Protein Sources

Below is a chart to help you sort out how you want to get your protein.  The chart shows the portion size necessary to get 30g protein and the cost for that serving of food.  You will notice that the cost of the protein varies widely with the cheapest being beans at $0.17 per serving and the most expensive being canned salmon at $1.67 per serving.  You will also notice that the number of calories varies widely which is important if you are trying to lose bodyfat at the same time you are adding muscle.  Egg whites are the low calorie winner at 128 calories, whereas quinoa (a high protein grain) comes in at 740 calories for the 30g protein serving.  This table also points out the difficulty in being a vegetarian bodybuilder because plant sources of protein (beans, soy, quinoa) are high in carbs making it difficult to keep your daily caloric intake low while getting high amounts of protein.  For the price comparisons I used prices at Costco which is a bulk food store known for very low prices.  These prices were verified on 6/11/07.

Protein Sources in United States of America

Item  Price Portion size to get 30g protein Calories in serving Cost for 30g protein
costco dry pinto beanC 25lbs for $12.89 1cup dry 480 $0.17
costco protein powder 6lbs for $25.99 2 scoops 150 $0.39
costco fresh nonfat milk 2gallons for $4.79 3&1/3cup 300 $0.50
costco nonfat milk powder 7.75lbs for $21.49 1&1/3 cup dry 320 $0.50
costco eggs 5 dozen for $4.99 8 egg whites 128 $0.62
costco boneless chicken $2.99 per pound 4oz 200 $0.73
costco canned white tuna 12 cans for $11.59 8/10 can 140 $0.77
costco protein bars 24 bars for $19.99 1 bar 280 $0.83
organic quinoa 1lb for $1.75 8oz dry 740 $0.85
costco organic soy milk 1.5 gallons for $6.99 4 cups 400 $1.25
costco canned salmon 6 cans for $9.99 1 can 200 $1.67

Protein Sources in the Netherlands

Item  Price Portion size to get 30g protein Calories in serving Cost for 30g protein
fresh nonfat milk €0,64 for 1 liter 790ml 480 €0,50
fresh boneless chicken €7.49 for 1kg 115g 200 €0,86
dried pinto beans €3.96 for 1kg 185g 480 €0,73
eggs €1,90 for 1 dozen 8 egg whites 128 €1,27
protein powder €19,56 for 1kg 30g 150 €0,59
protein bars €28,00 for 24 1 bar 280 €1,17
Brinta €2.38 for 1kg 250g 915 €0,60

Protein Sources in Ireland

Product Price per pack Protein per 100g/100ml Calories per 100g/ml
Weetabix 900g for €4.63 11.5g 338
Low fat milk 1.5l for €1.65 3.4g 98
Wholegrain Oats 500g for €0.42 13.5g 355
Large eggs 6 for €1.11 12.5g 147
Canned salmon 213g can for €1.99 17g 158
Canned Red kidney beans 420g can for €1.99 6.9 95
boneless chicken breasts 1kg for €14.52 NA NA
Brown Rice 1kg for €1.67 7.9g 335