5 clues you aren't getting enough protein

You’ve heard it before: protein is the building blocks of life. You need to eat protein every day so your body can repair its cells, and create new ones. Hormones, neurotransmitters, digestive enzymes, energy-producing enzymes—all depend on protein. Even body composition has been linked to protein intake, as well as blood sugar regulation.

As you can see, protein is an important nutrient, giving you energy, helping you build muscle, recover and keeping you satiated. However, with busy schedules and on-the-go lifestyles, many of us aren’t getting enough protein every day. Next to water, protein is the most substance we have in our bodies. In fact, if all the water in our bodies was squeezed out, half of our weight would be in protein. So how do you know if you’re protein deficient? Below you’ll find a list of a few symptoms that may indicate you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet.

Hair, Skin and Nail Problems

Is your hair thinning or falling out? Does it look dull and unattractive? If your mane has seen better days, protein deficiency might be to blame. For lustrous locks and shinier hair, you may want to bump up the amount of protein-rich foods you’re having.

Try to add fish, meats, chicken and eggs in your meals. When you don’t have time for cooking your own, opt for a protein bar like BPI Sports’ newest supplement, the BEST PROTEIN BAR™. It has 20 grams of protein per serving and is convenient for on-the-go days. It’s gluten-free and has zero trans. The BEST PROTEIN BAR™ is soft and chewy, and comes in delicious flavors including S’mores, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream and Cinnamon Crunch.

What about your skin? Is it dry? Peeling and flaking? Your skin should be soft and supple, radiant and glowing, not to mention blemish-free. Your nails can also be impacted by lack of protein in your diet. If they’re split, extremely thin, get hangnails or fail to grow quickly, you are not getting enough protein, so boost your intake.

Muscle and Joint Pain

If you’re having trouble building lean muscle, or if you feel weaker, you may be dealing with protein deficiency. One third of the protein that makes up your body is in your muscles, so if you’re feeling flabby, it may be because your body is breaking down muscle in order to use it as energy. Add more protein-rich foods or supplement with the BEST PROTEIN BAR™ and see if that changes your body’s composition. If you’re not recovering fast enough from injuries, that may be a sign too, since to heal and rebuild cells you need adequate protein.

Food Cravings, Especially Sweets

Constant food cravings and reaching for snacks can be a sign you aren’t getting enough protein. Protein balances out blood sugars, which evens out glucose levels. Eat more of the all-important nutrient if you feel like you’re never quite full and satisfied. Stay away from that up-and-down feeling and make sure you’re getting enough protein.

Not getting enough protein?

Brain Feels Foggy

If your blood sugar level is balanced, you should have no problem staying focused. But if you’re not getting enough protein, your glucose levels will always fluctuate. Protein during mealtime helps time-release carbohydrates for steady energy throughout your day instead of sporadic spikes. Don’t deal with a foggy brain or short mental bursts, up your protein intake every day.

Always Getting Sick

You need protein to build all the compounds of your immune system. So if you’re catching colds a lot or just not feeling “healthy,” try to add more protein to your diet. For children, teens and pregnant women, a lack of protein can slow down growth.