The biological value gives information about how well the human body utilizes the protein contained in a food and in body protein structures can rebuild. With skillful planning, it is possible to positively influence metabolic processes of the body and thus to stimulate the development of muscle mass or the reduction of fat.

What is biological value?

The more similar the amino acidsComposition of a dietary protein is the proteins in the human body, the better the protein can be utilized. Does a food have one high biological valueit is enough to eat a smaller amount of this food protein to meet its protein needs - and vice versa. In order to be able to compare different foods with regard to their biological value, the physician Karl Thomas from the middle of the 20th century developed an index into which food can be registered. The base value of 100 corresponds to the biological value of the whole egg protein. If a product has a higher biological value, the protein it contains can be better processed by the human body.

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The highest known biological value shows Whey (whey protein) on what makes it one of the most popular supplements for athletes.

Biological value of some foods

  • Whey protein - biological value of 104-110
  • Chicken egg - biological value of 100
  • Tuna - biological value of 92
  • Potatoes - biological value of 98-100
  • Pork - biological value of 85
  • Edam cheese - biological value of 85
  • Soy protein - biological value of 84-86
  • Beef - biological value of 80
  • Poultry - biological value of 80
  • Cow's milk - biological value of 88
  • Rye flour - biological value of 82 (grinding) 78
  • Beans - biological value of 72
  • Corn - biological value of 72
  • Rice - biological value of 66

(Source: Elmadfa / Leitzmann, 1999) Formally modified according to Eberl, C., 2002

The combination of proteins to increase the biological value

Athletes need around the clock, a sufficient supply of protein to keep metabolic processes in motion and to prevent the breakdown of muscle mass. It is helpful to know that the biological value of a meal can be greatly increased by combining certain foods. The background: If two foods contain different amino acids in a suitable combination, the human body can link these amino acids together and make better use of the resulting protein. It should be noted that essential amino acids how phenylalanine, leucine and methionine can be processed very quickly, which is why their biological value is higher. The best known example of a combination of amino acids which together have a high biological value is the combination of egg and potatoes, wherein the ratio (based on the proteins contained) should be 35 to 65 in the optimal case. Growing popularity are the so-called "multi-component proteins" (MKPs), in which protein from various sources (most commonly soy, whey and egg protein) is included.

Multicomponent proteins have a very high biological value and provide the body optimally with protein for a longer time, which is an effect that athletes like to see.

Biological value of food combinations

  • 36% whole egg + 64% potatoes - biological value of 136
  • 75% milk + 25% wheat flour - biological value of 125
  • 60% whole egg + 40% soybeans - biological value of 124
  • 71% chicken egg and 29% milk - biological value of 122
  • 68% hen's egg and 32% wheat - biological value of 118
  • 77% beef and 23% potatoes - biological value of 114
  • 52% beans + 48% corn - biological value of 99

(Source: Elmadfa / Leitzmann, 1999) Formally modified according to Eberl, C., 2002

Advantages of high biological value

If you are interested in building muscle mass that is as lean as possible, pay close attention to a balanced, protein-rich diet. When used cleverly, however, egg whites not only help to build muscle, but also burn fat. Not for nothing are commercially available products such as L-carnitine - a compound of the two amino acids L-lysine and L-methionine, which boost the fat burning. Those who go on a long-term diet and consume very little protein risk losing muscle mass, since muscle proteins are first used by the body to produce energy. Only later are fat deposits used. Many protein-rich shakes are also built on this principle, which are drunk on special diets instead of a meal. After getting up, taking multicomponent proteins in particular makes sense, as they provide the body with plenty of protein for a longer period of time. Immediately after strength training, many athletes take a shake that contains whey protein, as this protein has a high biological value and because of its structure, it can quickly be used by the body to supply the muscle fibers. On a very different principle, the inclusion of casein, This protein is contained in the milk of mammals and provides the body with sufficient protein over a longer period of time, as the amino acids are processed only slowly. Especially before bedtime is therefore the intake of casein Helpful when building muscle mass. casein is included in milk, cheese, quark and other dairy products. In particular, lean quark contains a great deal of casein due to its high protein and low fat content.

In the trade are also special Casein shakes available that contain almost no fat and are extremely high in protein. Like any protein powder, the powder is stirred into water or milk and drunk, which saves a lot of time.

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