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Bioavailability -
A Comparison of Proteins

BV is a reasonably well-accepted rating system for the quality of proteins -- it is a measure of how much ingested protein is actually retained in the body. Initial scales were designed based on whole egg which they marked as 100. Since then, there are a number of sources that score higher than whole egg, but the scale remains consistent all the same. Therefore, a source that scores 100 is theoretically absorbed twice as well as something at 50.

Protein TypeBV
Whey protein isolates blends110-159
Whey concentrate (lactalbumin)104
Whole egg100
Cow's milk91
Egg white (albumin)88

Source: Colgan Institute, San Diego 1997
(This is not the best source, but other studies have come up with similar values. However, lower values for Soy have appeared elsewhere).


Reader's Comments:

Please leave your comments or suggestions below!

How does smooth peanut butter compare? I've been told that it contains more protein than a comparable weight of beef. Of course, it's also full of oil and sugars, but I'm not worried about that at this point. I can carry a jar of PB to work. Kind of hard carrying steak around!

Thanks, ~D.


In all honesty, I haven't seen the BV for peanut butter, but I'm sure that it has been measured somewhere. If one isn't worried about the sugar and fat (lucky you!) then it could be a half-decent alternative, although it apparently isn't as dense protein-wise as some other meat alternatives. I found an article on Peanut Butter that you might find interesting, as it does offer some detail on the nutritional makeup of the spread.


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