Whole Eggs Superior to Egg Whites for Muscle Building

The practice of throwing away the yolk and getting protein just from the white’s of eggs may be a mistake. This discovery just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the post-workout muscle-building response to eating a whole egg may be 40 percent greater than the response to consuming an equivalent amount of protein from just egg whites.

Professor Nicholas Burd lead researcher from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign which produced the study says, “This study suggests that eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to getting one’s protein from isolated protein sources. ” He explains that ,” the yolks also contain protein, along with key nutrients and other food components that are not present in egg whites.” It seems that something contained within the yolk enhances the body’s ability to utilize the protein to build muscle.

In this study, 10 young men engaged in resistance exercise and then ate either whole eggs or egg whites . The researchers then took repeated blood and muscle biopsy samples to assess how the egg-derived amino acids were appearing in the blood and in protein synthesis in muscles before and after the resistance exercise and eating.

Dr Burd says that his study data revealed that, “if you ate the whole egg or the egg whites, the same amount of dietary amino acids became available in your blood,…but…the ingestion of whole eggs resulted in greater muscle-protein synthesis than the ingestion of egg whites”.

With the increasing sales of items like protein shakes, used by so many  workout enthusiasts, this may be another example where mother nature’s whole food outperforms a supplement.


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