T Nation


Have any of you gus used quinoa? I have known about it or awhile, and was going to start incorporating it into my diet. I was wondering if any of you had any knowledge about the benefits for the bodybuilder. Here is a little info:

Nutritionally, quinoa might be considered a supergrain–although it is not really a grain, but the seed of a leafy plant that’s distantly related to spinach. Quinoa has excellent reserves of protein, and unlike other grains, is not missing the amino aicd lysine, so the protein is more complete (a trait it shares with other “non-true” grains such as buckwheat and amaranth). The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa at least equivalent to that in milk. Quinoa offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins: B6, niacin, and thiamin. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, and has some folate (folic acid).

I am researching it, but if any one has any info it would be appreciated. As of right now, it looks like a good alternative to rice, and maybe even oatmeal. It scores 35 on the GI. Amaranth is another one, high protein (more complete like quinoa, but lower in carbs).

cool info.

I’ve eaten both amaranth and quinoa, cooked like rice. I’ve eaten glutenous rice since birth, owing to growing up in a Korean household, but it porks me up too much. The best thing about white rice is the lack of flavor, allowing the sides flavor it. Quinoa and amaranth seems to have strong flavors that is difficult to use in place of rice. Perhaps the best way to use them would be to add to a soup, like barley is used in beef vegetable soup. A substitute for rice I have found that seems to work well is pearled barly. Another very low GI grain. The only problem was that it is very rubbery when cooked, and it takes forever to eat breakfast. A heck of a lot of chewing–almost an aerobic workout in itself! Recently, I’ve switched to beans. I make a big batch of 17 bean soup on the weekend, with some lean beef added to it. I eat a bowl of it for breakfast during the week, and it tides me over until late morning, when I have a piece of fruit before lunch. The only caution about all these foods is GAS! It took a week of tooting before my body got used to it.

I thought quinoa was a numbers game they played in Las Vegas. If I knew it had protein in it, I would have played more of it.

I was wondering if you had any info on quinoa? do you think it would be beneficial?

I used to eat Kashi cereal which has quinoa. I ate 1 box every two days and I took the best shits of my whole life. I got real fat though.

I really like quinoa, it’s easy to make (you can make it in a rice cooker), but it needs some flavoring. Experiment with spice combinations. I found tossing in some chili seasoning before cooking, then squeezing in a lemon after cooking, make a really tasty side dish, or breakfast carb (but I have really freakish tastes so flavor according to your own palate). I don’t especially like its unflavored taste. Not bad, but not really delightful, either. Try it out in place of your normal carb.

I appreciate the responses uys, however I am looking for nutrional information which relates to the bodybuilding lifestyle, good or bad. I am familiar with the cooking techniques and various ways to prepare it. Thanks


What is quinoa? Is it like rice and does it taste similar to rice? It sounds pretty promising and am always looking for a different food to eat besides the same old oatmeal and brown rice.

I don’t know much about these grains, but they sound pretty good (as long as they taste ok).

John Berardi does not visit the forum too often, so you won't likely get an answer unless you email him directly.

I emailed John after seeing your post and am awaiting his reply. However, He may take a few days especially if it requires any research or investigation as He has will be busy this weekend. It would be my guess that He doesn’t know a whole lot about these two “grains” or He would have shared his findings/info (especially if he was aware of any outstanding properties). However, He does throw a number of curve balls so I could be wrong.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve searched for the positives of these foods, so maybe you should run a search for any negatives? If none come up add some to your diet and let us know if you grow a third testicle or develop any behavioral peculiarities like throwing your excrement. :slight_smile:

Its a seed from a plant that is a relative of spinach.Its has a stronger flavor but about the same texture as brown rice. It has been touted as a complete source of protein by the vegetarian community. If that is true, and the protein is of decent quality, it would be a great addition to our diets.

John doesn’t reguarly check the forum. Email him directly at JMBMuscle@hotmail.com for a prompt response.


Quinoa, 1 cup: 635 Kcal, 117g Carbs, 22g Pro, 8g Fat. Couldn’t find break down of protein.

Nutri info on Quinoa 100 grams Protein 13.1g carbs 68.9g energy 1565.0kj fat 5.8 g
Amaranth 100g protein 14.45g carbs 66.17g energy 1565.0kj fat 6.51 Calculated in nutribase software. D.L. it at www.nutribase.com <I hope its ok to put a link on this forum. Good luck. Sonny

Don’t mean to sound snide, but do you need John B. to tell you that a high fiber, high protein, low GI grain is good for bodybuilding purposes? I think you should just go for it. I think what you insinuated about oatmeal is correct. This board is all gung-ho about oatmeal, but I think that, in a leaning out phase, even oatmeal is too high GI. I’ve had better results with lentils or beans. Another good carb source I’ve found is a protein enriched pasta called “Slimetti.” Shoot, even fettucine is lower GI than oatmeal, though it doesn’t have the fiber. I know that GI is not the be all and end all, but it is the best tool right now in terms of availability of information.

I understand your point, however if we just went by GI, macronutrient values we would still be eating soy. So yes, I do want to hear from more knowledgeable people, especially when I am in a position to give people recipe advice. I want to know if there is any negatives to this “super grain”. I have found some potentially negative info , and would like some of you guys to take a look, heres the link:

http://www.drdebe.com/ DHEA.htm

I am still learning the chemical side of food and how it relates to training, so any input from the those who have a better handle on it would be appreciated.

I did e-mailed the guy who wrote the article, and here is his response:

I believe quinoa is a good food. It's a good protein source, as far as grains go. Any food has the potential to be poorly tolerated by an individual. Yours truly, Joseph Debe, DC, DACBN, CCSP, CCN

I took this reply to mean that it is O.K. in moderation, but would still like to know what you guys think.