Saturday, March 11, 2006

Essential Amino Acid and protein consumption

Okay I had this arrogant fucktard lecture me today about essential amino acids to make himself feel better. Why you ask? Well someone was reliving their experience at a Whole Foods demonstration about tofu. Since I'm looking for alternative food sources with sufficient protein. Tofu seemed pretty good with the 11g in 1/5 a slab from a package.

But then I asked a question about whether or not the protein in tofu was complete or not. The guy I was having a discussion with said this:

"All soybean products, such as tofu and soymilk, are complete proteins. They contain the essential amino acids plus several other nutrients. Available in health food stores, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, soy-based meat substitutes, soy cheese, and many other soy products are healthful ways to complement the meatless diet."

To which I responded "thats odd...of all the beans in the world only the s! oy has a complete protein. *shrug*"

Thats when the asshole reared his head on some "what is an incomplete protein exactly?"

Now granted I don't agree with his approach but he's a tyranical vegan bent on using as little in life as possible (had his electricity cut off recently and is now considering leaving it off due to the quiet).

Anyway from a weightlifting point of view what exactly is the truth? I mean I've been going off the whole combining legumes and grains to get a complete protein but not only did the fucktard make sure to tell me that that information is outdated but I also found it out myself in trying to defend myself. He went off on a tangent about how much "we" really need as humans and how it was also recently found out that we store amino acids too.

I'm more concerned about the whole 1 gram per bodyweight rule and whether or not getting all the essential amino acids will matter.


  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Lyle McDonald said…

    With a few weird exceptions (stuff like gelatin and one or two others) all dietary proteins contain all of the amino acids in some amount.  So the idea of an incomplete protein (one totally lacking in an individual AA) is incorrect.

    A more accurate concept is that of a limiting AA, does a given protein contain a specific essential AA in amounts insufficient to sustain growth or health or whatever end point criterion you want to use.  Some go even further and define a first limiting essential AA (which is the essential AA lowest relative to needs), a second essential AA, etc.

    The whole idea of complimentary proteins really had to do with the fact that the first limiting AA in grains is present in good amounts in legumes and vice versa.

    It still raise the question: does it even matter?

    For the most part, probably not.  Essential AA requirements for humans really aren't that high and most proteins contain all of the essentials in amounts far greater than we need.  This might not be the case for some veggie proteins (and soy is an exception).

    However, it  becomes an issue if: a. you're consuming low protein to begin with b. you're consuming a single protein source

    That would make it possible for the limiting essential AA to become problematic.   Basically, third world countries where they eat a tiny amount of shit quality protein each day.  Supplementing the first limiting AA is a huge deal under those circumstances.

    W/in the context of high protein intakes (even a high enough intake of a crap protein would probably provide enough essential AA's for you to get by) or mixed protien intakes (which would mean odds are you're making up for any essential AA lack with a different protein source), it probably doesn't make a crap's worth of difference.

    At 1 g/lb, mixed proteins and sufficient caloric intake, protein quality is unlikely to make much of a difference in anything.  UNless you only ate a single type of protein (and even then there's probably no problem), yo'ud get more than enough of the essential AA's to sustain growth.

    In a dieting situation, protein quality is going to be more relevant.


  • At 10:52 PM, Anonymous ignorcrew said…

    You are doing the right thing combining the beans and grains to get the complete set of the amino acids. He is also correct in stating that soy is  a complete protein. It is the only bean that is so.

  • At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Michael Sierchio said…

    Potatoes have a fairly good amino acid profile -- they're not high in protein, though.

  • At 3:23 AM, Anonymous DeadCat said…

    Don't make posts claiming that creatine works.


  • At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Piscanthropus Profundus said…


    There are 9 essential amino acids - they can not be manufactured by the body.  The rest can be manufactured by the body with the addition of the essential 9.

    An incomplete protein has a deficiency of one or more of the 9 essential amino acids. along with a couple of other sites I've found say that soy protein contains all essential amino acids, is the only vegetable protein that does, and is the equivalent of meat protein.


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