The “Complete Protein” myth.

We have heard over and over that chicken, beef, eggs, and fish are better than beans for muscle building because plant products like beans.  We are told that plant based protein is “not a complete protein” except in rare cases like Quinoa, and that is still inferior.  WHY?  Lets take a look at the amino acid profile of black beans vs chicken, the chart from that page is reproduced here:



Look at the data.  The profile of the essential amino acids looks remarkable similar to me.  The biggest difference is that beans have about 25% less lysine than chicken but all other amino acids are pretty close.   Is the body SO picky about precise amino acid ratios? Is there some other factor about protein quality I am missing here?  I believe that chicken IS better for muscle building than beans but this chart does not seem to explain why that is true.

Who is a nutritionist or biochemist and can explain this???

I am an engineer, not a biochemist.  Someone please explain this to me because I need to understand.  I want to make my protein quality visualizer tool better but I’m not sure how.  I also want to make a tool that combines plant proteins in an optimal way to approximate the benefits of meats but if there is some other factor than amino acid levels that is important I obviously need to know that.  Please school Scooby!

65 thoughts on “The “Complete Protein” myth.”

  1. Digestibility of proteins is another factor than amino acid scores alone. (Two independent and different things.)

    Beans have lower digestibility.

    At the end you combine both the two factors.

    Btw, your website has been very informative. I have learned new and good recipe ideas and tips on workouts.

    1. Oh I just looked up my books on nutrition (I’m a layman as well just learning as a hobby). Other factors to evaluate proteins also include “protein efficient ratio, PER”, “biological value, BV”, “net-protein utililization NPU”, “nitrogen balance index, NBI”, in addition to “amino acid score, AAS” and “protein digestibility corrected amino acid score method, PDCAAS”.

      AAS is only one in the long list. As I can see e.g in BV egg white is scored 94 while soya bean is only scored 57 and white flour only 52.

      1. The sad truth is that our science still does not fully understand nutrition or what it takes to build muscle. My guess is that it will be hundreds of years before we do.

  2. Hey scooby. I know this may be the wrong area for this comment but I know you seem to prefer the leg press per squats for safety reasons but is the negative on a leg press the same as the negative in a squat?

  3. Hi Scooby, Yes that opened my a eyes a bit as well. Firstly I really don,t think paying for supplements makes any sense and stick to whole foods like chicken and milk for my main protein source. I do take 1 whey shake a day but just go for the cheapest and as much bang for my buck as I can get. So I am thinking cheap as beans beans and more beans.

    You can get a pile of dried beans and cooking quality nuts for next to nothing, stick them in a food processor grind them up and add to your shake maybe with so natural peanut butter. Not sure of the taste but I will give you the heads up when I had a go.
    Stay Well Stay Happy

  4. Hi, Scooby. Your article is an excellent example of doing your own science and believing your own eyes instead of the myths.

    The entire concept of “complete protein” is, indeed, a myth. Here’s how it came about:

    In 1914, Thomas B. Osborne and Lafayette B. Mendel conducted studies on rats, which suggested that they grew best when fed a combination of plant foods whose amino acid patterns resembled that of animal protein. That makes sense, as all baby mammals, rats and humans included, grow best when fed the perfect food for baby mammals: their mother’s milk. The term “complete protein” was coined to describe a protein in which all eight or nine essential amino acids are present in the same proportion that they occur in animals. “Incomplete protein” described the varying amino acid patterns in plants. It’s a misleading term, because it suggest that humans (and other animals, one would assume) can’t get enough essential amino acids to make protein from plants.

    Frances Moore Lappé’ popularized the idea of protein combining in her 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet. The American National Research Council and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) soon picked it up, cautioning vegetarians to be sure to combine their proteins.

    Lappé reversed her position on protein combining in the 1981 edition of Diet for a Small Planet, in which she wrote: “In 1971 I stressed protein complementarity because I assumed that the only way to get enough protein … was to create a protein as usable by the body as animal protein. In combating the myth that meat is the only way to get high-quality protein, I reinforced another myth. I gave the impression that in order to get enough protein without meat, considerable care was needed in choosing foods. Actually, it is much easier than I thought.”

    The ADA reversed itself in its 1988 position paper on vegetarianism. Suzanne Havala, the primary author of the paper, wrot of the research process: “There was no basis for [protein combining] that I could see…. I began calling around and talking to people and asking them what the justification was for saying that you had to complement proteins, and there was none. And what I got instead was some interesting insight from people who were knowledgeable and actually felt that there was probably no need to complement proteins. So we went ahead and made that change in the paper. And it was a couple of years after that that Vernon Young and Peter Pellet published their paper that became the definitive contemporary guide to protein metabolism in humans. And it also confirmed that complementing proteins at meals was totally unnecessary.”

    The paper was approved by peer review and by a delegation vote before becoming official. Unfortunately, the myth continues to be perpetuated, even in nutrition texts, and even among health professionals.

    But the bottom line is that the theory that plant proteins are somehow “incomplete” and therefore inadequate has been disproved All unrefined foods have varying amounts of protein with varying amino acid profiles, including leafy green vegetables, tubers, grains, legumes, and nuts. All the essential and nonessential amino acids are present in any single one of these foods in amounts that meet or exceed your needs, even if you are an endurance athlete or body builder.

  5. I am sorry if this has been covered but I think I be able to hit on the most crucial fact here. As has been discussed, the body is picky about ratios of amino acids. But to answer the original question directly, it is the methionine that is the most LIMITING. This is shortened to MET in the graph. The methionine in beans is ~50% than the chicken contains. Methionine is an essential AA and MUST be in the diet.

    Protein synthesis is mentioned here. If a methionine AA is required and not available during protein synthesis, then the process cannot continue (because it is an essential amino acid). A sad story for all body builders.

    So when looking at the graph above, ignore everything except methionine and observe the huge difference in the bars to get your answer.

    Everyone has heard of ESSENTIAL amino acids, and this is a good example of why they are called essential

    1. But its not the *ratios* that are important, what is important is that there is a sufficient pool of all the essential amino acids available at all times. At least that is what I understand.

    2. Another odd thing, if methionine is so important then why do so many places lump MET and CYS together rather than listing their amounts independently??? Nutritiondata . com does this

      1. This is very very odd given that Cys is non-essential and Met is essential. In the human body Met can be used to make Cys, but not the other way around. This is the only reason why they MAY be grouped together. But this has little implication for your diet and nutrition!! The individual characteristics of each AA is crucial – protein synthesis is a tightly regulated process – the body WILL NOT use AAs interchangeably.

        Given that methionine is an essential AA and so important for people with vegetarian/vegan diets, it definitely should not be considered the same as cysteine!!!

  6. Scooby,
    I am 19 years of age and trying to get bigger. I already am working out with some buds of mine and have gotten bigger but have plateaued. However I’m 5’8 at 180 Ibs and a lot of the weight is on my abs. Now I was wondering if there was a way where I can turn the fat around my abs into muscle while bulking or if I need to lose weight and shape up my abs first then bulk. The 6 pack is already there I just need to turn the fat around it into muscle. Any suggestions?

  7. Hi Scooby, This Caleb Cano 19 years of age and trying to get bigger. I’ve already been working out with some buds and have gotten bigger but have plateaued. However I’m 5’8 at 180 Ibs and a lot of it is at my abs so I don’t know if there is a way that while bulking up that I can turn the fat on my abs into muscle and get the 6 pack that way or if I should focus on losing weight and just shaping my abs then bulk. The 6 pack is there I just need to turn the fat around it into muscle. What is your suggestion?

  8. who honestly worries about all this amino acid junk. its mostly meat eaters and bulkers trying to justify eating large amounts of meat. eat good and eat often, you won’t be missing any of this stuff.

  9. Scooby~ I’ll be 59 years young next month, and very much appreciate your dedication to freely sharing your knowledge & experience. I have two degrees in nutrition from a major U.S. university (B.S. – Clinical Dietetics and M.S. – Human Nutrition & Food), so I thought I might be qualified to shed some light on your questions regarding AA ratios and “complete” proteins. Hopefully I’m not “preaching to the choir.” If so, please disregard my rantings.

    1) To answer your first question: yes, the human body IS “so picky about amino acid ratios.” With the body containing somewhere between 30,000 & 50,000 DIFFERENT proteins, it’s easy to see why this remarkable machine has to be “picky” (while at the same time also being very flexible). Human muscle alone has 4 different forms of proteins: contractile, regulatory, sarcoplasmic and extracellular. The longest protein in the human body, titin, is located in the muscles and contains 26,926 AAs. That’s some serious protein sythesis!

    2) The term “complete” protein is really is misnomer, since nearly every dietary protein source contains all of the indispensable (essential) amino acids (IAA). As you pointed out, there is usually a farily consistent AA profile among the different dietary protein sources. However, the so-called “incomplete” dietary proteins have a disproportionate amount of at least one IAA compared to more “complete” dietary protein sources. Whichever IAA is most disproportionate relative to the others is the “limiting factor” for the utilization of that particular dietary protein. This disproportion in IAAs is the key to understanding the “quality” of proteins.

    As an example, let’s assume we have two different IAAs: IAA–1 and IAA-2, with a balanced ratio of 8-to-5 being the marker of a “quality” dietary protein.. If a dietary protein has only 75% of AA-1 and 100% of AA-2, then the proportional ratio would be 6 to 5 for this particular dietary protein. Therefore, only 75% of AA-2 would be utilized for body protein synthesis, with the remaining 25% being degraded and used for energy. Only 3.75 units of AA-2 would be utilized, even though 5 units were originally available. Increasing this example from 2 to 20 AAs, protein synthesis would still be limited by the most disproportionate IAA.

    3) Once all of the disproportionate (limiting factor) IAA has been utilized, then protein sythesis stops, regardless of how many additional IAAs are available. To use your automotive assembly-line scenario, let’s assume that IAAs correspond to parts of the vehicle: tires, seats, engine, transmission, etc. The assembly process would proceed uninhibited until we ran out of one of the necessary components, since it would make no sense to assemble a vehicle w/o seats or tires or an engine. Similarly, the body has no use for “partial” proteins, so protein synthesis stops when any one IAA needed for the target protein is depleted.

    4) “Digestibility” is often referred to by many people as the other factor defining protein quality, when “bioavailability” is the more correct term. For instance, AAs can be utilized by bacteria along the digestive tract, which would qualify them as being digested. However, such utilization would not mean they were more available for protein sythesis, and therefore would not make that dietary protein source more bioavailable.

    5) Meeting the requirement for the disproportionate IAA or the low bioavailability of a dietary protein source can easily be accomplished by several means:

    (a) from “complimentary” dietary proteins consumed at the same meal (pretty much the traditional method of augmenting missing IAAs)

    (b) from eating “complimentary” proteins at separate meals w/in the same day (recent stuides show the blood pool can still provide the missing IAAs)

    (c) from eating higher amounts of the “lower-quality” protein (requires more energy intake than needed, which is counterproductive to weight loss/maintenance)

    6) With most of the population of industrialized countries consuming approximately 50% more protein than their daily requirement, it’s highly unlikely that either protein “quality” or “bioavailability” would become an issue in meeting an individual’s nitrogen needs. These two factors do come into play to allow specialized segments of the population to maintain positive nitrogen balance: bodybuilders, athletes, elderly, sick/injured.

    Bottom line: the “quality” of a dietary protein really only has relevance in the context of meeting the required amount of the limiting IAA.

    1. Wow! That is certainly enlightening. Thanks for these insights!

      I have one question though:
      Who decided or determined for proteins about what the “balanced ratio” of the AAs is? I mean, how was it determined (e.g. are there some studies on humans, that somehow analyzed what the ratios have to be; or are there other explanations)?

      1. I cant find the link, but some large research organization (not the USDA or WHO) basically decreed that the “perfect protein” has the following ratios:

        Essential Amino Acidmg/g of ProteinTryptophan7Threonine27Isoleucine25Leucine55Lysine51Methionine+Cystine25Phenylalanine+Tyrosine47Valine32Histidine18

      2. Most of the research involved in determining human protein requirements has been and is aimed at maintaining the general health of undernourished populations (low protein intake, poor-quality protein intake, or insufficient overall food intake). Essentially the goal is to help keep these populations functioning at a “normal” healthy level. Protein quality really becomes a non-issue for people as fortunate as most Americans who have more than adequate protein available in their diet, since even low quality dietary protein sources are consumed in amounts adequate to meet our needs.

        We’re all aware of how the fitness/sports supplement industry panders to the “special” needs of athletes, even with something as basic as protein. They offer plenty of claims and most often little to no research to back them up. It’s very possible that research might find the ideal “balanced” AA profile for the general population to be different from those of hard-training athletes, and maybe even between different types of athletes. For example, an endurance runner may have a different ideal AA profile compared to a power-lifter or a bodybuilder.

        The good news is that the human body is so adaptable, and with such great protein supplements already available, we can easily meet any and all of our AA needs, regardless of what sport or activity we’re involved in. Personally, I think the whole issue of balanced dietary protein is more academic than practical, except where a vegetarian diet is involved. And, fortunately, we have guys like Scooby who are addressing that issue.

        1. I do really get sick and tired of all the extravagant and outragous claims that the supplement folks make about their products. Almost as bad are the lifters who think that they know everything. As you said, there is very little research backing up what is the optimal AA consumption and optimal AA profile for athletes.

          Brings up a question though, where do BCAAs fit into this discussion of IAAs? Are they just a method of delivering 100% digestable protein? If so, whats the big deal? The BV of whey protein is 96% so all that fuss about a trivial 4% more? Not cost effective in my book, just buy more chicken :)

    2. Thanks for your awesome post!!! The way you explain it, it does make sense. Yes, the body is picky about amino acid ratios and 2, the bioavailablity does derate the protein available from plant proteins.

    3. Hey BayouBreeze,

      I really hope you see this reply because I have a question for you. We have very incomplete data available to us when it comes to bodybuilding and protein but I want to try and help vegetarians/vegans with the issue of protein. Lets assume that I scanned my database of thousands of foods and came up with a magical combination of bean+nut+grain that when combined, came to within 5% of the amino acid profile of an egg. Would the following be a resonable model?

      Usable protein = ((bean protein) x 0.75) + ((nut protein) x 0.52) + ((grain protein) x 0.59)

      Again, assuming I found the magic combination, would these two hypothetical bodybuilders be able to gain the same amount of muscle or is there yet another correction factor I need to add???

      BBer 1 gets 200g protein from eggs

      BBer 2 gets 200g of “usable protein” (defined above) from bean+nut+grain

      BTW: then numbers 0.75, 0.52, and 0.59 came from PDCAAS:

      1. Scooby~

        I may have addressed your issue in my reply to Jens above.

        Remember that it’s ALL about meeting the disproportionate IAA requirement(s). Supposedly, if you choose the combination of beans/nuts/grains that are truly “complimentary” in meeting the requirements of the limiting IAA(s), then this should work.

        Another way to look at the PDCAAS with your example would be to eat 25% more beans -OR- 50% more nuts -OR- 40% more grains to get the IAA requirement. Any proportion of the three percentages could be played around with to accomplish the same results, with energy intake being a factor to watch closely.

        Eating a variety of dietary protein sources is the way to go. Then you cover bases like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Particular protein sources may benefit certain situations; for example, the high taurine content of fish protein may help with insulin regulation in diabetics. Personally, I think moderation and variety is the way to go when it comes to just about all areas of nutrition (IMHO).

        You may find this review article on PDCAAS interesting:

        The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score.
        Schaafsma G.
        J Nutr. 2000 Jul;130(7):1865S-7S. Review.

        1. Hey Bayou,

          Wanted to thank you again for your great help in this thread!!

          Want to make sure I got this correct because what you said made total sense. Let me try again to see if I got this right. Its not that a surplus of any IAA is a “poison”. Its that to build/re-build muscle requires there be a large pool of all eleven IAAs be available. If there is a shortage of any one, the muscle building production line stops. This makes total sense to an engineer :) So basically if we take the above chart as an example, we see that of the 11 essential amino acids, black beans are most lacking in Lysine when compared to chicken – about 40% less. So if I want the equivalent IAA pool that 1g of chicken breast provides, I would need to consume 40% more bean protein or 1.4g. Then add another 25% for the fact that only 75% of the protein in beans is digestable which brings the total up to 1.75g of bean protein that I need to give me the same muscle building ability as 1g of chicken protein. That 1g of chicken protein has about 4 calories and the 1.75g of bean protein has 28 calories, nearly 7X the calories to provide the same pool of essential amino acids. This would certainly explain why vegans have a harder time gaining muscle.

          Does my math here make sense?

          1. Where does the 28cal come from for 1.75g bean-protein?
            Also to stick to the terms: 1g protein equals 4kcal regardless which protein it is, i.e. just looking on the proteins: 1g (chicken-)protein would be 4kcal while 1.75g (bean-)protein would be 7kcal.

            I come to slightly different calculations (leaving the question about the correctness of the factors to Bayou to answer).
            Let’s assume:

            100g chicken-breast (without skin): 31g protein, 165kcal
            => 1g chicken-protein needs 3.2258g of food-intake, having 5.32258kcal

            100g kidney-beans: 5g protein, 33kcal
            => 1g bean-protein needs 20g of food-intake, having 6.6kcal

            Using your factor 1.75 to compensate for “equivalence” results in:
            => 1.75g bean-protein needs 35g of food-intake, having 11.55kcal

            Now comparing the factorized bean-protein with chicken-protein results in:
            * the bean-equivalent has 2.17x more kcal than the chicken, and
            has 10.85x the amount of food-intake to reach the same amount of “protein”-profile regarding your example with Lysine.

            Perhaps you used different numbers in your calculations? … I guess
            your factor of 7x is meant as food-intake (not as calories), then the
            numbers would match if your proportions for the foods are slightly

            So either you eat 100g chicken (165 kcal) equals eating 1085g beans (357 kcal). This is pure math, surely beans/chicken has other positive or negative attributes and you wouldn’t eat THAT much beans ;-)

            I would guess that the calculations could become more “interesting”, if you also take other AAs into account and not just one (Lysine).

          2. according to the USDA nutritional database:

            100g Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt — has 127kcal, 8.27g protein, .5g fat, 22.8g carbs

            You stated “100g kidney-beans: 5g protein, 33kcal” — I don’t know where you got that data, but it will throw your calculations off quite a bit

          3. I got the numbers from the database of an app (shape-up club) I use to track my nutrition. I checked now, that if you view 10 different sites you see 10 different numbers for kidney beans.

            I also checked the USDA nutrition database now: The numbers you gave are the ones for id “nutrition data for 16028, beans, kidney, …” … However, when you search for other entries with “kidney beans” you can also find “nutrition data for 11030, beans, kidney, …” that shows the numbers I’ve used.
            I can’t tell you what the difference is exactly between this two (or the other entries), but it seems they vary a lot (even from the same database).

            So probably it’s a good idea to be careful what entry you use from the various available. As reference it might be good to compare them with the nutrition label on some actual food products.

          4. Nutrient data for 11030, Beans, kidney, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

            If the app developer only used 11030 then they probably made a poor choice of bean — not many people eat sprouted beans, most of us get them (unsprouted) from a can or cook them on a stove or in a pressure cooker. I would guess the sprouted bean has many of its nutrients used up in the process of the bean starting to sprout, and of course how far in the sprouting process are they measuring the nutrient value?

          5. Scooby~

            Sorry to take so long responding, but it’s been a busy week.

            Digestibility is already factored into the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score). Also, as Jens pointed out, 1g of protein, regardless of the source, has about 4 kcals. So, you wouldn’t need all of the calories above.

            Remember this simple rule:

            *** ANY combination of dietary protein sources that add up to a combined PDCAAS of 1.0 will provide a full compliment of all IAAs ***

            So, using the chart above, you’re right that consuming 40% more beans would provide an equivalent pool of IAAs as 1g of chicken. But, no digestibility factor is needed.

            The trick is to choose the dietary proteins source(s) that provide the needed IAAs with the fewest kcals. For instance, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of lysine, and might provide the lacking lysine with less kcals than rice or more beans would (you’d have to do the math). Anything beyond a PDCAA of 1.0 will only provide IAAs that aren’t needed for tissue building or repair.

            Since I’ve relied on whey protein for nearly 3 decades as my pre- and post-workout protein source, I really don’t have much “practical” experience at using the PDCAAS to meet my protein needs. I mainly eat chicken, beans, & dairy as my regular mealtime protein sources. I don’t really do any calculations or specific tracking, since all I’m shooting for between my weekly workouts is to stay in positive nitrogen balance (which isn’t too difficult).

            [BTW, from personal experience, I do firmly believe in the benefits of BCAA supplementation … but, that’s another kettle of fish to fry. :)

            Personally, I think a calculator that would provide practical dietary protein sources is what’s needed. That way, someone could figure out their protein intake goal, and just choose from a list of specific foods already arranged by their PDCAAS. Seems to me that would simplify meeting protein requirements for the vegetarians.

          6. I think you missed Scooby’s point. In addition to macros, overall calories also matter very much to a bodybuilder, and are measured exactly, so while 1g protein = 4kcal everywhere, chicken is closer to the ideal protein distribution and is leaner, so there is less ( i.e. non-protein) calories in chicken than in beans, making beans a more expensive and less efficient food for getting protein. thats how he got his 28 cal per gram protein in beans from vs what I think he said 1 gram chicken protein = 5kcal

  10. The fiber in the beans may also influence how the amino acids are used. The fibrous hull encasing rice kernels inhibits the hormone insulin’s ability to access the carbohydrate for use or to store.

    Certainly it can’t be a matter of quality of protein. Though it may take more vegetable matter to equal what’s in dairy and meat. When you look at the bull, a very muscular animal and a herbivore, one need look for an example of the effectiveness of plant-based proteins.

    1. Fiber is the reason sited in many of the BV and PDCAA studies as to why animal proteins are of lower digestibility, the body has a harder time getting all the protein out.

  11. wouldn’t it make more sence to compare it to humans amino acid profile?

    edit: Later I looked at “complete protein” in wikipedia, according to it you can get all esential amino acid by eating only potatos.

    It seems to me that “complete protein” is related to cloric / protein ratio rather then just the amino acid profile.

  12. Holy cow Scoob. I thought you always took the simple way to explain fitness. this is starting to hurt my brain a little. Very informative though. I regularly eat a nice size portion of black beans and salsa for lunch, and have always noticed that you could get the same amount of protein from a small piece of chicken. More protein less sustanance.

    1. My big project for this summer is doing an indepth article on protein and releasing a series of tools to help people get high quality protein at as low a cost as possible.

  13. If you are getting a gram per pound of bodyweight it probably dosen’t even matter the quality because you will be getting ample amino acids to support muscle growth anyway

  14. Maybe the real answer is that its not that the ratio of amino acids are wrong in plant foods but just the fact that they are less protein dense AND need to be de-rated by their BV (Biological Value) which can be as low as 40% for wheat or 65% for beans. So to get 30 grams of protein your body can use you need to eat 46g of protein from beans because of the 65% derating factor then couple that with the fact that beans have a lot of carbs you would need to eat upward of 500 calories of beans just to get that 30g of protein your body can use. Maybe this is simple :)

    1. Is there a big variance in the BV for each sort of amino acid? Could be a bigger problem if not all essential amino acids could be resorb on the same BV-Level. Think at the Methionin/Cystein combo that is generally flat in plant protein.

  15. I think the “value” of a food is not tied to all the single levels of all the amino acids, but rather they (the industry / people) use various metrics like the “Biological value”, or “PDCAAS” to compare proteins (with amino acids). Check wikipedia for those terms and read the criticism and limitations there about those values. These metrics tell, that one protein is “better” (higher value) than other proteins. One problem with some of those values is, that they are based on animal measurements (like rats).

    So it might be, that “better” proteins (down to amino acids) got rated higher over the years, because of the studies over the previous decades based on rats (or other animals), or expectations / observations on animals were “transferred” to humans, … but humans have a lower requirements of some amino acids than for example rats; and we know, that rats are not humans.

    However, I’m not a biochemistrist … and there might be more plausible reasons.

    1. The “bio-availablilty thing people throw around a lot in the fitness business but it all seems like a smokescreen to me, a smokescreen to cover up that we really dont understand nutrition :)

      1. I mentioned the metrics (like BV, PDCAAS) as possible explanation for the “myth”, that plants are less “valueable” than animal proteins in regard to completeness. However, I can’t prove this. Myself I don’t put too much weight on these metrics (as you).

        In the meantime I read a LOT about nutrition, and probably a vegan/vegeterian can get his proteins / EAAs from plants (just with bigger amounts as you wrote in another comment).

        My impression is, that the time till protein from plants is available to the body (through ingestion) is longer – probably because of (good) fiber, so if you need protein slower (like after training or over night) you can use plant-based proteins, while if your body needs protein fast (perhaps before training or on other occasions), an animal-based protein might be better (or perhaps a plant-based protein with better digestiibility). Similar like the relationship to whey-protein (fast) and casein / egg-white (slow) intake of protein.

    1. Flatulence is caused by the bacteria in your large intestine metabolizing compounds in your food that you can’t. About 75% of the world’s adult population can’t digest lactose, so it arrives in their large intestine undigested, and they can get flatulent after drinking milk. The flatulence that you get after eating beans and other high-fiber foods is caused by bacteria digesting the fiber, and that’s actually a good thing for reducing cholesterol and other health benefits. Soaking beans overnight to the point of germination helps reduce gas. So does cooking them with kombu, epazote, or ajwain. But the best thing for your health is to eat lots of high-fiber foods like beans. The fiber is actually a prebiotic: it encourages the growth of probiotic bacteria that keep your digestive engine running like a well-tuned machine. :-)

  16. Proteins are synthesized in a chain, if the next amino acid in the chain is not around synthesis of that protein can’t continue. I don’t know how you would find the optimal ratios for muscle tissue, maybe send some human flesh to a lab.

  17. Hey Scooby

    Thank you so much for doing research on this subject. I have always been asking the type if questions you are doing know, but I realized most website do not care about this cause they can’t make money out of it.

    You are the only person online who can give honest advise from experience, without having to tell untrue stories just to promote a product.

    i am also doing research on this topic and will let you know about what I find.

  18. Guys, look at the comparison of Chicken vs Almonds. If you workout first thing in the morning I recommend you to have Almonds at breakfast before workout. Ronnie Coleman have ARGININE before and AFTER a workout. Almonds are very rich in ARGININE amino acid. This amino acids is supposed to give you power while working out and recovery after.

    That what I am doing, lets see if working for me…. :)

    1. Just don’t forget, that Almonds have ca. 10 times as much fat as chicken-breast (100g chicken 4g fat vs. 100g Mandeln 49g fat). Of course you wouldn’t eat that much almonds, just don’t forget about the other macros..

      1. Thanks for that, I was looking at info: 40 gr of Almonds have 1gr of ARGININE. Maybe 20 gr of Almonds at breakfast is .5 gr of ARGININE. Do you think 20 gr that is 10g fat, would be ok or is to little ?????? thanks

        1. that depends on your goals, daily calory intake, etc. But I also eat nuts every other day (or more), around the 10-30g/day.. But I don’t have data on the amino acids, except that Arginie is a non-essential amino acid and the body can produce enough of it to make your body happy. That’s why you can’t find so many daily recommendation for it.

  19. Have you read “The All Pro Diet” by Tony Gonzalez? He talks about mixing plant proteins and using a mixture of pea, hemp, and rice protien instead of whey. He also talks about the danger of too much soy products, which I use daily due to my mostly vegan diet. “typically tofu or faux hot dogs because they tend to be cheap”. Wondering what your thoughts were on these 2 claims he made. I’m a huge Tony Gonzalalez fan, but I trust your opinion on nutrition more-so than his: “mostly because he sells some products that he mentions”.

        1. YES!!

          Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see.”He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days;after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal tableSo the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables. (Daniel 1:11-16)

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