Why do beans have less protein after cooking?

Q. If you boil beans, they lose their protein?

According to google search, 1 cup RAW of pinto beans is 41 grams of protein, but if you boil them they become 1.9g / cup. Why is this so?

The discrepancy in protein per cup is due to the difference in volume between a dried bean and a cooked bean.

When the dried beans are cooked or soaked, they absorb the liquid they are cooked/soaked in, which causes them to expand.

From a quick google search, dried beans can expand up to 2-3 times their original volume after an overnight soak and 3-4 times their original volume after cooking. So if you started with 1 cup of dried beans, you will on average end up with 3 cups of cooked beans. i.e. On average, 1 cup of dried beans will contain 3x the protein of 1 cup of cooked beans.

The same applies to other dried food stuff such as grains, legumes and lentils. The only difference is the amount of water they will absorb. To make it easier and less confusing to track these calories, weigh them raw and log them  based on the raw nutritional information for that ingredient.

Related reading:

Recipe book and cooking advice for beans, legumes and lentils:


Cooking Dried Beans,Peas and Lentils:

Bean conversions:

Dried grains to cooked conversions:

Nutritional aspects of women strength athletes

Nutritional aspects of women strength athletes
J S Volek, C E Forsythe, and W J Kraemer


Strength training elicits sports related and health benefits for both men and women. Although sexual dimorphism is observed in exercise metabolism, there is little information outlining the specific nutritional needs of women strength athletes. Many women athletes restrict energy intake, specifically fat consumption, in order to modify body composition, but this nutritional practice is often counter‐productive. Compared to men, women appear to be less reliant on glycogen during exercise and less responsive to carbohydrate mediated glycogen synthesis during recovery. Female strength athletes may require more protein than their sedentary and endurance training counterparts to attain positive nitrogen balance and promote protein synthesis. Therefore, women strength athletes should put less emphasis on a very high carbohydrate intake and more emphasis on quality protein and fat consumption in the context of energy balance to enhance adaptations to training and improve general health. Attention to timing of nutrient ingestion, macronutrient quality, and dietary supplementation (for example, creatine) are briefly discussed as important components of a nutritionally adequate and effective strength training diet for women.


  • Strength training = good
  • Women utilize more fats and less carbs than men during exercise
  • +ve nitrogen balance required for LBM gains
  • Adequate fat intake required for health gains and optimal hormonal profile
  • Carbs essential for performance -emphasize mico-nutrient-rich and unprocessed whole foods as source of carbs
  • Protein recommendation: 1.4–1.8 g/kg
  • No adverse effects of high protein intake in healthy individuals
  • Good idea to pad workouts with protein-rich meals
  • Creatine = good

Continue reading “Nutritional aspects of women strength athletes”


In most cultures, it is customary for new mothers to follow a set of confinement practices during the month after child birth. The main purpose of these practices is to ensure that both the mother and child recover fully from the trial of pregnancy, labour and childbirth. This confinement period is usually characterized by loads of rest, good food and “home quarantine”. Continue reading “afterbirth”

gluten – a short write up


  • Gluten is a mixture of proteins.
  • It is non-toxic
  • If you do not have celiac disease or allergies, it is safe for you to eat gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten refers to the mixture of proteins found in cereal grains’ endosperm. It is what determines the elasticity of the dough. For example over mixing flour activates the gluten producing a denser, harder and more elastic dough, which is desirable for making pizza bases but not suitable for cakes and muffins.

What foods contain gluten?

Any food containing the following:
1. Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
2. Rye
3. Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
4. Wheat
Source: Mayo Clinic

NOTE: Even if the food does not contain gluten, it might still not be gluten free.
Eg. Oats do not contain gluten. However cross-contamination may occur if it is processed on equipment that has treated any of the ingredients listed above.
FYI: Oats and gluten have quite a complicated relationship. This position statement from Coeliac Australia is a rather comprehensive overview of the subject.

Is gluten bad?

If you suffer from celiac disease. Yes. This is because gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease, hence it is advisable to avoid gluten containing food items to avoid complications and improve their quality of life.

For the rest of us, a gluten free diet has not shown to have any additional health benefits. In fact it may result in nutrient deficiencies, greater risk of exposure to certain toxins and a heftier grocery bill.

And it has also been associated with an increase in obesity:

Gluten-free packaged foods frequently contain a greater density of fat and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts.9 Increased fat and calorie intake have been identified in individuals after a GFD.10, 11 Obesity, overweight, and new-onset insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have been identified after initiation of a GFD.12, 13, 14 A GFD also may lead to deficiencies in B vitamins, folate, and iron,15, 16 given a lack of nutrient fortification of many gluten-free products.
Source: The Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Fact, Fiction, and Fad

Although there have been data suggesting gluten may be harmful, it has been mainly derived from animal models. Which may not have much transference/applicability to humans. There have been new studies emerging regarding its effects on the humans’ gut microbiome, but it is still hard to determine what is the impact of this and warrants further study.

A recent interesting development is that the scientists who first discovered evidence for non-celiac gluten sensitivity have now shown it doesn’t exist.

“In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten,” Gibson wrote in the paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

It seems to be a ‘nocebo’ effect – the self-diagnosed gluten sensitive patients expected to feel worse on the study diets, so they did. They were also likely more attentive to their intestinal distress, since they had to monitor it for the study.

On top of that, these other potential dietary triggers – specifically the FODMAPS – could be causing what people have wrongly interpreted as gluten sensitivity. FODMAPS are frequently found in the same foods as gluten. That still doesn’t explain why people in the study negatively reacted to diets that were free of all dietary triggers.