Protein Calculator

Protein Calculator

bodybuilding protein calculator

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.

1:Select the food group: Dairy and Egg Products  Poultry
Lunch Meats Breakfast Cereals

Fruits Vegetables

Pork Products  Nuts and Seeds

Beef Fish and Shellfish

Legumes and Peanuts Lamb, veal and game 

Grains 
2:Select the food:

3:Select usable protein: (use calorie calculator if unsure):

 
4: Calculate how much you need:

 

This sofware is still under development, use at your own risk. Please submit bugs and suggestions here!


Protein Analysis of Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt

To get 30 grams of usable protein for muscle building you can either eat 154 calories of chicken breast or 2965 calories of Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt

Lets look at why this is the case:

  1. How protein dense is the food? Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt have a protein density of 16.2% which means that 16.2% 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.
  2. 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 Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt to chicken breast in the below chart, you will see that it is most lacking in lysine, in fact, Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt only has 36% as much of lysine as chicken breast does. Because of this, you need to eat 2.8 times as much protein to get the same muscle building properties as you get from chicken.
  3. 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. Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt has a digestability factor of 0.7 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 1.4 times more than you would for a fully digestable food like milk.
  4. In Summary Because of the digestability and the lack of lysine, you need to eat get 4 times as many grams of protein in Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt to get 30 grams of high quality, usable protein.
Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt         BBQ Chicken Breast
Calories (g) 2965 154
Protein (g) 120 30
Fat (g) 252 4
Carbs (g) 109 0

 

 

Peanut-Amino-Acid-Profile

The best complimentary protein source for Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt

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 (Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt in this case) is lowest in when compared to a high quality protein source like chicken breast. In the case of Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt, it is lowest in lysine. Then it gets a bit tricky. If I were just to scour the database for the food that highest amount of lysine 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 lysine you get per calorie and second, you want something that is high in lysine 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

FOOD NAME

lysine
cauliflower,raw

0.113021
mushrooms,brown,italian,or crimini,raw

0.1008
parsley,freeze-dried

0.099521
lambsquarters,ckd,bld,drnd,wo/salt

0.084375
lambs quarters,ckd,bld,drnd,w/salt

0.084375
lambsquarters,raw

0.084286
lentils,sprouted,raw

0.079464
lentils,sprouted,ckd,stir-fried,w/salt

0.079318
lentils,sprouted,ckd,stir-fried,wo/salt

0.079318
soybeans,mature seeds,raw

0.074157
peas,split,mature seeds,ckd,bld,wo/salt

0.072182
peas,split,mature seeds,ckd,bld,w/salt

0.072182
peas,split,mature seeds,raw

0.072179
winged bns,mature seeds,raw

0.07204
peas,edible-podded,frz,ckd,bld,drnd,w/salt

0.072
peas,edible-podded,frz,ckd,bld,drnd,wo/salt

0.072
peas,edible-podded,ckd,bld,drnd,w/salt

0.071865
peas,edible-podded,bld,drnd,wo/ salt

0.071865
mori-nu,tofu,silken,soft

0.071042
peas,mature seeds,sprouted,ckd,bld,drnd,w/salt

0.070496

Top 20 best complimentary animal proteins

FOOD NAME

lysine
cheese,parmesan,dry grated,red fat

0.12295
cheese,ricotta,part skim milk

0.118788
beef,loin,top sirloin cap steak,bnless,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,raw

0.115392
beef,rib eye steak/roast,bone-in,lip-on,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,raw

0.115381
beef,top loin petite rst,bnless,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,ckd,rstd

0.115379
beef,rib,back ribs,bone-in,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115373
beef,plate steak,bnless,inside skirt,ln,0″ fat,sel,ckd,grild

0.115372
beef,top loin petite roast/filet,bnless,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,raw

0.115371
beef,ribeye petite rst,bnless,ln,0″ fat,sel,ckd,rstd

0.115368
beef,loin,top sirloin filet,bnless,ln,0″ fat,sel,ckd,grilled

0.115367
beef,loin,top sirloin petite rst,bnls,ln,0″ fat,sel,ckd,rstd

0.115366
beef,plate steak,bnless,inside skirt,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115363
beef,ribeye cap steak,bnless,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115362
beef,plate steak,bnless,outside skirt,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115361
beef,rib eye steak,bnless,lip off,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115361
beef,plate steak,bnless,outside skirt,ln,0″ fat,sel,ckd,grld

0.115358
beef,loin,top sirlon petite rst/filet,bnls,ln,0″ fat,sel,raw

0.115358
beef,rib eye steak,bnless,lip-on,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,ckd,grilled

0.115355
beef,rib eye rst,bnless,lip-on,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,ckd,rstd

0.115355
beef,rib eye rst,bone-in,lip-on,ln,1/8″ fat,sel,ckd,rstd

0.115353

Protein Combination Of Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt and Cauliflower,raw

Of all the essential amino acids, lysine is in shortest supply in Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt. Cauliflower,raw is a good compliment becuase it is high in lysine. Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt has 0.035895 grams of lysine for every 24.7044 calories. Cauliflower,raw has 0.113021 grams of lysine for every 13.0208 calories.

The proper mixing ratio of Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt to Cauliflower,raw is 3.3:1 by calories

Amino Acid

Chicken Breast

Combo of two cols to right

Cauliflower,raw

Peanuts, All Types, Dry-roasted, Wo/salt
Protein

1

1.6

0.6

1
Fat

0.127318

2.19713

0.1

2.09713
Carbs

0

2.408361

1.5

0.908361
Calories

5.13552

32.1044

7.4

24.7044
Sugar

0

0.77652

0.6

0.17652
Fiber

0

0

0

0.337838
TRP

0.01077

0.015621

0.005908

0.009713
THR

0.024322

0.034248

0

0.034248
ILE

0.04383

0.056151

0.020974

0.035177
LEU

0.084023

0.096137

0.031314

0.064823
LYS

0.1

0.1

0.064105

0.035895
MET

0.029708

0.018197

0.005908

0.012289
CYS

0.010699

0.018746

0.005908

0.012838
PHE

0.041084

0.071018

0.019202

0.051816
TYR

0.034058

0.055733

0.015066

0.040667
VAL

0.045613

0.078861

0.036927

0.041934
HISTN

0.036626

0.025296

0

0.025296

Another comment about how I decide what to combine with and how I do it is in order. In this first revision, I only look at the one single essential amino acid that is in shortest supply and then find a complimentary food that is high in that essential amino acid. Obviously, that is not perfect, it would be much better to look at *all* essential amino acids that are in relative short supply in the target food and then search the database for the food that can supply the missing essential amino acid quantities with a minimum of calories. For example, if you look at the protein quality of soy protein concentrate, you see that compared to chicken breast, its lacking most in methionine but also lacking in lysine. Since my software currently only looks at the shortage of methionine it chooses low fat sesame flour as the best complimentary food which fixes the methionine but still leaves a 12% deficit in the lysine. In my next revision, I will improve the algorithm significantly by looking at the lagging three essential amino acids rather than just looking at one.