1

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Is My Protein Intake Too Low? Causing Low Energy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 19, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Hopefully some of you very scientific minded folks can answer this for me. I've been eating paleo for about three months now; and, except for a few days here and there, my energy has been really low. So, I started looking in Fitday to see what factors correlated with those rare high energy days. At first I thought it might be my potassium levels because I had a burst of energy right after I took potassium to relieve cramps. Supplementation didn't replicate the effect though. Yesterday I noticed, however, that a higher protein intake also correlated with the burst of energy and it hit me that this might be my issue. On the average, I get about 17% of my calories from protein, I keep my carb intake around 70 g and my fat intake can go as high as 70%. Does it sound reasonable to you guys that I am not getting enough protein to meet my needs, so I tend to be low on energy? I've seen some sources recommending around 20-25% of daily calories come from protein. Is that what I should be shooting for? I haven't really paid much attention to protein so far, but maybe I should be. I've put so much emphasis on keeping carbs low and fat high that I think I may have inadvertently shorted myself on protein.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 20, 2011
at 11:25 AM

Non-existent right now. I just don't have the oomph to get moving. Doing normal stuff like groceries and cleaning is a struggle.

9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on August 20, 2011
at 08:36 AM

not strictly just more protein. for me, i'd always been consuming more protein than you were and had been feeling pretty good. so to match a similar protocol, i'd add some protein. i'd also try messing around with some micronutrients but not in terms of supplements. just make sure you're eating a wide variety of plant matter and maybe taking a selenium and mag suppl. try that for a whil then add in some more carbs and see how you do

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 20, 2011
at 05:12 AM

That is what I do. Just a ballpark figure...

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 20, 2011
at 04:45 AM

Ah, I see. I don't have any idea what my % bodyfat is. I have a Tanita scale, but it's not that accurate. I suppose I could use it to calculate a ballpark figure though.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on August 19, 2011
at 09:28 PM

What are your exercise levels?

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Lean body mass = weight - (weight * % body fat). I use this to estimate.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:19 PM

How tall are you?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 19, 2011
at 07:55 PM

wow, yes sodium. a keen distinction in this context ;)-

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Exactly what I am thinking, mari.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Makes sense to me. I'm going to give it a try.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:35 PM

So adding more protein helped you then?

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I'm assuming you mean sodium? I'm definitely getting less than I used to, but I still use sea salt so I'm thinking I'm probably getting enough. I tried supplementing potassium with no effect.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:32 PM

How do I figure out my lean body mass?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:34 PM

But they also have way higher carb intakes and presumably no need for gluconeogenesis.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 19, 2011
at 03:36 PM

the people of Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands (kitava) have protein intakes around 10% of calories and they do just fine.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 02:25 PM

On average, about 70 g. I used Nu-Salt to supplement my potassium.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:06 PM

How many grams of protien do you get on average? How did you raise potassium without supps?

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4 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:28 PM

are you getting enough salt in your diet? things to consider...

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I'm assuming you mean sodium? I'm definitely getting less than I used to, but I still use sea salt so I'm thinking I'm probably getting enough. I tried supplementing potassium with no effect.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 19, 2011
at 07:55 PM

wow, yes sodium. a keen distinction in this context ;)-

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Shoot for 0.7-1.0 gram of protien per/lb of lean body mass.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Lean body mass = weight - (weight * % body fat). I use this to estimate.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:19 PM

How tall are you?

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:32 PM

How do I figure out my lean body mass?

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 20, 2011
at 05:12 AM

That is what I do. Just a ballpark figure...

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 20, 2011
at 04:45 AM

Ah, I see. I don't have any idea what my % bodyfat is. I have a Tanita scale, but it's not that accurate. I suppose I could use it to calculate a ballpark figure though.

1
31a40ab9ad75cb584866984658011750

on August 19, 2011
at 01:49 PM

It is most likely that you are not taking in enough protein. Fat can often leave you feeling lethargic and tired...especially when paired with carbs. Have your carbs with your protein and that should feel better.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Makes sense to me. I'm going to give it a try.

1
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:41 AM

hmmm. i had the same problem with low energy. at the time, i was probably taking in more protein than you were, by percentage of your daily total. my recommendation would be to up your protein and cut a tad back on fat, still don't be scared of it though. if your energy is still low after, i'd try adding some carbs, that worked wonders for me.

9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on August 20, 2011
at 08:36 AM

not strictly just more protein. for me, i'd always been consuming more protein than you were and had been feeling pretty good. so to match a similar protocol, i'd add some protein. i'd also try messing around with some micronutrients but not in terms of supplements. just make sure you're eating a wide variety of plant matter and maybe taking a selenium and mag suppl. try that for a whil then add in some more carbs and see how you do

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:35 PM

So adding more protein helped you then?

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