Training hard yet not getting the results you deserve? Could you be protein deficient?

Exercise is crucial for good health, but the body is reliant on a few other things to build muscle, lose fat, and produce energy. Three of those things are diet, protein absorption, and good nutrients.

With low dietary protein or poor absorption, your muscles can’t grow or repair. Your muscles are the engine of your body that burn calories, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn and the faster your metabolism will become. For anyone who is training, you require at least 3-6 protein meals daily, you also need to be absorbing it through the gut. Absorption of protein is often taken for granted. If you’ve been ill, or you’re a little older, there may be a lack of bacteria in the gut necessary to form a complete amino acid chain, which is where a lot of your proteins are manufactured. You should check this if you’re weight training and notice no change in the muscle, or can’t lose weight. You may also notice mood changes as protein is required to make your brain neurotransmitters, hormones, motivation and energy.

Balancing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the diet makes all the difference in weight loss and muscle growth, too much of one compared to another can influence your production of insulin. Insulin will send a message to your body to either gain or lose weight. Make sure your percentages of each food group is correct, while keeping your portion sizes adequate, though not more than you require. Your body will tell you when you’re not eating enough, but will not often tell you when you’re eating too much.

Good nutrients, along with proteins, produce dopamine in the brain, further making adrenaline, so you have the energy required to do the exercise needed to achieve the changes in your body desired. Dopamine is a brain neurotransmitter that controls motivation, happiness, drive, libido and energy. Dopamine is made from tyrosine – an amino acid, B6, folate, zinc, magnesium, B complex, vitamin C and iron. Depression is very common in today’s society, making it hard to get out there and exercise. Both dopamine and serotonin deficiencies are common causes of depression. Serotonin is also increased in production when you improve your protein absorption and nutrient intake. If depression has been a concern for you, it may be another sign that you have poor protein and nutrient absorption.

By addressing each of the above factors, you’ll have much greater results with the same effort, while improving your mood in the process.

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