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Consume sufficient protein in your diet on a daily basis...

Since protein accounts for more than 80% of the physical composition of hair, few things will have as dramatic, positive effect on the growth of your hair as consuming adequate protein in your diet on a daily basis.  Most people donít consume enough protein in their diet so that they actually have a protein deficiency.  This manifests itself in symptoms such as:

Protein is also the building block of all of the muscles in your body, so if youíre involved in a program of exercise, such as exercising six mornings each week like I recommend, then itís critically important that you support that exercise with adequate protein intake in your diet.  During exercise, muscle is broken down, such as the leg muscles or even the heart muscles in the case of running, or the arm, shoulder, chest and back muscles in the case of weight training.  Over the two-day, 48-hour recovery period between each session of the same type of exercise, namely aerobic or muscular, itís critically important that you supply your body with the macro and micro nutrients that it needs to build those muscles back up so that they become stronger than before.  This is the whole point of exercise.  The most important macro nutrient for muscle development is protein.  Micro nutrients are things like potassium, calcium and vitamin C.  If youíre involved in a program of exercise on a weekly basis which is quite rigorous and youíre not consuming enough protein in your diet, whatís going to happen is that your muscles arenít going to recover properly from your exercise sessions, so that you simply wonít see the gains in muscle mass and muscle condition that youíre looking for.  Itís also quite likely that your hair will be starved of protein, because the insufficient protein that you do consume will mostly be utilised by your muscles, with little left over to maintain the condition of your hair.

Itís absolutely essential that you supply your body with enough protein for all of the functions for which itís required, such as muscle development and the growth of your hair.  This is a concept which is completely contrary to the way in which many people, including myself, have traditionally approached diet and exercise.

One night I was pondering the difficulty that I was experiencing in achieving gains in muscular development after Iíd embarked on a program of weight-training a few weeks earlier, at a time when my life was making other considerable, physical demands on my body.  I was highly frustrated because I simply wasnít seeing the gains that I knew were achievable.  I knew something was wrong but I couldnít put my finger on exactly what that was.  From one session to the next, I made little progress physically.  Then it hit me.

Have you ever had one of those revelations which is so obvious that you feel stupid for not seeing it earlier?  This is what happened to me.  I was already consuming 68 grams of protein each day, comprising 24 grams from one 30-gram scoop of whey protein before exercising (mixed with water in a protein shaker), 13 grams from two raw, free-range eggs in the morning with my breakfast (mixed into a plastic measuring cup before swallowing them whole) and 31 grams from one 185-gram serving of canned tuna on my sandwiches for lunch.  However Iím more than six feet tall and 68 grams per day of protein was simply not enough.  I wasnít making any gains from my weight-training because I simply wasnít consuming enough protein each day.  I had a protein deficiency.

So I did some research online and came across a reliable formula for calculating how much protein a person needs to consume on a daily basis so that theyíre not deficient in protein, if theyíre involved in a substantial program of exercise on a daily basis like I was.  I was alternating between weight-training one morning and running the next, for six mornings each week.  The formula I found is:

Required daily protein intake in grams = Your weight in kilograms [multiplied by] 1.3 grams / kilogram

(Your weight in kilograms = Your weight in pounds divided by 2.2)

The number 1.3 in the formula above is actually taken out of the range of 0.8 to 1.8, which is the range recommended for the formula.  The number 0.8 would be used for somebody who doesnít do much exercise at all and the number 1.8 would be used for somebody who is engaged very intensively with exercise.  Because my objective is to exercise daily but well within my capacity, so that Iím not really straining that much, I choose the number 1.3, which is halfway between 0.8 and 1.8.  For somebody like me who weighs about 75 kilograms, this means that I need to consume 97.5 grams of protein on a daily basis.

In the blinding light of this revelation, I immediately realised that I needed to consume two 30-gram scoops of whey protein each day, not one, and that I needed to consume three raw, free-range eggs each morning with my breakfast, not two.  This would see my protein intake increase from 68 grams each day to 98.5 grams each day.  I decided to consume the second whey protein scoop at 5 pm, at the end of the dayís activities, but well before the time I was due to go to sleep at 9:15 pm, so that the burst of energy that it gives wouldnít stop me from falling asleep.  I was already consuming the first protein scoop soon after 5 am when I awoke, in preparation for my exercise between 5:30 am and 6:30 am.

I immediately increased my protein intake to 98.5 grams each day, from the 68 grams that I was consuming, and the results were dramatically positive, though they didnít surprise me at all, because it was already completely obvious to me that I was deficient in protein.  I immediately noticed that I was making easy gains in my muscular development from one weight-training session to the next, whereas previously when I was deficient in protein, I wouldnít see much gain at all.  I also immediately noticed that I had much more energy and felt more alert.  It was also obvious that my decision to increase my protein intake was having a positive effect on the health of my hair, which quickly became thicker and more vibrant.

To reiterate, for a 75 kilogram male like me, exercising six mornings each week, alternating between weight-training and running, I need to consume 97.5 grams of protein on a daily basis, which I can achieve by consuming the following on a daily basis, totalling 98.5 grams of protein:

  1. two 30-gram scoops of whey protein (mixed with water in a protein shaker) containing 24 grams of protein each (one before exercise in the morning soon after 5 am and one at 5 pm in the afternoon at the end of the dayís activities) and totalling 48 grams of protein

  2. three raw, free-range eggs for breakfast containing 6.5 grams of protein each and totalling 19.5 grams of protein

  3. one 185-gram serving of canned tuna on my sandwiches for lunch containing 31 grams of protein

You can easily gauge from the formula quoted earlier whether your daily protein intake is sufficient or inadequate.  You simply use a factor between 0.8 and 1.8 depending on how much exercise you do each week and how intensively you exercise.  If youíre finding that your hair is always lifeless and youíre having problems with it falling out or receding at the hairline, then itís very likely that youíre deficient in protein.  Itís well worth checking out by using the formula quoted earlier to calculate your required daily protein intake in grams and comparing that to the amount of protein in grams in your current daily diet.

You can immediately rectify a protein deficiency by consuming one or two 30-gram scoops of whey protein on a daily basis (mixed with water in a protein shaker), one to three eggs in the morning with breakfast and tuna on your sandwiches for lunch.  You can take the tuna with you to work in a can, together with some slices of the bread you like, a tomato and a knife.  Then you can make your sandwiches at work so that theyíre fresh when you eat them.  In years gone by, people might have thought that youíre crazy, but thankfully, nobodyís laughing today, because weíve well and truly entered the era of health and wellness.

Itís very important for you to understand that if youíre not engaged in a program of at least moderate exercise on a weekly basis, you should be really careful about the number of scoops of whey protein you consume each day.  If your body doesnít utilise the whey protein for muscle development arising from exercise, because you arenít doing any exercise or much at all, and if your body canít find other uses for it such as promoting the growth of your hair, then itís going to go straight to your stomach as fat.  So be careful because whey protein is very powerful stuff which can be used for good results or bad results.

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