Youre Tired After A Good Nights Sleep
If you constantly feel lethargic, even after a solid night of sleep, your body might be craving protein. Because protein is slowly digested, it may play a role in regulating blood glucose levels. This helps prevent quick skips and crashes that can leave you feeling fatigued, says Erin Palinski-Wade, RDN, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. Adding enough protein to each meal and snack and making sure not to go long periods of time in between meals can help you feel more energized throughout the day.
If youre tired in the morning, meditation can help center you and wake you up. Check out our sample meditation classes.
Digestion Slows Down While Sleeping
While thats all great at daytime, at nighttime our body behaves quite differently. As you most likely know, you are very inactive while you sleep. You dont move a lot and you breathe very slowly. While you sleep, your body is preparing for the next day. Its fixing your muscles, fighting bacteria and getting toxins out of your brain. By the way: Thats the reason you cant think well when you are tired or after you just woke up. And because your body is so busy with all these repairing activities, it slows down your digestive system to a really slow pace. Basically, everything you eat right before going to bed will stay in your stomach for a long time before its digested.
We can say that at night our body uses what we have digested at day time. Because at night the digestive system is slowed down a lot, your body doesnt really use what you ate right before bed. Or if it does, it takes a lot of time and effort. Therefore you can say that yes, our body needs the energy from food at night. But it does not want to digest it while sleeping. It wants everything already digested so it can focus on fixing cell tissues, muscles, and your brain. We do not need food in our stomach while sleeping.
Youre Losing Weightfrom Your Muscles
The number on the scale may be ticking downward, but thats not necessarily a good thing. “Typically, if people arent getting enough protein, their bodies will break down muscle to get more of it,” says Bonci. “And if theyre losing muscle, theyre also holding on to fat stores, so their body composition could be changing in an adverse way.”
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How Much Protein Do We Actually Need To Avoid Protein Deficiency
While itâs true that the body needs a constant supply of protein, there are particular times of growthâsuch as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and in older age âthat may require extra. It’s important to keep in mind that protein needs depend primarily on individual variations like gender, weight, health, and activity level.
That said, in general, the recommended daily allowance is determined using the following equation: 0.36 grams of protein multiplied by pounds of body weight. As an example, a 130 pound person needs roughly 47 grams of protein per day. Itâs key to note that research suggests that we should spread our protein intake across the day rather than having lots of protein at once. âThis makes it easier for our muscles to optimize their protein synthesis,â says Tamara Willner, ANutr, a registered nutritionist at Second Nature.
Muscle Loss & Weakness
Our muscle tissue is composed mostly of amino acids. Meaning, to grow and restore our muscles, we need adequate protein to spare our own muscles. If were deficient in protein, our body will resort to using stored lean muscle mass, which leads to muscle loss or wasting. It can also lead to muscle weakness that can result in pulling a muscle and muscle atrophy.
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You Seem Can’t Get To Sleep
How’s that sleep schedule of yours? If you cannot get to sleep, or find yourself waking up all the damn time, it may be related to your diet. As nutrition coach Matthew Walrath says, “Melatonin is derived from the amino acid Tryptophan. Too little protein means too little tryptophan, which can effect sleep via melatonin production.” Pretty interesting, right?
Question: What Happens If You Lack Protein
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, when your cells dont get enough oxygen, which makes you tired.
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You Feel Hungry Again Right After Eating
Protein also increases that feeling of fullness â otherwise known as “satiety” â that you get after eating. That’s because, as personal trainer and health coach Dorian Johnson says, “Protein takes longer to break down than carbs and other foods.” It sticks around in your system longer, thus keeping you full and giving you energy for hours.
Signs You Might Have A Protein Deficiency
Protein is an essential macronutrient that is essential for all living organisms. Found in a variety of animal and plant-based foods, it is vital in helping our bodies recover by building and repairing body tissues such as muscles, skin, hair, and nails. Protein also serves as building blocks for enzymes and hormones in the body. Proteins are composed of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids your body produces 11 of them, however 9 amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through food.
You can see why it is imperative that you consume enough protein to maintain health. There are several signs that you might have a protein deficiency, which over time can lead to several health issues, including muscle loss, weakness, and impaired immune function.
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Calorie Deficit Feeling Sleepy
In general, a calorie deficit can make you feel sleepy and weak when the total amount of calories is too low. People who reduce their calorie intake too low may always feel tired. The amount of calories you should consume depends on your age, gender, and physical activity.
In other words, eating too little can cause sleepiness and exhaustion. Our body can cope with a calorie deficit to some extend. However, if the number of calories is low for a long time, the body will down-regulate many metabolic functions to preserve energy.
Why do I feel weak when dieting? As a general rule, if youre feeling weak when dieting it can be caused by not eating enough calories in your diet. Drastic calorie restriction over time slows down metabolism and can cause the body to feel weak, tired, and sleepy.
Your Skin Seems Swollen Or Puffy
One symptom of a severe protein deficiencyis swollen or puffy skin.
When you don’t take in enough protein, scientists believe that your blood starts running low in a protein called human serum albumin. Albuminhelps maintains oncotic pressure, which is the mechanism that draws fluid from the body’s tissues into the blood. When you don’t have enough albumin, fluids can begin to build up in your tissues. This causes edema or swelling.
In severe cases, protein deficiency can lead to a disorder called kwashiorkor in which a large amount of fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity, causing a distended belly.
Though swelling and puffiness usually only present in cases of severe protein deficiency, it’s worth getting checked by a doctor if you suspect you’re having trouble taking in enough protein.
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You’ve Recently Suffered A Bone Fracture
Though you might not link your eating habits to that fracture you got after stumbling during a hike, getting enough protein does play a part in maintaining resilient bones.
A recent research review suggested that eating a diet that is rich in proteincan help protect our bones. This may be because our bodies borrow protein from areas such as our skeletal muscle tissue when we’re not getting enough protein from our diet. When skeletal muscle is weakened, it makes us more prone to bone injuries.
Greater Risk Of Bone Fractures
Muscles are not the only tissues affected by low protein intake.
Your bones are also at risk. Not consuming enough protein may weaken your bones and increase the risk of fractures .
One study in postmenopausal women found that a higher protein intake was associated with a lower risk of hip fractures. The highest intake was linked to a 69% reduced risk, and animal-source protein appeared to have the greatest benefits .
Another study in postmenopausal women with recent hip fractures showed that taking 20 grams of protein supplements per day for half a year slowed bone loss by 2.3% .
Summary: Protein helps maintain the strength and density of bones. Insufficient protein intake has been linked to a lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.
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What Are The Protein Needs Of Women Runners
Scott suggests women should use the following protein guideline to ensure they consume the right amount:
- Light exercise take in 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
- Moderate exercise take in 1.3 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
- Heavy exercise take in 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
Ansari recommends checking with a registered dietitian to dial in on your precise protein needs. But as a general rule, you may need more protein if youre at risk of energy deficiency, youve increased your training, the intensity of your training has gone up, youre pregnant, recovering from injury, or an older adult.
Everyone should be including protein in every meal. Several studies agree that evenly distributing protein at about 25-35 gm of protein per meal, throughout the day will also help optimize muscle protein synthesis compared with an uneven distribution of protein, says Ansari.
Some tips to do so: Sprinkle protein powder in your oatmeal, smoothie, coffee, or yogurt parfait in the morning. Eat beans or meats at lunch or dinner, and snack on high-protein foods in between meals .In a traditional diet Scott recommends eating cold water fish, grass-fed beef, and chicken three to five times a week. For vegetarian or plant-based diets he recommends Nori seaweed or Tempeh instead.
Consistency is key, says Ansari. See which protein sources work best for you and how/when you can add more protein to your plates.
Amino Acids In Protein Act As Building Blocks
Proteins are composed of amino acids. And there are 9 amino acids that are essential to us, that our body cant produce on its own. Thats why they are called essential amino acids. Because we cant produce them on our own, we have to get them from food. The great thing about whey is that it contains all 9 essential amino acids, which is why its called a complete protein. In contrast, vegan protein doesnt contain all essential amino acids. That makes whey superior to them.Because you most likely drink protein shakes in the evening after a successful workout, you might wonder if theres a connection between your sleep issues and the protein. And thats what were going find out now.
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What Does Protein Do
When digested, protein breaks down into amino acids. These amino acids help the body’s tissues function and grow. That makes this macronutrient important to having healthy and strong muscles and bones, as well as impacting your hair and nails.
There are nine essential amino acids and 11 non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are “essential” in that they must be consumed through the diet because our bodies cannot make them.
Unlike with carbohydrates and fats, there is no mechanism to store excess amino acids that are consumed in the diet. So a continuous supply is needed. Put simply, you need to consume protein daily to meet your body’s needs.
Your Food Cravings Increase
Having the occasional craving for a snack between meals is normal. But if cravings are constant, and your meals arent satisfying your hunger, you might not be eating enough protein. Lisa DeFazio, RD, a Los Angeles-area healthy lifestyle expert, says thats because protein helps regulate blood sugar. Protein will slow down the absorption of your carbsand slow down your blood sugars, says DeFazio.
When you eat enough protein youll also feel fuller longer and wont have mood swings, says DeFazio. A study published in Nutrition Journal also found that participants who ate a high protein breakfast had fewer sweet and savory food cravings. If you need help thinking of ways to eat more protein, heres how nutritionists sneak more protein into their diet.
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Is It Normal To Be Tired When Dieting
Generally, it is normal to be tired when dieting, especially if youre not getting enough essential nutrients. A balanced diet with proteins, whole grains high in fibers, mineral-rich vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids ensures your energy levels are stable.
During a calorie deficit, the bodys need for nutrients changes. The most profound difference is in muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis.
- Muscle protein breakdown is part of muscle re-modeling where we lose muscle mass.
- Muscle protein synthesis is also part of the muscle re-modeling phase, which leads to muscle building.
During normal eating, muscle protein synthesis slightly exceeds protein breakdown, depending on age, gender, physical activity, etc. However, during an energy deficit, the muscle protein breakdown significantly increases and muscle protein breakdown goes up.
Thats why during the calorie deficit, the amount of proteins should be much higher than when youre on a regular eating pattern.
A study by Dr. Stefan M Pasiakos documented that 10 days of calorie deficit was enough to cause a 19% decrease in muscle protein synthesis. Participants were eating 1.5 grams per kg of body weight, which twice the RDA, and still experienced muscle loss .
I wont cover here how much protein you should be eating on an energy deficit. Ive already covered that in my other article, which I recommend you read.
Learn more: Click here to learn more about calorie deficit and protein
The Strange Effects Your Digestive Tract Exerts On Protein
Protein digestion is the process of your body breaking the long strain protein molecule down into small amino acids. The digestion of protein is like breaking the Lego house back into individual blocks. Protein digestion begins in your stomach. Here, a digestive enzyme known as pepsin breaks the long protein chain into smaller amino acid chains called polypeptides. Polypeptides are like three or four connected Lego blocks.
The polypeptides move out of your stomach and into your small intestine. Here, digestive enzymes from your pancreas break the polypeptides down into individual amino acids. Amino acids are tiny molecules, so small that they are able to pass through your small intestine and into circulation. Once in circulation, your cells use amino acids for many different processes.
Now, this is just the effect of digestion. As your body is digesting protein, it also has to maintain balanced blood sugar. Its the struggle to regulate blood sugar that is the reason why protein may be causing your fatigue.
But before you learn about proteins effect on fatigue, lets give you an expert understanding of blood sugar! To best understand your blood sugar, well start by talking about carbs!
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You Have A Cold That Won’t Go Away
Believe it or not, protein intake plays a major role in your immune system. As nutrition and wellness coach Liz Blom, RD says, “Vitamin C does not take all the credit here. Low protein can result in immune-related problems.” So take note if you always feel rundown, or have a cold you just can’t shake.
What Are The Problems Caused By Deficiency Of Protein
8 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency Edema. Edema, which is characterized by swollen and puffy skin, is a classic symptom of kwashiorkor. Fatty Liver. Left untreated, the condition may develop into fatty liver disease, causing inflammation, liver scarring and potentially liver failure. Skin, Hair and Nail Problems. Loss of Muscle Mass. Greater Risk of Bone Fractures.
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How Does Whey Protein Affect Sleep Does It Cause Sleeplessness
Now, lets find out how protein impacts sleep quality. Researchers found out that a low protein intake can be associated with worse sleep quality . Does that mean, we can now eat a lot of protein and then sleep like a baby? Sadly, Its not that easy. High protein intake was associated with difficulty maintaining sleep in the same study.
To me, that doesnt sound like a great result. Another study at Purdue University though had two groups of people attempting to lose weight. The first group had a high protein intake while the other group had a low protein intake. The result was that the group with high protein intake ranked their sleep quality higher than the group with low protein intakes.I am sure this is caused by the bodies enhanced ability to repair. If you have a low protein intake, your body will struggle to fix everything while you sleep because it lacks building blocks . After a low sleep quality night, your body wont feel refreshed and energized. This could be a reason that not supplementing whey causes sleeplessness .