The Best Sources of Protein (Bio-Availability Ratings)

Under: Muscle Building Nutrition Tips, Nutrition Tips for Men, Nutrition Tips for Women

Today I wanted to share with you a great article written by a buddy of mine by the name of Joey Vaillancourt, author of Bones To Buff and my workout partner in our Insane Muscle Assault workout DVD series.

Joey explains about picking the right protein sources and some really important rules to follow to optimize your amino acid profile to build even more muscle.

Start of Article

Protein Bioavailability Explained by Joey Vaillancourt

If you are serious about building muscle or losing fat, then you should already be aware of the role protein plays in this process. Nutrition plays a vital role in both goals and protein’s are the building blocks and should be included in everyone’s meal plan on a daily basis. No exception.


If there was only one nutrient you should focus on getting in it should be protein.

Protein’s are used to build and repair muscle tissue. After working out and breaking down our muscles, protein is generally the foundation for repair.

Carbohydrates and fat act as an energy source for our bodies when we train; kind of like the gasoline you put in your car. Carbs also replenish glycogen levels in your muscles after intense weight training. Now that you have a bit more of an understanding regarding the background of all three (protein, carbs and fats) lets move on and start to go deeper with the information on protein.

Many people, including myself when I first started, are under the impression that a protein is a protein, period. Some people think they are getting enough protein from foods such as nuts, oats, rice and potatoes because there are small trace amounts of proteins in these foods even if not considered a protein source.

However, even though there are protein’s in these foods I mentioned above, they should not be considered a primary protein source.

Let me explain.


You see, protein’s are made up of essential amino’s and non-essential amino acids. Most of the protein that can be found in food sources derived from what we consider primarily a carb or fat are not ‘complete’ protein and are lacking one or more essential amino acids that your body requires.

Essential amino acids are protein’s that cannot be manufactured by our bodies and therefore creates a requirement for them in our diet, while non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by our bodies.

Our bodies require these essential amino acids to repair fully and have optimal potential for muscle gain. Failing to give our bodies the proper protein sources can lead to lack of results for our efforts in the gym.

Another big factor to consider about protein sources is their bio-availability.

Now, what the heck is bio-availability? I’m glad you asked :)

Bio-availability: this represents the percentage or scale rating of just how much our bodies can make use of certain protein sources.

You need to know that our bodies and digestive systems absorb some protein’s better than others and also certain sources will provide a higher amino acid profile.

These are the protein source’s we should be including in our diets.

Here is a quick chart to give you an idea of the bio-availability index rating of some protein sources:

Protein Source Bio-Availability Index
Whey Protein Isolate Blends 100-159
Whey Concentrate 104
Whole Egg 100
Cow’s Milk 91
Egg White 88
Fish 83
Beef 80
Chicken 79
Casein 77
Rice 74
Soy 59
Wheat 54
Beans 49
Peanuts 43


Basically, as a rule of thumb, I don’t even count the proteins from foods that I consider primarily part of another macronutrient such as my carbs and fats. I only count proteins found from sources that are highly bio-available to our bodies like the ones listed in the table above.

Focusing on getting your proteins from the sources listed high in the table will really go a long way when trying to gain muscle or lose fat.

Now that your aware of these facts, I trust you will make the right choices for protein sources and see the benefits from doing so.

End of Article

Thanks Joey! Hope you guys enjoyed this one and learned a lot from it.

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