Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle building and repair.
It is especially important for you to consume sufficient amounts of protein after your workouts as it contains building blocks called amino acids that your body cells use.
Again, it is worth mentioning that intense training can at times result in traumas to the muscle fibers, and this further insists on the necessity of protein after exercising for quicker muscle repair.
One of the rich nutrition sources of safe protein is eggs.
Due to their natural bioavailability, eggs have been referred to as the “perfect protein” source.
However, over the past few years, many people have been avoiding egg yolks as means of sparing themselves additional fat, cholesterol, and calories.
But, findings from a recent study report that if you want to build or gain more muscle, you might want to reconsider throwing away the yolks as the entire egg might just be the one thing you need for better muscle building and repair.
According to the research, whole eggs are better for building and repairing muscle than egg whites.
The research findings which have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that consuming whole eggs after resistance training significantly boosts protein synthesis after resistance training which, in turn, promotes muscle repair and building.
The researchers also found out that the muscle-building response after workouts is 40 percent greater in individuals who eat whole eggs than in those consuming egg whites.
There has been a widespread practice of bodybuilders throwing away egg yolks sighting cholesterol concerns.
The researchers led by Nicholas Burd, Ph.D., a Kinesiology and Community health professor at the University of Illinois say that eschewing egg yolks is counterproductive as they contain protein and other essential nutrients and components that egg whites don’t have.
Besides, studies have also found out that the cholesterol in yolks does not transfer to the body.
What The Study Between Whole Eggs And Egg Whites Has Showed
The study involved ten men aged between 19-22 years involved in resistance training.
The participants weighed between 85-92Kg and had between 15-17 percent of body fat.
After a single session of resistance training, the men were given 18g of protein from either egg whites or whole eggs.
The participants also received infusions of phenylalanine and stable-isotope-labeled Leucine to enable the researchers to maintain and measure the levels of amino acids the participants’ muscles and blood.
The eggs used in the study were also labeled isotopically with Leucine for precise tracking of the amino acids derived from the eggs.
The researchers then took multiple muscle biopsy and blood biopsy samples for assessment of the appearance of the egg-derived amino-acids in the blood and muscle protein synthesis.
The team used ELISA tests, LC-MS, and GC-MS.
Burd and his team of researchers saw that both whole eggs and egg whites had the same amounts of dietary amino acids in the blood.
He says that about 60-70 percent of dietary amino acids became available in the participants’ blood for building new muscle.
However, an interesting response was noticed when the researchers directly measured the protein synthesis occurring in the muscles.
They found out that ingesting whole eggs right after resistance training resulted in greater levels of protein synthesis than ingesting egg whites only.
It is important to mention here that this difference has nothing to do with the difference in the energy content of egg whites and whole eggs.
In fact, previous research findings attest to this fact.
While whole eggs contain 18g of protein and 17g of fat (egg whites have 18g and 0g of fat), Studies that were done in Burd’s lab, among other studies, indicate that the addition of fat to an isolated source of protein does not promote protein synthesis after workouts.
Eating Whole Eggs Is More Beneficial For Muscle Building
Burd said that “this study shows that consuming protein within its natural food matrix appears to be more beneficial to the muscles as opposed to having protein from isolated sources.”
Therefore, consuming eggs in their natural matrix has more benefits for protein synthesis.
This means that whole eggs are better for muscle building and muscle recovery than eggs whites.
Harvard Medical School also reports that the health effects we get from food more likely derive from synergistic nutrient and compound interactions within the foods we consume.
This implies that many of the essential components and nutrients in whole foods often interact in a beneficial and meaningful way that supplements just can’t replicate.
While this is not trying to say that egg whites are some kind of supplement, the idea still significantly applies.
So, this means that by eschewing that egg yolk, you could be getting rid of a healthy natural combination of nutrients that work in concert to repair and build your muscles efficiently.
Again, you should also be aware that egg yolks are also good sources of vitamin D and vitamin A.
Research also shows that they also contain choline which has a plethora of health benefits for fitness and weight loss.
So clearly, consuming whole eggs has more significant benefits than eating just the egg whites.
Burd says that in modern society, there is a lot of stress about protein, and more and more research shows that we need more protein in our diets than we think to maintain health.
He points out that as the population in the world grows, “we need sustainable, and cost-effective strategies to improve the use of protein in diets.”
But just why do we need protein so much?
When the body digests the protein found in the food we consume, it gets broken down into amino acids that are then selectively reassembled to form protein once again.
Most of our bodies (especially the solid parts like the skin, bones, organs, and muscles) are made up of protein.
This is the reason protein and protein synthesis is incredibly essential for building new muscles and muscle recovery.
The scientists concluded their study report with this statement: “We show that the consumption of whole eggs after resistance exercises results in greater myofibrillar protein synthesis stimulation than the consumption of egg whites did, despite having equivalent protein content.
Our data show that the ingestion of protein and nutrient-dense foods stimulates muscle anabolism differently compared to protein-dense foods.”
The Burd-led research team also included Joseph Beals, a nutritional graduate study student, Sarah Skinner, a kinesiology graduate student, and their colleagues.
An Overview Of The Nutrient Composition Of Whole Eggs
As noted earlier, egg yolk is a rich source of vitamins D and A, and choline.
It also contains complex vitamins B1, B6, and B12.
It has sufficient folate, calcium, zinc, and lecithin which are essential minerals.
Besides being an excellent source of Omega-3 fats, the yolk also has anti-oxidants Zeaxanthin and Lutein.
It is a rich source of protein.
Thanks to all these nutrients, vitamins and protein, whole eggs help you stop overeating after you have worked out.
The egg white is also an extremely bioavailable protein.
It has higher sodium, magnesium, potassium, and riboflavin.
It is fat and cholesterol-free besides also having low calories.
This interesting finding (that whole eggs are more nutrient and protein-dense than egg whites which are just protein-dense) is clear evidence that eating whole eggs has more health benefits.
Again, the finding that consuming nutrient and protein-dense foods results in better muscle anabolism stimulation should encourage you to ingest whole eggs after resistance training if you want to gain muscle.
This research’s findings set the pace for further studies on full and unaltered protein sources.
About The Author:
This article is written by Leandro, a fitness fanatic, healthy nutrition enthusiast who works out in the gym every day and practices many and various physical activities outdoors as he lives in the countryside and close to the sea. He loves writing fitness and nutrition-related articles for Websites including his own http://www.LifeToLiveIt.com. It is important for him to constantly broaden his knowledge by reading and learning from new surveys, studies and reports on healthy lifestyle issues.