Choosing Protein & Bioavailability

Many people are under the impression that a protein is a protein, period. Some people think they are getting enough protein from foods such as eggs, chicken, nuts, oats, rice and potatoes etc.

However, even though there is protein in these foods, they should not be considered a primary protein source. Let’s see why.

  1. One would need to eat a massive intake of those food sources to obtain your daily protein requirements. Even if you could, you would over-consume in total calories, carbs, fats etc. which will inevitably lead to fat gain.
  2. Proteins are made up of essential aminos and non-essential amino acids but most of the protein that can be found within those foods listed above are not ‘complete’ protein and are lacking one or more essential amino acids that your body requires. Essential amino acids are proteins that cannot be manufactured by our bodies and therefore creates a requirement for them in our diet, while non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by our bodies. As mentioned earlier, there are 20 amino acids. Our body can produce 11 amino acids, but the remaining have to be complemented by protein.
  3. Another big factor to consider about protein sources is their bio-availability.

 

Bioavailability is ability to utilize that protein in the body of whey is very high as compared to other protein sources.

Protein sources Bioavailability Calories Protein Fat Carb
Whey protein >110 132 / 34 g 26 g 2 g 2 g
Whole egg 100 78 / piece 6 g 5 g 0.6 g
Milk 91 156 / cup 8 g 9 g 11 g
Cheese 84 113 / slice 7  g 9 g 0.4 g
Fish 82 175 / piece 19 g 10 g 0 g
Chicken 79 264 / leg 30 g 15 g 0 g
Soya 74 446/ 100 g 36 g 20 g 30 g
Casein 71 120/ 30 g 24 g 1 g 3 g
Dahi 68 160 / 100 g 4 g 6 g 25 g

 

Focusing on getting your proteins from the sources listed high in the table will really go a long way when it comes to gaining muscle and fat loss.

Daily Required Amount:

  • For Bodybuilders

Bodybuilders looking for maximum muscles growth consume 1gm per lbs of body weight per day i.e. (2.2 g per kg per day). But as they move to more professional level their consumption increases to 1.5-2 g per lbs per day.

  • For players into different other sports including athletics or Sedentary individuals (somewhat Inactive)

Depending on goals and physical activity involved we have official guide for players estimated protein requirement in different sports and athletics. According to Burke and Deakin (2006) and Australian sports commission guide the table shows how much protein is needed for different athletes and sports players with different goals.

 Table 1: Estimated protein requirements

Group Protein intake (g/kg/day)
Sedentary men and women 0.8-1.0
Elite male endurance athletes 1.6
Moderate-intensity endurance athletes (a) 1.2
Recreational endurance athletes (b) 0.8-1.0
Football, power sports 1.4-1.7
Resistance athletes (early training) 1.5-1.7
Resistance athletes (steady state) 1.0-1.2
Female athletes ~15% lower than male athlete
(a) Exercising approximately four to five times per week for 45-60 min
(b) Exercising four to five times per week for 30 min

How to Calculate:

  • Depending on your goals you find the right amount of protein needed per day and then multiply it by your body weight. Example, if you are a footballer with average protein consumption of 1.5 gram a day (from above table) and your weight is 70 kg. Then you consume 1.5×70= 105 g per day.

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