Proteins perform an enormous number of tasks in the body. They are primarily responsible for building and maintaining the body cells and ensure that our muscles function and remain flexible. A protein deficiency would not only be fatal for athletes. The first sign of a protein deficit in the body is pronounced muscle weakness: people feel constantly sluggish and limp.
Further indications: dry skin and brittle nails, sleep disorders, increased susceptibility to infections, growth disorders or fatty liver. Constant cravings can also be a symptom, after all, the blood sugar level is mainly kept in balance by proteins.
Other important protein facts
- Proteins normally ensure that the water stays in the vascular cells. A real protein deficiency (technical term: marasmus) manifests itself in excessive storage of water and in a spherical hunger stomach.
- To put your mind at ease: We hardly ever have a real protein deficiency. Provided, of course, that you are not anorexic and have a balanced diet.
- Our usual mixed diet contains on average around 100 grams of protein per day. So we tend to eat a little more than too little protein. Recommendation of the German Nutrition Society: An adult of normal weight needs 0.8 grams of protein per day for every kilogram of body weight. Children and adolescents a little more – 0.9 grams per kilo of body weight. And competitive athletes in particular have a higher protein requirement.
- Legumes (soy, rapeseed, lupins, beans, peas, corn, lentils)
- Dairy products (cheese, quark)
Tip: occasionally eat pineapple and papaya, the enzymes they contain can break down proteins and help the body absorb protein.Myth: Animal protein is more important than vegetables. That is not right. The value of vegetable proteins can be increased by a sensible combination of foods. B. Potato and egg, potatoes and milk, grain and milk, or grain plus legumes.