The Dangers of Low-Protein Diets

The Dangers of Low-Protein Diets

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Most people never pay attention to their protein intake, which is a huge mistake. The nutrient is crucial for your health, well-being, fitness outcomes, and physical independence.


Protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) your body needs to synthesize muscle tissue, hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, antibodies, and more.


Not getting enough protein can significantly impact your health and ability to build muscle and get stronger.


Let’s go over the dangers, common signs, and what you can do about it.


The Dangers Of a Low-Protein Diet


  1. Impaired Recovery


One of the biggest issues with a low-protein diet is that your post-training recovery becomes impaired. 


Training leads to muscle damage and metabolic stress. Given sufficient rest and the proper nutrients, your body repairs the damage, allowing your muscles to do even more work. 


The recovery period can vary significantly because it depends on factors like your fitness level, training, and more. In general, most muscles will recover within 48 hours of training. 


Unfortunately, insufficient protein can lengthen the recovery period, preventing you from training your muscles the recommended two to three times per week.


  1. Inability to Build Muscle


The second danger of a low-protein diet is that you won’t be able to build muscle even if you push yourself hard at the gym. 


Just as your body needs protein to repair exercise-induced muscle damage, it requires the nutrient to promote hypertrophy. Protein is so essential for muscle growth that not eating enough can even lead to muscle loss.


  1. Performance Plateau


The third danger of a low-protein diet is the dreaded performance plateau. Despite training hard and being consistent, you might not be able to improve your performance because you’re not getting enough protein.


Poor recovery and an inability to build muscle would shackle you to mediocre workout performance that doesn’t improve regardless of how hard you train.


How to Start Eating More Protein


  1. Estimate Your Protein Needs


Research recommends eating 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 80 kilograms, you would be able to optimize protein synthesis with anywhere from 128 to 176 grams of protein daily.


Anything over that amount will likely not result in extra benefits.


  1. Add Protein to Every Meal


Aside from getting enough total protein, you should strive to have the nutrient regularly. According to research from Schoenfeld and Aragon, optimal muscle protein synthesis occurs when you eat some protein every few hours.


For example, if you plan on eating 160 grams of protein daily and typically have three meals and a snack, it could look like this:


Breakfast – 50 grams of protein

Lunch – 40 grams of protein

Afternoon snack – 30 grams of protein

Dinner – 40 grams of protein


  1. Track Your Food Intake


Tracking your food intake with a simple log or an app like MyFitnessPal can be a good way to stay on track and optimize your protein intake.


Logging your meals might feel like a chore initially, but eating enough protein will result in much better gym progress, more muscle, and better recovery.


Need extra help with nutrition and tracking your food? Download our MyFitnessPal Guide. It’s our free eBook designed to help you with tracking your macros and why it’s beneficial.

Recent Posts

The Dangers of Fad Diets

The Dangers Of Fad Diets

In a world where instant gratification comes easily, it can be difficult to stay on a path that requires maximum effort. It’s always tempting to

Read More »