Protein Per Second – Fastest Ways to Eat Protein (Part 1)

(This is version 1.0 of Protein Per Dollar, it’s more accurate than a buzzfeed article, however we havent completed an R&R style study, and isn’t ready for significant math applications. This is the conclusion off n=1, m=1.)

Protein is an unavoidable part of human life. Completing a detailed Obtain to Disposal time study may even have far reaching effects in food service and labor.

I don’t think anyone in the history of humanity has done a time study on the most efficient ways to get protein from start to finish. Although I will give credit to Hunter Gatherers 😛

Engineering Time Studies

Deciding where to start the timer was difficult. Do we include Grocery shopping? Do we include the time it takes for me to get my clothing on? Do we include the time it takes to write a grocery list?

These are work in progress questions. End goal is to include every aspect from idea creation to disposal.

This article includes Prep and cleanup time of grocery proteins. This does not include acquisition time.

Fastest and Instantly Ready Protein

Obtaining Protein is different from most carbs and fats, meats have to be refrigerated and often cooked. These below are instantly ready, requiring no preparation.


If you can drink milk, its my top method to getting calories and protein.


  • Great Calories Per Dollar
  • Top Protein Per Dollar
  • Instant and Scale-able


  • Not a lean protein

Beef Jerky

Careful for highway robbery, this can be expensive. I’ve seen this for less than 4g protein per dollar.


  • Instant
  • Tasty
  • Lean


  • Expensive

Peanut Butter and Peanuts


  • High Calorie Per Dollar
  • Good Protein Per Dollar
  • Instant
  • Long Shelf Life


  • Not a Lean Protein

Honorable Mentions

Premade Protein Shakes, Cottage Cheese, Protein Bars, Greek Yogurt, Imitation Krab, and Veggies. Broccoli is ready to eat and has a few grams of protein in it. These items will make for some interesting math!

Quick Sources Of Protein

Not quite as fast, but these are probably some of your best overall values.

Protein Shakes

My personal favorite. Something so quick I often make it before work.


  • Top Protein Per Dollar
  • Lean
  • Less than 1 minute to make

Canned Meats

Tuna, Salmon, Spam, and more.


  • Ready as fast as you can open a can


  • Expensive
  • Often eaten with plenty of fat

Hard or Soft Boiled Eggs

Make as many as you can fit in a pan, eat it all week.


  • Great Protein Per Dollar
  • Great Calorie Per Dollar
  • Can be made in bulk
  • Low active time


  • Not A lean Protein
  • Lentils

    Probably one of the easiest things to make


    • Boil, no stiring needed
    • A top Protein Per Dollar


    Pinto/Black Beans

    Depending on how hard it is to get your slow cooker out, this might be easier than lentils!


    • As much effort as the slow cooker
    • A top Protein Per Dollar


    • Not Lean Protein, high in carbs
    • May require flavoring

    Best Time And Money Values

    Creating dimensionless units and ranking by a formula:

    Y= Protein Per Second/Protein Per Second(Minimum) * Protein Per Dollar/Protein Per Dollar Max

    Until we gather enough data, I feel safe to list my top 5

    1. Protein Shakes- (potentially) Low cost, Fast, Lean Protein
    2. Canned Meats(Tuna)- Moderate Cost, Lean, Fast if your can opener ACTUALLY WORKS(mine doesnt…)
    3. Lentils – Top Protein Per Dollar, Low Effort
    4. Pinto Beans- Top Protein Per Dollar, Low Effort
    5. Boiled Eggs – Low Cost, Low Effort

    Future Of Protein Per Second

    I am very excited for the future of this. The Calorie Per Dollar List started as 15 frequently bought items. Creating a time study for proteins, calories, and nutrition may open up new metrics and mathematics for healthy eating quickly.

    By the end of the year, I expect to have a full formula to rate by nutrition, cost, and time.

    If anyone has a thought to contribute to developing the data or formulas, I’d love to hear what you can find useful.

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