The ongoing debate of whether egg whites or whole eggs are better for muscle building needs to be solved sooner rather than later.
The recent hype of egg whites being a better contender for lower cholesterol has shaken up the muscle building debacle and it’s time to dive into finding out the truth about muscle building and a favorite breakfast food – eggs.
A food enjoyed by many, eggs contain approximately six grams of protein and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Whether you microwave, boil, fry, bake, steam, or scramble them, eggs are a healthy addition to any meal, especially after exercise.
Most of us exercise and work out to keep fit and to achieve the goal of building stronger muscles. After a vigorous workout session, our muscles build protein through the process of protein synthesis.
Individuals who participate in resistance training to promote muscle building are usually encouraged to eat protein-rich foods to help, as the protein that we eat post-workout can have a big impact on how the muscles build protein.
Since eggs are one of the richest sources of protein, it only makes sense to be included as a post-workout food. Egg whites have had their moment of being the healthier choice, while still containing 60% of the egg’s protein value. However, recent studies show that you might not want to avoid the yolk after all.
The Study: Whole Eggs vs. Egg Whites
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, separating the egg yolks to consume egg whites as a method of maximizing protein intake is actually counterproductive in the long run.
Not only do the yolks contain viable protein and other essential nutrients — nutrients that are not found in egg whites — the yolks also contain a special component that boosts the body’s ability to utilize that protein to build muscle.
Nicholas Burd, a professor at the University of Illinois, stated that the study suggests that eating protein within its natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles compared to getting protein from other isolated protein sources.
In the study, 10 male participants who were trained in resistance exercise were observed to question the rates of muscle-protein synthesis with egg whites vs. whole eggs. Participants were tested to asses how the amino acids from the eggs appeared in the blood and during protein synthesis in muscles before and after exercise.
While the amino acids in the blood were similar among the participants that ate eggs white and whole eggs, the whole eggs produced a different response when it comes to their effect on muscles.
Whole Eggs for Muscle Building
Results show that eating whole eggs after resistance exercise had a 40% greater response in muscle-protein synthesis as opposed to consuming only egg whites.
While the amount and type of protein being consumed are the same, eating whole eggs seems to be the winner when it comes to promoting stronger muscles, especially if muscle building is a goal you have been working hard towards.
The next time you’re cracking open an egg to enjoy, keep the yolk and get one step closer to the muscles you’ve been dreaming of.
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Yates, D. (n.d.). Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers find. Retrieved from https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/591263
To Gain Muscle Eat Whole Eggs, Not Just the Whites. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/01/08/gain-muscle-eat-whole-eggs-not-just-whites-12376
Whole Eggs Better Than Egg Whites For Muscle Building – Myprotein. (2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/nutrition/whole-eggs-better-than-egg-whites-muscle-building/