Whether patients are trying to lose weight, build muscle, or just stay healthy, protein is one of the most important nutrients they need.
Even though most people eating the typical American diet consume enough protein overall, many people don’t necessarily eat the highest quality sources of protein, and as a result, may be deficient in certain essential amino acids.
How do you know if patients need more protein? The most common protein deficiency symptoms include inflammation, weakness, increased hunger, and fatigue. That means that the root cause of a patient’s pain could be as simple as their diet not including enough high-quality sources of protein.
In this article, we’ll discuss how much protein we should consume and look at the benefits of adding high-end protein powder supplements to a diet.
What Is Protein?
Protein is made up of amino acids that are vital to our health and are responsible for making all of our body’s tissues. That includes our organs, muscles, hair, collagen, enzymes, antibodies, and important structural components.
Protein is the primary building block of our bodies. It’s found in the foods we eat, and we use it to boost our metabolism and provide fat-burning potential.
Foods that we eat, or protein powders we mix into a shake, provide us with amino acids. There are many different amino acids we need, some of which we must get from our diets because our bodies cannot make them on their own. We call these essential amino acids.
Proteins are involved in almost every function within the body from controlling blood sugar levels to healing musculoskeletal injuries and fighting off bacteria. Certain proteins also play a critical role in aging. In fact, some studies suggest that low protein intake may contribute to the risk of all-cause mortality among older adults.
Simply put, without protein, life would not exist. That’s why it’s important for patients to avoid a protein deficiency.
What Causes a Protein Deficiency?
Because they’re needed to maintain just about every part of the body, proteins are constantly being used and must be replaced. We do this by eating protein-rich food like meat and certain vegetables like green peas or by drinking a high-quality protein shake.
If patients don’t consume enough protein daily, you may begin to notice a deterioration in their overall health.
What are some typical causes of protein deficiency? Risk factors include:
- Eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, which excludes animal sources of protein.
- Being very active and exercising a lot.
- Having trouble with absorption of protein due to gut-related issues.
- Over-consuming alcohol and some drugs that can disrupt absorption.
Symptoms of a Protein Deficiency
Research suggests that protein deficiency can contribute to both short-term and long-term symptoms. For example, it may increase the risk for developing cataracts, heart problems, and muscle atrophy (mostly common in the elderly).
Eating too little protein can result in symptoms such as:
- Increased inflammation
- Trouble losing weight
- Trouble building muscle mass
- Loss of existing muscle mass
- Low energy levels and fatigue
- Increased appetite
- A sluggish metabolism
- Poor concentration and trouble learning
- Moodiness and mood swings
- Muscle, bone, and joint pain
- Blood sugar changes that can lead to diabetes
- Slow healing of musculoskeletal injuries
- Low immunity
How to Prevent a Protein Deficiency
The best way to get all the essential amino acids we require is to eat a diet that includes plenty of protein-rich foods. This applies to people who eat animal sources of protein as well as plant-based eaters.
The average person probably needs at least half his or her body weight in grams of protein a day. So if they weigh 150 pounds, they need more than 75 grams of protein a day if they’re trying to burn fat and build muscle the right way. For many athletes and the elderly, it’s essential to get even more than that.
Choosing the Right Protein Powder
Patients can get the amino acids they need with quality protein powders made from whole foods. Greens First® makes four types of food-based high-quality protein powder supplements.
Dream Protein is a proprietary, hormone-free, ultra-low temperature whey protein isolate. Greens First starts with hormone-free whey from New Zealand cows that are “Meadow Fed” and not given any rBGH or BST hormones.
Dream Protein is also made with an ultra-low temperature process, which is beneficial because the protein is not denatured from an extensive heat treatment. This means that patients will receive all the essential and non-essential amino acids plus the full complement of whey proteins!
Dream Protein also contains a soluble fiber that has been shown to encourage growth of favorable bacteria that help to strengthen the immune system, assist in the digestion of food, and help promote regularity.
There’s also Dream Protein Plant-Based, a revelation in plant-based nutrition that delivers 14 grams of USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO certified plant-powered protein per serving.
Dream Protein’s unique vegan formula is sourced from a combination of organic pumpkin, organic pea, and organic hemp protein to provide a comprehensive amino acid profile. Dream Protein Plant-Based contains a proprietary formulation with superior taste and a creamy texture combined with NuTrim®, a healthy inulin fiber that’s been clinically proven to improve gut and heart health.
Next in line is Greens First LEAN Protein 5 Plus. It has five key ingredients that work together to provide an ideal ratio of protein, fat, and fiber.
The special blend of Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, Collagen Protein, and Egg White Protein are naturally time released for long-lasting fullness, and the collagen peptides are great for rejuvenating skin and strengthening joints. MCT Oil, one of the healthiest fats, helps stimulate the burning of body fat for energy and keeps us feeling satiated. Superfood fiber nourishes digestive flora while also helping us to feel full longer. Protein 5 Plus provides the perfect blend of proteins, fat, and fiber for optimal health.
And finally there’s Greens First Boost. This is a delicious, fast, and easy-to-mix nutritional supplement powder that nourishes, supports, and balances the body with a natural source of non-GMO brown rice and vegetable pea protein, super greens, healthy essential fatty acids, antioxidants, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Boost can be used on its own or mixed together with Greens First PRO as a way to “boost” the protein level of that phytonutrient superfood.
Protein deficiency is also called hypoproteinemia, a condition in which a person has very low levels of essential amino acids in the blood.
Conditions and symptoms that can result from a protein deficiency include weakness, a slowed metabolism, reduced strength and exercise performance, lack of concentration, mood issues, and more.
Whether eating a plant-based diet or one that includes animal products, the best way to get enough amino acids is to emphasize foods that are higher in protein, like meat, dairy, eggs, fish, yogurt, protein-rich vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
If patients aren’t getting enough healthy meals that provide high-quality amino acids, be sure to suggest that they supplement at least one meal a day with one of the Greens First high-quality protein powders: Dream Protein, Dream Protein Plant-Based, Protein-5 Plus, or Boost.
All four Greens First protein powders have a satisfying, delicious taste. All that you have to do is look at each product and consider their lifestyle to figure out which one will work best for your patient.
Create an account with MeyerDC today or contact your personal account manager at 1.800.472.4221 for more information.
*These products and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.