Protein is one of your body’s essential building blocks, so it’s no wonder that protein deficiency symptoms can appear quickly if you’re not getting enough in your daily diet.
You probably already know that protein is involved with building and maintaining muscles, but it does so much more than that. Protein lives in every cell, so from strengthening your hair and nails to supporting your bones, there’s little that protein isn’t involved in. So while a true protein deficiency is rare for most adults living in the U.S. or other developed countries, a lack of protein in your diet can still have wide-ranging side effects. Here are four signs that you may not be eating enough protein.
Hunger and Cravings
Wonder why you feel hungry only minutes after eating that bowl of cereal? Protein is key to satiation, so if you’re not eating enough protein, you may feel hungry frequently or experience cravings soon after meals. While you may crave protein sources themselves, like meat or beans, your body might also crave sweets as a way to boost your blood sugar levels.
Slow Recovery From Workouts
Protein is crucial for muscle recovery after exercise. If you are not getting enough protein, your muscles may take longer to recover, and you may experience more soreness after workouts.
Hair, Skin, and Nail Problems
Protein is essential to supporting healthy hair, skin, and nails. Wweak nails, skin issues, like acne and melasma, and hair loss can be clues that you’re not eating enough of it.
Weak Immune System
Protein is needed to build the components of the immune system, so if you are under-eating protein, your immune system may be weakened, causing you to get sick more often.
It is important to note that other factors can also contribute to these symptoms, and protein deficiency is not the only possible cause. However, if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to evaluate your protein intake and make sure you are eating enough.
Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast, like our Avocado Egg Smash, or enjoy a lean-protein meal at lunch, like the Sherpa Wrap, at The Juice Hive. We’re open Mon-Fri (8 am-3 pm) and Sat (8 am-2 pm).