Biological Value–Not All Proteins Are Created Equal

Unfortunately, not all proteins have equal nutrient values. There are some protein sources that are more beneficial than others. In order to determine the difference between various proteins, the Biological Value (BV) scale is used. This scale measures how well the body can absorb and utilize the proteins we consume. The higher the value, the greater it meets our body’s needs. Proteins with the highest value promote the most lean muscle gain. In theory, the range can vary from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 has 100% nitrogen absorption (nitrogen is one of the elements that make up an amino acid protein). Below is a short list of protein values of common foods:

· Whey Protein: 96
· Human milk: 95
· Chicken egg: 94
· Cow milk: 90
· Cheese: 84
· Fish: 76
· Beef: 74.3
· Immature bean: 65
· Whole wheat: 64
· White flour: 41
*When searching for values, some charts use “whole egg” as a value of 100. Based on that, some values will exceed 100. (Ex: Whey Protein = 104)
Meats and dairy products rank the highest on the BV scale since they are complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids. (Essential amino acids need to be consumed through food.) Grains, nuts, seed and vegetables are low on the scale since they are incomplete proteins, because they are missing, or do not have enough of, one or more of the essential amino acids. Vegetarians and vegans must carefully choose their protein sources to balance out the lack of animal protein.
When meal planning, and after resistance training, it is important to choose protein sources high on the scale, to promote optimal muscle growth and cellular repair. Learn how much protein you need based on your level of activity and how to combine it with the correct amount of carbohydrates and fats by contacting Dan @ (978) 807-8579, or visit, to learn more.

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