Are You Getting Enough Protein? How to Check and Why It Matters
Yoga is a form of exercise that requires plenty of energy in order to get the best workout, and that means it is essential to eat healthily before and after you practice. Finding an easy snack option for your post-workout routine is a good way to ensure that you are fueling your body properly. But it is also crucial to your health to make sure you are getting enough of every needed nutrient in your diet.
While just about every type of food has protein, some foods may provide a minuscule amount of the nutrient in comparison to others. The reality is that many people do not eat the right amount of protein. At least 10% of your daily calories should come from protein. You should therefore consider the protein you eat on a regular basis—especially before and after doing yoga in order to be your healthiest self.
How to Know If You Are Protein-Deficient
In order to check your protein intake, you will want to first consider your diet. Do you eat beans and legumes regularly? Do you try to consume veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and mushrooms? Eating these foods throughout the week means that you are probably getting a good amount of healthy protein. If you also eat lean meat and fish, you will certainly be getting enough of the nutrient in your diet.
However, if you are curious about your protein intake, there are several warning signs that may suggest a protein-deficiency, including:
- High cholesterol levels
- Feeling anxious or easily annoyed
- Unable to find the energy to practice yoga or workout
- Trouble sleeping
- Prone to more injuries and bruising
If you recognize any of these signs, you should be more attentive to the amount of protein in your diet and make sure to incorporate more protein-rich foods in your meals.
Benefits of Eating the Right Amount of Protein
For those of us who enjoy yoga, protein is an essential nutrient for building muscle and for strengthening bones. It is extremely beneficial for increasing muscle mass, which will both help you to keep your weight in check and to be leaner overall. With protein, your body releases more of the protein called peptide YY—a regulator of appetite. In order to see results in strength and your physique from yoga, protein is therefore vital to your success.
Another advantage to getting the right amount of protein is that it helps you recover faster from doing yoga. Eating protein promotes muscle adaptation by triggering the building of new proteins in the muscles. If your protein intake is not up to par, your body will take much longer to recuperate after a workout and will likely feel tired and achy.
By evaluating your diet and ensuring that you are consuming a healthy amount of protein, you can optimize your yoga workouts in a way that promotes the overall health of your mind, body, and spirit.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!