvium; a condition that leads to extreme hair loss. The lack of protein shifts the body’s focus from continuing to grow healthy and strong hair and nails to conserving protein.

How much protein does the body need to perform it’s best?

Optimising a person’s fitness and health is supported by consuming the correct amount of protein required to fuel the human body. To increase muscle mass and see continuous results from exercising and lifting weights, protein macronutrients need to be increased for maximum results. The recommended amount of protein to consume with the aim of increasing muscle mass is 1.6 - 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or 0.8 – 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight if exercise is not being performed and the protein is only acting as a way of keeping fit and healthy.

How can I increase my protein intake?

Protein powders, previously seen as an athlete’s supplement have now become an integral part of a balanced diet for many. The supplement is an effective tool for adding lean muscle mass and staying healthy, whilst their diversity enables fitness and health goals to become extremely achievable. Powders have transformed and are now available in a variety of protein sources, compositions, and flavours, categorised by their individual benefits; meaning they can be added effortlessly to anyone’s diet.



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