Originally Posted by observer
Lentils are 9% protein and rice contains 2% protein, where as a piece of chicken contains 31% protein. Obviously it costs more, yes, but if you are investing in players, coaches and gym equipment then you need to invest in the fuel. Hence my analogy about owning a ferrari or BMW and trying to put water in the tank, because its less expensive than petrol.
Coach makes a great point. I had this discussion with Coach Pont on facebook once and he disagreed and gave an alternate explanation, which made sense at the time, although I forgot what he said.
Now I'm agreeing with you once again.
The problem is not so much protein, but the components of the protein. Without getting too biochemical, any protein you eat, regardless of whether its vegetable source like daal or meat like a lamb curry, gets digested in the stomach. You get enzymatic degradation of the proteins into their constituent amino acids. This is how the proteins are absorbed, transported, and then resynthesized in your body.
The good thing is that all living things use just 20 different amino acids for protein synthesis. So diverse species like daal and cows still have all the same amino acids, just different proportions of them arranged in different ways.
So lets use Coach's stats to do a little number crunching (whats an al Furqaan post without some stats, eh?).
So daal is 9% protein, and chicken is 31%. So if Junaid Khan consumes 100 g of chicken, he's getting 31 g of protein. By contrast, if Rubel eats 100 g of daal, he only gets 9 grams of protein. Rubel would have to more than 300 g of daal to get the protein that Junaid gets from just 100 g of chicken.
Now figure that humans are genetically more similar to chickens than they are to daal, in the phylogenetic scheme of things. Thus a chicken protein may contain, say 80% of the amino acids we need, whereas daal may only contain 50% (essential and non-essential amino acids). When you factor that in, and I've made these numbers up just to illustrate, Rubel now needs to ingest 480 g of daal to break even with Junaid's 100 g of chicken.
Its very easy to eat 100 g of chicken in one sitting, but there is only so much daal you can eat. Thus, diet, is a large part of what will be holding us back compared to Pakistani or Afghan players.