Protein is one of the three key macronutrients the body needs to survive. It has an essential role in keeping people healthy since it helps to build and repair all sorts of cells like muscles, skin, hair, and nails. Even though signs of a protein deficiency are not as noticeable as certain other nutrient deficiencies, those who do not get enough protein can suffer from many unpleasant symptoms.
How Much Protein Is Enough?
The amount of protein a person really needs per day varies based on their size. Technically, the only amount any person really needs is .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. On average, a man needs about 56 grams a day while the typical woman needs around 46 grams per day. However, people may need more than this if they are particularly active.
Warning Signs of a Protein Deficiency
One of the key signs of a protein deficiency is a body that is not working properly. Those trying to build muscle or get fit may notice that they have stubborn fat that will not budge, and they might not get enough muscle even if they exercise regularly. This happens because the body cannot rebuild itself correctly without protein.
Protein also makes up a lot of the skin, hair, nails, and immune system cells. When people do not get enough, their body prioritizes muscle over these areas. This can lead to flaky skin, brittle hair, and easily broken nails. The lack of healthy immune system cells means that those with a deficiency frequently get sick or struggle to get over illnesses.
Without protein, it is hard for the body to power itself. People may feel frequently tired, especially in the hours after a workout. They may begin to crave carbs and sugar as a source of energy. Being deficient in protein also leads to constant feelings of hunger.
How to Get Enough Protein
Fortunately, protein is a very easy nutrient to get. It is found in high levels in meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. People can also get decent amounts of protein from dairy products and beans, and even things like grains and vegetables can contain smaller amounts of protein.