Protinex: How helpful is it?

A while ago, I found a tin of Protinex on the dining table of a friend. On checking out the nutrition label, I wasn’t entirely sure why she was taking it, given the amount of carbs in there in which there was a high sugar component too and knowing she was conscious about weight gain. Still, I wanted to delve a little deeper into the numbers and see what turned up. A year or more later, here goes.

Item UoM 100g 25g RDA/AI Servings Carbs Proteins Fats Energy
VITAMINS gm gm gm kcal
Vitamin A (RE) mcg 1600 400 650 1.6 22.34 13.00 0.93 151.53
Vitamin D mcg 8.3 2.1 10 4.8 65.48 38.10 2.74 444.05
Vitamin E mg 18 4.5 15 3.3 45.83 26.67 1.92 310.83
Vitamin C mg 84 21 60 2.9 39.29 22.86 1.64 266.43
Vitamin B1 mg 3.3 0.8 1.2 1.5 20.63 12.00 0.86 139.88
Vitamin B2 mg 4.6 1.2 1.2 1.0 13.75 8.00 0.58 93.25
Niacin mg 50 13 15 1.2 15.87 9.23 0.66 107.60
Pantothenic acid mg 3.3 0.8 5 6.3 85.94 50.00 3.59 582.81
Vitamin B6 mg 1.7 0.4 1.2 3.0 41.25 24.00 1.73 279.75
Folic acid mcg 167 25.2 400 15.9 218.25 126.98 9.13 1480.16
Vitamin B12 mcg 0.75 0.2 2.4 12.0 165.00 96.00 6.90 1119.00
Biotin mcg 34 8.5 30 3.5 48.53 28.24 2.03 329.12
MINERALS
Iron mg 21 5.3 18 3.4 46.70 27.17 1.95 316.70
Calcium mg 1210 303 1000 3.3 45.38 26.40 1.90 307.76
Phosphorus mg 940 235 700 3.0 40.96 23.83 1.71 277.77
Magnesium mg 100 25 420 16.8 231.00 134.40 9.66 1566.60
Zinc mg 3.1 0.8 11 13.8 189.06 110.00 7.91 1282.19
Iodine mg 55 14 150 10.7 147.32 85.71 6.16 999.11
Copper mcg 780 195 900 4.6 63.46 36.92 2.65 430.38
Sodium mg 350 88 1500 17.0 234.38 136.36 9.80 1589.49
Potassium mg 865 216 4700 21.8 299.19 174.07 12.51 2029.05
Chloride mg 285 71 2300 32.4 445.42 259.15 18.63 3020.77
Choline mg 137 34 550 16.2 222.43 129.41 9.30 1508.46

Above is a table I made by typing numbers from the tin of Protinex into Excel. Here’s a description of the columns

  1. Name of the nutrient
  2. Unit of measure
  3. Amount of the nutrient in 100g of Protinex
  4. Amount of the nutrient in 25g or one serving of Protinex
  5. Amount that is recommended by the USDA for a day (RDA/Recommended Daily Allowance)
  6. Number of servings of Protinex required to deliver the RDA indicated in column 5.
  7. Amount of carbohydrates in the number of servings indicated in column 6.
  8. Amount of protein in the number of servings indicated in column 6.
  9. Amount of fats in the number of servings indicated in column 6.
  10. Number of calories in the number of servings indicated in column 6.

Here’s what I observed.

  • A single serving of Protinex doesn’t provide 100% RDA (recommended daily allowance) of any nutrient except Vitamin B2.
  •  At rupees 475 for 400 grams, Protinex contains 16 servings and works out to a little under 30 rupees per serving.
  • For 30 rupees, here’s what you’re getting.
Nutrient 1 Srv 2 Srv 3 Srv 4 Srv 5 Srv
Vitamin A  62% 123% 185% 246% 308%
Vitamin D 21% 42% 63% 84% 105%
Vitamin E 30% 60% 90% 120% 150%
Vitamin C 35% 70% 105% 140% 175%
Vitamin B1 67% 133% 200% 267% 333%
Vitamin B2 100% 200% 300% 400% 500%
Niacin 87% 173% 260% 347% 433%
Pantothenic acid 16% 32% 48% 64% 80%
Vitamin B6 33% 67% 100% 133% 167%
Folic acid 6% 13% 19% 25% 32%
Vitamin B12 8% 17% 25% 33% 42%
Biotin 28% 57% 85% 113% 142%
Iron 29% 59% 88% 118% 147%
Calcium 30% 61% 91% 121% 152%
Phosphorus 34% 67% 101% 134% 168%
Magnesium 6% 12% 18% 24% 30%
Zinc 7% 15% 22% 29% 36%
Iodine 9% 19% 28% 37% 47%
Copper 22% 43% 65% 87% 108%
Sodium 6% 12% 18% 23% 29%
Potassium 5% 9% 14% 18% 23%
Chloride 3% 6% 9% 12% 15%
Choline 6% 12% 19% 25% 31%
93.25 186.5 279.75 373 466.25
kcal kcal kcal kcal kcal
  • Additionally, for 30 rupees, you’re also getting about 8 grams of protein, plus 0.6 grams of fat and 13.6 grams of carbohydrates. The good news is, that the 8 grams of protein you’re getting, are considered complete proteins. The bad news is, that the 8 grams of protein we’re speaking of, are soy protein isolate, which has various inconclusive but worrisome potential health consequences. We’ll get into that another time. Now, let’s see what other proteins we can get for about 30 rupees.
    • Eggs are about Rs 8.50, and on average, each contains about 6 gram of protein. So, for 30 rupees, you’ll get about 21 grams of protein, plus 17.6 gm of fat (0.6 in Protinex) and 2.1 grams of carbs (13.6 in Protinex). Eggs appear to be a superior source of protein to Protinex, with less carbs but more fat.
    • A kilo of Nutrela’s soya chunks costs about 150 rupees and contains about 52% protein, amounting to 520 grams of protein in a kilo of product. So, for 30 rupees, you’ll get 104 grams of protein from the same source that is in Protinex. These granules also contain about 33% carbohydrates (330 grams) and 0.5% fat (5 grams). In the same 30 rupees, is therefore included 66 grams of carbohydrates and 0.16 grams of fat. Soya chunks appear to be a superior source of protein to Protinex, but with more carbs and less fat than Protinex.
    • Ultimate Nutrition Prostar, which is the best selling brand of whey protein on Amazon India, costs Rs 3,648 for about 2.4 kilos. This means, 30 rupees with get us about 19.7 grams of the stuff. Now, 19.7 grams of this brand of whey protein gets us about 16.4 grams of protein, 1.3 grams of carbs and 0.65 grams of fat. Whey protein appears to be a superior source of protein, with far less carbs and fat content equivalent to Protinex.
30 Rupees of Proteins Carbs Fats
Eggs 21g 2.1g 17.6g
Soya Nuggets 104g 66g 0.16g
Whey Protein 16.4g 1.3g 0.65g
Protinex 8g 13.6g 0.6g
  • If you’re watching your sugars or carbs, such as if you’re diabetic or on a low-carb diet, this may not be a great choice.

Conclusion: Protinex appears to have its pros and cons. When compared to eggs and soy nuggets, while it delivers less protein than both, it has less fat than one and less carbs than the other. But when compared to whey protein, macro-nutrient for macro-nutrient, it does appear to stumble a little, with half the protein, many times the carbs and the same fat content as this brand of whey protein. This makes it fit into a cosy little niche with respect to eggs and soya nuggets. So, for those of you who will not consider consuming whey protein, Protinex is a good choice. But for those of us who consider whey protein a workable choice, skipping Protinex may be a good idea, in favour of whey protein.

Up Next!
This was a quick comparison with other sources of protein. Now, how about seeing Protinex from the point of view of a nutritional supplement, rather than just protein? I’ll measure the nutrient density of Protinex against the density of the same nutrients in other products, such as Opti-Men and Opti-Women, which is what my wife and I use at home and recommend to others as well.

All brand names mentioned belong to their respective owners and are duly acknowledged.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.