How much protein do you need to eat in order to build muscle? One gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day is a good recommendation for athletes so a 160 pound bodybuilder would eat 160g of protein a day, but are all grams of protein created equal? Does it matter if you get your 160 grams of protein from chicken breast or nuts? It makes a HUGE difference! As explained below, a gram of protein from chicken breast is much better at building muscle than a gram of protein from nuts because of protein density, amino acid profile and digestibility. For over 8000 foods, this calculator tells you how much you need to eat to get the protein you need to build muscle.
Protein Analysis of Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D
To get 30 grams of usable protein for muscle building you can either eat 154 calories of chicken breast or 428 calories of Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin DLets look at why this is the case:
- How protein dense is the food? Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D have a protein density of 39.2% which means that 39.2% of the calories are from protein. Skinless grilled chicken breast has a protein density of about 80%, things like egg whites and isolated whey products have protein densities over 90%. With any protein density less than 60%, it becomes a challenge to get enough protein without going over your daily caloric budget and getting fat. If your primary protein source has a protein density of less than 50% then you are going to have to do *significant* amounts of daily cardio to burn off the extra calories if you dont want to increase bodyfat.
- What is the amino acid profile of the food? Muscle cant be built unless *all* the essential amino acids are present at the instant they are needed. If doesnt matter how many essential amino acids are in your stomach, if you run out of just one then all protein synthesis stops. This is why amino acid profiles are so important, to make sure that you get the right balance of amino acids so that a maximum of muscle can be built with a minimum of calories. When you compare the amino acid profile of to chicken breast in the below chart, you will see that it is most lacking in , in fact, Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D only has 74% as much of histidine as chicken breast does. Because of this, you need to eat 1.4 times as much protein to get the same muscle building properties as you get from chicken.
- How digestible is the food? This is where the science is the weakest. There are a couple ways people have attempted to factor this in - with BV (Biological Value) and with the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). Something like whey protein isolate is nearly 100% digestible whereas the protein in some grains is only 50% usable. Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D has a digestability factor of 1 where 1.0 is 100% digestable. Typically when foods are high in fiber, the body has a harder time extracting usable protein from the food. Because not all the protein in this food is digestable, you need to eat 1 times more than you would for a fully digestable food like milk.
- In Summary Because of the digestability and the lack of histidine, you need to eat get 1.4 times as many grams of protein in Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D to get 30 grams of high quality, usable protein.
|Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D||BBQ Chicken Breast|
The best complimentary protein source for Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D
A word is in order about how I come up with this list because the way to calculate the optimal complimentary food is not obvious. First, I look at which one of the essential amino acids the food (Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D in this case) is lowest in when compared to a high quality protein source like chicken breast. In the case of Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D, it is lowest in histidine. Then it gets a bit tricky. If I were just to scour the database for the food that highest amount of histidine per calorie, I would be recommending "add a scoop of protein powder to that" as the best complimentary food for *everything*. Yes, the best complimentary protein to a bucket of sawdust is a scoop of protein powder and actually, you could skip the sawdust :) The point of looking for complimentary foods is to look for raw foods, not processed ones. There are two things that one must balance when looking for the optimal complimentary food: first, how much histidine you get per calorie and second, you want something that is high in histidine relative to the other essential amino adids. The algorithm I wrote looks thru my database of over 5000 foods, optimizes the two requirements, and presents you with a list of fourty foods to choose from: twenty from plant sources and twenty from animal sources.
There is disagreement in the nutritional community about what constitutes "essential" amino acids. What is agreed is that histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine are essential but then the disagreements seem to start. Technically cystenine and tryosine are non essential but many put them in the "conditionally essential" or "essential" category. Also arginine, glycine, glutamine, histidine, proline, and serine are also considered "conditionally essential". For the purposes of this software, I had to make a choice what "essential" means so that I can optimize the complimentary food so I chose the nine definitely essential plus cystenine and tryosine.
Top 20 best complimentary plant protein
|cottonseed flr,part defatted (glandless)||0.031519|
|cottonseed meal,part defatted (glandless)||0.031507|
|cottonseed flr,lofat (glandless)||0.031507|
|cowpeas,common (blackeyes,crowder,southern),mtre seeds,raw||0.031037|
|yardlong bns,mature seeds,raw||0.031032|
|yardlong bns,mature seeds,ckd,bld,w/ salt||0.031001|
|yardlong bns,mature seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt||0.031001|
|lima bns,lrg,mature seeds,ckd,bld,w/salt||0.030513|
|lima bns,lrg,mature seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt||0.030513|
|veggie burgers or soyburgers unprep||0.029618|
|sesame flr,part defatted||0.029439|
Top 20 best complimentary animal proteins
Protein Combination Of Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D and Mothbeans,mature Seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt
Of all the essential amino acids, histidine is in shortest supply in Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D. Mothbeans,mature Seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt is a good compliment becuase it is high in histidine
Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin Dhas 0.027123 grams of histidine for every 10.1994 calories. Mothbeans,mature Seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt has 0.033675 grams of histidine for every calories.
The proper mixing ratio of Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D to Mothbeans,mature Seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt is 2.4:1 by calories
|Amino Acid||Chicken Breast||Combo of two cols to right||Mothbeans,mature Seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt||Milk, Dry, Nonfat, Inst, W/ Added Vit A & Vitamin D|