Protein is one of the three macronutrients - along with carbohydrates and fats - required by the body to maintain good physical and mental health. Protein contains 20 amino acids, including nine essential amino acids, which your body needs to function. It plays an important role in cellular growth, development, repair, immunity, cell signaling, and hormonal health. Essential amino acids can’t be made by your body on its own, so they need to come from foods you eat.
Let’s dive into:1. How much we need
2. Symptoms of a deficiency
3. Blends that pack protein
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Protein needs vary from person to person based on age, sex, health history, and level of daily exercise. For a general idea, the RDA for a healthy adult with minimal physical activity is @ 0.4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, 80 grams for a 200 lb person.
For adults that get higher levels of physical activity to the pro-athlete category, a range of of 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound.
Protein & Healthy Aging
Older adults are not as responsive to protein as they age, meaning they need more of it to function optimally compared to younger adults. And, thanks to menopause, the need increases further if you are a woman. The loss of muscle mass, strength, and function that progressively occurs with aging is known as sarcopenia. Several studies have identified protein (especially the essential amino acids) as a key nutrient for muscle health in elderly adults. Elderly adults are less responsive to the anabolic stimulus of low doses of amino acid intake compared to younger individuals. However, this lack of responsiveness in elderly adults can be overcome with higher levels of protein (or essential amino acid) consumption.
Protein Check-In: we're not suggesting daily protein gram counting, but it's a good idea to do periodic check-in to make sure you're getting enough (take a typical 3-day period and keep track).
Symptoms of protein deficiency can include:
One of the most common signs that you're not getting enough protein is swelling (also called edema), especially in your abdomen, legs, feet, and hands.
Your brain uses chemicals called neurotransmitters to relay information between cells. Many of these neurotransmitters are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. So a lack of protein in your diet could mean a change how your brain works. With low levels of dopamine and serotonin, for example, you may feel depressed or overly aggressive.
Hair, Skin & Nail Problems
These are made up of proteins like elastin, collagen, and keratin. When your body can't make them, you could have brittle or thinning hair, dry and flaky skin, and deep ridges on your fingernails.
Weakness & Fatigues
Research shows that just a week of not eating enough protein can affect the muscles responsible for your posture and movement, especially if you're 55 or older. And over time, a lack of protein can make you lose muscle mass, which in turn cuts your strength, makes it harder to keep your balance, and slows your metabolism. It can also lead to anemia, which causes fatigue.
Studies have found that eating foods with protein helps you feel fuller throughout the day. If you want to eat a lot of the time even though you have regular meals, or have cravings, you may need more protein.
Slow Healing Injuries
People who are low on protein often find their cuts and scrapes take longer to heal. Proteins are needed to make blood clot. It could be another effect of your body not making enough collagen, which is found in connective tissues as well as your skin.
Amino acids in your blood help your immune system make antibodies that activate white blood cells to fight off viruses, bacteria, and toxins. There's also evidence that protein can change the levels of disease-fighting "good" bacteria in your gut.
High Protein Blends
We're all about helping you get your essential nutrients. We've got you covered with up to 21 grams of protein in a single Blended smoothie.
Here are our top picks by flavour profile:
Deep Greens: Greens Daily Dose & The Remedy (18 grams per)
Easy Greens: Be Green & Green Beginnings (16 grams per)
Berry: The Athlete & Inside & Out Acai (19 grams per)
Nutty-Choco: The Nutty Athlete & Maca Energy (21 grams per)
Need a recommendation on which higher-protein blends your taste buds will love? Please email us anytime.