T Nation

Protein theory

I’ve been dabbling on a protien theory for a few years and I wanted to see what other people’s thoughts were. Since we all know that carbs from different sources, have different effects on our insulin (glycomatic index). What if there was an index for protien ? what if we were to take in ‘x’ ammount of “units” (if you will) of protein per day, not just a basic gram measurement. Like, we all know 300 grams of protein from beans isn’t near as good as 300 grams of egg whites. but traditional and new diets are sort of vauge on what the protein number should accurately consist of. So, this bring me to my protien unit idea. I haven’ had time to really come up with good units for all proteins, but here’s a ball park idea: starting off with egg white, that would be the basis on how all other proteins are rated to it, and is arguably one of the best sources for complete source of protein. so therefore, i’d give it a 1.0 … legumes (beans) would be the low end of the spectrum .5 (or so) chicken would be about .9, beef .85, fish .9, and simple whey 1.1, those “super” whey powders 1.2-1.3… etc…etc…etc… so, instead of a diet of 300 grams of protein, it would be closer to 300 units, which in turn, might equal around 275 grams of great protein combo, or 350 grams of not as good protein combo. just like to see what others thoughts were.

Um, yeah. That’s a good idea. In fact, it’s so good that it already exists, almost in the same form you mentioned. Bio-availability.

Podge: I could be reading the question wrong AND what you are proposing…but the “rating” of protein has been done now for quite some time, with the indices continually being revised by researchers, biochemist, nutritionist, etc… These indices cover the spectrum from “completeness” to “bioavailabilty”. Are you suggesting something different from this?

This has been done already. You’ve basically explained the Biological Value (BV) rating of protein.

yeah, i write like i talk sometimes, i should have put in my awareness (but lack of knowlege) of the biological value.I guess in a nutshell, I wonder if we should keep better track on the ‘total BV amount’ of quality protein, (not just a lump sum of all proteins and treat them unconciously the same (BV) with the total grams being our total intake for the day.)… did i just make myself sound more confusing ???

I may be off the mark here, but I think these values take into account the limiting amino acid. The idea is that you have to have certain ratios of amino acids present to be able to absorb the protien. If there is only so much of a particular amino, then the rest of the aminos are basically wasted. Any one care to comment?