Expert advice, Nutrition
The Protein Bubble

Gayatri Chona

MSc Nutrition U.K., Specialises in nutrition for kids, teens, pregnant women & corporate diet plans

4 min read


In a time where information is a click away, we find ourselves drowning with a little too much of it, especially when it comes to food, fitness and nutrition. And protein seems to be in the centre of it all.

Let’s help you cut through the clutter and clear the fog a bit! 20% of our body is made up of protein. But the body doesn’t store this protein, and it needs to be replenished each day through our diet.

The most frequently asked question is – Am I having enough protein or am I taking in too much? More often than not, it’s always the first one we need to look out for.

Indian vegetarian diets are equally excellent sources of amino acids and proteins, BUT that is if we have it in the right combinations and portions. To make pulses complete we need to combine it with cereals or nuts, for example, dal chawal, hummus and pita or corn tortillas with beans gives you the complete protein and all the essential amino acids UR body needs. But most people on carb-free diets lose out on the essential proteins that the body needs.

Unexplained Hunger And Increased Appetite

The craving that something sweet at night or increased munching in between meals? Blame it on the amino acids – tryptophan and phenylalanine! Believe it not when our bodies are protein deficient, they respond by making us feel hungrier than usual, leading to an increase in caloric intake and sugar cravings.

Low Immunity

Low Immunity

Falling sick too often, runny nose, regular headaches? Lysine, histidine and Isoleucine are the amino acids that boost our immunity and protect our bodies from viruses—deficiency of these compromises our body’s ability to fight off infections.

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Losing Muscle Mass, Weakness & Fatigue

When “dieting” we often get super excited to see those kilos coming off too quickly. Did you know that one week of reducing protein from our diet can lead to a loss in muscle weight which can affect our posture and movement? Branched-chain Amino acids (BCAA) – valine, leucine and Isoleucine stimulate our muscle growth and regeneration. They also release energy that helps in protein synthesis and muscle repair. That’s why we must rehydrate our muscle with protein pre & post workouts. Did you know that sore muscles and unusual aches, and joint pains are one of the 1st signs of low protein? BCAA’s not only regulates UR blood sugar but also help in wound healing.

Hair Fall, Brittle Nails & Ageing Skin

Hair Fall, Brittle Nails & Ageing Skin

Our hair, nails and skin are made up of proteins like elastin, collagen and keratin. The amino acid threonine is a principal part of collagen and elastin. Methionine plays its part in detoxification and tissue growth. When our body is running low on protein, our hair loses its lustrous volume, the skin doesn’t feel like a taunt and young, and our nails are much softer and brittle. Want that glowing skin with thick healthy hair? Add some more protein in UR diet.

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Mood Swings And Lack Of Sleep

We all blame our mood swings on fluctuating hormones. There is some truth there, but did you ever think that proteins play a role in hormone levels and energy production? Tryptophan is linked to drowsiness and helps in the production of serotonin, which regulates our appetite, sleep and mood. Histidine, another essential amino acid controls our digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles.

Fun Fact

How many of us have had our grandmother tell us to have “Haldi wala doodh” before bedtime?” There is more science than love behind this – casein a milk protein is a slow-digesting protein, best had before bed as it keeps you stocked up while sleeping and slowly releases protein into the body.

So my friend, “When life gives you lemons, You ask for something higher in protein!”

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